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Understanding Thermal Bridging in Perth: A Silent Culprit with Health Implications

Thermal bridging, while often overlooked, is a critical concern in the construction industry, particularly in regions like Perth, Western Australia, where extreme weather conditions are prevalent. Given our experience in addressing 'sick-building syndrome' in some of Perth's newly constructed apartment buildings, Conspar is aware of the importance of preventing this issue, and assisting with the rectification of these situations where needed. In this article, we'll delve into the significance of thermal bridging, how it can manifest, and the potential health implications it poses to occupants.

What is Thermal Bridging?

Thermal bridging occurs when a part of a building's structure conducts heat at a significantly higher rate than the surrounding materials. In Perth's climate, which can be characterised by scorching summers and chilly winters, thermal bridging can have a substantial impact on the comfort and energy efficiency of a building.

Manifestation of Thermal Bridging

One of the most visible signs of thermal bridging is the condensation that forms on windows. When warm, moist indoor air comes into contact with a cold surface, such as a poorly insulated window frame, it cools rapidly, leading to condensation. While this condensation is a telltale sign, it's crucial to understand that thermal bridging can occur in various, less visible parts of a building's envelope, including walls, roofs, and floors.

Health Implications

Thermal bridging isn't just about comfort and energy efficiency; it can also have severe health implications for building occupants. Prolonged exposure to cold and damp conditions can lead to a range of health problems, including respiratory issues, allergies, and mold growth. Vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions, are particularly at risk.

Prevention and Mitigation

Conspar plays a pivotal role in addressing thermal bridging in your projects. Here are some strategies to prevent and mitigate its effects:

  1. Effective Insulation: Ensure that the building envelope is well-insulated to reduce heat transfer through structural elements.

  2. Thermal Breaks: Use thermal break materials or design elements to interrupt the heat flow through structural components.

  3. Quality Windows: Install high-quality, double-glazed windows with low U-values to minimize heat loss and condensation.

  4. Airtight Construction: Implement airtight construction techniques to prevent warm, moist air from infiltrating the building envelope.

  5. Ventilation: Incorporate proper ventilation systems to maintain healthy indoor air quality.


Thermal bridging is an often underestimated issue that can significantly affect both the energy efficiency and health of buildings in Perth. By implementing effective strategies to prevent and mitigate thermal bridging, you can enhance the comfort and well-being of building occupants while also contributing to a more sustainable future.

Remember that investing in high-quality insulation, windows, and ventilation systems not only reduces the risk of thermal bridging but also adds long-term value to your architectural projects. It's an essential consideration for any architect and builder in Perth, and your expertise in this area can make a substantial difference in the quality of construction in the region.

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