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HIT Insulated Balcony Connections

HIT Insulated Balcony Connections, offered by Halfen, are thermally broken, steel connections designed to reduce thermal bridging through concrete balconies… Read more
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  • Before specifying efficient heating and cooling equipment, it’s important to do what we can to reduce heating and cooling loads. Insulation is one of the key products to consider here, but because there are so many insulation products on the market, we look for additional benefits. Examples include cellulose insulation with recycled content, mineral wool insulation with no flame retardants, and fiberglass insulation with no formaldehyde binders. Other products in this area are high-performance windows and glazings, products that contribute to building airtight envelopes, products that reduce thermal bridging, and window-retrofit products.

    With products in this area under constant development, we are always refining our approach. For example, as we have learned about insulation products with hazardous flame retardants and blowing agents that have high global warming potential, we have removed those products from GreenSpec, pending manufacturing changes. We encourage building professionals to pressure manufacturers for those changes through specification language and purchasing decisions.

Brent Ehrlich
Products Editor

HIT Insulated Balcony Connections, offered by Halfen, are thermally broken, steel connections designed to reduce thermal bridging through concrete balconies. The connections are composed of carbon steel and stainless steel, and polystyrene serves as the insulating body. The standard element is 39" wide and 10 connector types are available, depending on the type of balcony.

Concrete accessories include such items as anchors, inserts, expansion joints, waterstops, and products that prevent soil contamination from truck overages.

Filling the expansion joints in concrete construction is a good use for panels made from recycled newspaper or waste agricultural materials, because the strength requirements are minimal (though for radon control, less permeable joint sealants may be preferable).

Waterstops must be highly durable and corrosion resistant. Plasticized PVC is the most common waterstop material, but PVC is made with phthalates, an endocrine disruptor, and its production and disposal pose a number of environmental problems. GreenSpec lists products using alternatives to PVC such as EDPM and polypropylene.

The wastewater from washing down concrete equipment on the jobsite has a pH as high as 12 (similar to drain cleaner) and can potentially contain toxic metals. Concrete washout systems capture this wastewater for proper disposal, preventing it from entering the groundwater. These systems also minimize solid concrete waste leftover at the jobsite.

Rebar supports for concrete formwork hold rebar in place during pours and have minimal structural requirements. GreenSpec lists plastic products listed here with high recycled content, plastic.

GreenSpec also lists structural elements that serve as thermal breaks between balconies and buildings—a major area of heat loss, and one requiring special attention.

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