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Dow Corning’s Insulation Solution Helps Address Thermal Bridging in Swimming Pool

Soon to be one of the venues for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre & Field House (PAAC) will host competitions during the largest multisport event ever to be held in Canada – double the size of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Since the project is partially funded by the Canadian federal government, meeting environmental and energy requirements is especially important. Additionally, the project has strict performance requirements due to the high humidity and temperature conditions within the pool areas.

The Challenge

A unique design aspect of one elevation of the training pool in the PAAC is a slanted precast wall with a return that closes to within 1.5" of the backup wall – creating an area too narrow to accommodate traditional insulation along the base of the precast concrete panels.

With the goal of achieving an R-value of 20 hr-ft2-F/BTU per inch (USI-value = 0.28 W/m2K per 25 mm thickness) throughout the entire building, this posed a challenge.

Reducing thermal bridges throughout the entire building envelope was important in order to improve thermal performance. Meeting both architectural and insulation requirements while minimizing thermal bridging was a unique challenge.

Since this wall directly separates the swimming pool and exterior environments, obtaining the highest possible R-value and minimizing the potential for condensation were essential. Given the high humidity and temperature within the pool area, the dew point temperature is high. Minimizing the thermal bridging by maximizing the R-value of the insulation used in this area improves the performance of the assembly.

The Solution

Having recently been introduced to Dow Corning® brand insulation products, the project team worked with Dow Corning to specify Dow Corning® HPI-1000 Building Insulation Blanket as the solution to insulate the thermal bridge between the precast and built walls.

The Dow Corning HPI-1000 Building Insulation Blanket was cut to fit between the backup assembly and the precast panel return. To adhere the insulation blanket to the wall, applicators used the recommended sealant, Dow Corning® 758 Silicone Weather Barrier Sealant(PDF). Additional fasteners securing the insulation were placed above the precast panel return, allowing the insulation to be compressed to accommodate isolated variations in the surface.

The Dow Corning HPI-1000 Building Insulation Blanket was installed first at the base of the wall; then, to form a continuous building envelope, spray foam insulation was applied above. The insulation blanket’s thin profile and flexibility allow the building to meet requirements for both continuous insulation and thermal bridging. This product, along with Dow Corning 758 Silicone Weather Barrier Sealant, is readily available and can be specified during the design stage of a project.

The PAAC project contributes to the overall sustainability of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games – which will become the first completely ecologically friendly games, as they will be fully carbon-neutral. The PAAC is being designed to achieve a LEED Silver label, which has strict requirements for the energy performance of buildings – including requirements for insulation and the building envelope.

As awareness about the importance of having a continuous building envelope grows around the world, addressing thermal bridging is becoming more important. With Dow Corning HPI-1000 Building Insulation Blanket, thermal bridging can be addressed without sacrificing design choices.

About Dow Corning® HPI-1000 Building Insulation Blanket

Effective building insulation requires complete protection, even at the tough connection points and transitions in building envelopes, such as where glazing systems meet cavity walls, where below-grade systems meet above-grade systems and where parapets meet roofs. Thin-profile Dow Corning HPI-1000 Building Insulation Blanket (10 mm thickness) is easy to install in difficult profiles, including curves and corners. Dow Corning HPI-1000 Building Insulation Blanket also is fire-resistant and hydrophobic, and it does not settle over time. It offers a significantly higher thermal resistance – an R-value of 9.8 hr-ft2-F/BTU per inch (USI-value = 0.58 W/m2K per 25 mm thickness) – compared with conventional insulating materials.

Learn More

Dow Corning High Performance Building Solutions include proven materials for structural and protective glazing, weatherproofing, insulating glass, window and door fabrication, and building materials protection, as well as innovations for high-efficiency insulation such as the Dow Corning® Silicone Air Barrier System and Dow Corning® Architectural Insulation Modules. To learn more about Dow Corning High Performance Building Solutions, visit

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