1) Full Professor, Department of the Built Environment, Chair of Masonry Structures, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands,


Sustainability requirements induce more and more insulation in building enclosures. In highly insulated buildings the effect of thermal bridges on the total heat loss is not negligible anymore and the thermal bridges may result in condensation and mould growth. For this reasons, designers and builders are looking for reliable solutions for a thermal break at the bottom of load-bearing masonry walls. Several products have been launched on the market without being tested thoroughly in terms of load-bearing capacity since there are no test and design provisions for the load-bearing capacity of inhomogeneous masonry walls. In this paper compression and creep tests on thermal break units in cellular glass and on small walls with thermal break units are reported. Based on the results of the experiments a design formula for the determination of the compressive strength of masonry walls with thermal break units at the bottom is proposed as well as tabulated values.


Keywords: Cellular glass, thermal break units, load-bearing masonry walls, sustainable masonry walls.