Patrick Ryan Associates

Thermal Bridging in Rainscreen Cladding

Posted on Friday, June 01, 2018 by System Administrator

A simple rainscreen cladding support systemtypically consists of ‘helping hand’ brackets. Theseare the backbone of any rainscreen cladding system and are fixed to the substrate at set vertical and horizontal separations. A layer of insulation is then fixed to the substrate, and where the brackets are placed they penetrate directly through the insulation, forming what it is called a “Point Thermal Bridge”. Aluminium ‘L’ and ‘T’ profiles are inserted into the brackets, lined, levelled and fixed. A ventilated layer behind the external façade material ensures the risk of condensation is minimised as well as dissipating solar gain in the building.

One of our recent projects included five mixed-use medium rise buildings. Commercial units occupy the lower levels, together with amenity space including outdoor landscaped podium areas and some residential units. The upper levels are residential use. The development consists of 467 residential units (planning use class C3); including a proportion of discount market rent units and circa 2000m2 of flexible commercial/community space (use classes A1/A3) in new buildings ranging from 2 to 17 storey’s in height.

Rainscreen Cladding



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Thermal Analysis on Facades

Posted on Thursday, November 02, 2017 by Patrick Ryan


Thermal Analysis on Facades
(Download the original pdf file here)

To achieve good sustainability in our buildings we need to consider heating, ventilation, solar gain, building use, choice of materials and building form, amongst others. Very good thermal separation between inside and outside is necessary to obtain the required internal conditions and optimum energy efficiency. To achieve this we must avoid thermal bridging through the wall construction.

A thermal bridge is a part of the structure of lower thermal resistance that bridges adjacent parts of higher thermal resistance and which can result in localised cold surfaces on which condensation, mould growth and/or pattern staining can occur. Not assessing the risks could lead to inappropriate construction techniques, and an inadequate protection will result in financial and energy losses over the life of the building. It could also compromise the health and safety of its occupants.

Patrick Ryan Associates have expertise in the field of thermal analysis and have been working closely with clients, architects and contractors to achieve very low thermal transmission for the building facades on our projects. In doing so we can also ensure that there is no surface condensation and minimise thermal bridging at the junctions. See example of a moderately efficient window system above with no risk of condensation.

We were recently involved in the change of use to a residential of an office building, originally built in the mid 1980’s, with refurbishment of the facades. Many of the existing fixed double glazed units were replaced with new opening windows for natural ventilation and insulated double glazed spandrel panels. Our thermal report, with calculations in accordance to British and European Standards, determined the thermal transmission through the different types of curtain wall and windows and verified that the facade U-values complied with Approved Document Part L. Some of the output from this analysis is shown below.

To calculate the thermal transmittance of a Window/Curtain Wall (Uw and Ucw), the following information is required:

• Thermal characteristics, Uglass [W/(m2K)], of the centre pane of the glass unit, and it’s Area [m2];
• Thermal characteristics, Uframe [W/(m2K)] of every frame element in the Window/Curtain Wall, and it’s Area [m2].
• Linear thermal transmittance (edge psi-values [W/(mK)]) of the junction between the different frame elements and the glass/spandrel panel. In addition, the perimeter length [m] of the junction must be known.

In the case of the mullion framing shown below, modelling has been carried out using specialist two-dimensional thermal analysis software, which calculates with the finite element method. The advantage of our software is that it is continuously updated to the most recent European standards. In this case, we have also carried out interstitial condensation analysis. The graphics below show the original AutoCAD model for the curtain wall system and its modelling for thermal analysis in our specialist software. This resulted in the correct calculation of the frame U-value, for curtain walling, in accordance with BS EN ISO 12631-2:2012, as shown on the diagram.
 Once the thermal characteristics of the elements of the curtain wall have been calculated, it is possible to calculate the thermal transmittance of the curtain wall. A typical example is shown in the following table:



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FAÇADE2017 - Enter Now

Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2017 by Rebecca Dawson
  • Patrick Ryan Associates are proud sponsors of FAÇADE2017, the international competition run by the Society of Facade Engineering. This International Award for Facade Engineering Excellence recognises, rewards and promotes excellence in this increasingly important element of building design. The winners shall be announced at the prestigious Glass Supper Event, with an audience of some of the World's leading architects and building engineers. 

The competition welcomes applications from individuals, companies and project teams in the UK and internationally. Any project completed between 31st December 2015 and 31st December 2016, will be considered for the awards. Previously submitted entries will not be accepted.

The categories include:
Facade of the Year - New Build
Facade of the Year - Refurbishment
Facade of the Year - Innovation

Patrick Ryan Associates Director and SFE board member, Patrick Ryan will be on the judging panel.

For more information please look at the FAÇADE2017 website


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Caricatures and Champagne in the City

Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2017 by Rebecca Dawson

Patrick Ryan Associates were delighted to join Thomann-Hanry at their Tropically themed Summer Party 2017. Such a swonderful opportunity to connect with others in the facade industry whilst drinking champagne and eating canapes, in a roof top bar overlooking St Pauls Cathedral. Perfect.

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SFE Evening Technical Meeting - Tuesday 28th February

Posted on Friday, January 20, 2017 by Rebecca Dawson

Challenges behind the Crystal Houses facade - SFE Facade 2016 Winner - Outstanding Innovation Category



Speakers - Faidra Oikonomopoulou and Telesilla Bristogianni, Tu Delft


Tuesday 28th February, 5.30pm


Event to be held at The Institution of Structural Engineers, 47-58 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PS

Admission is FREE but please book by email to


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Talk: Facades in the 21st Century

Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 by System Administrator

Patrick Ryan gave a presentation to the Institution of Structural Engineers Surrey Regional Group at the University of Surrey, Guildford on Monday evening.

The talk focused on the current thinking and trends in facade design, featuring many innovative buildings such the very exciting Chanel shopfront “Crystal Houses” in Amsterdam at the Society of Facade Engineering Façade of the Year 2016: Innovation Category Winner.

Chanel Storefront

Topics included new technologies such as Solar farming, self-healing concrete and bio-plastics as well as looking at the facade manufacturing potential in 3-D printing using materials such as metals, plastics, sand and even naturally harvested sea salt.

SaltyGloo, Emerging Objects. 3D printed structure SaltyGloo, Emerging Objects. 3D printed structure using harvested salt from the San Francisco Bay 

When: 16 January 2017

Where: University of Surrey, Guildford

Speaker: Patrick Ryan

Organisation: Institution of Structural Engineers – Surrey Regional Group

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IStructE Surrey Branch January Lecture

Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2017 by Rebecca Dawson

Patrick Ryan will be the guest speaker at the IStructE Surrey branch this month.

Monday 16th January at 6pm at University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH. In Lecture Theatre M

Patrick will be looking at recent trends and advancements in Facades in the 21st Century, focusing on current technology and future developments in Facade Engineering.

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Facade 2016 - Celebrating the achievements of the Facade Industry

Posted on Friday, December 02, 2016 by Rebecca Dawson

In the impressive Gibson Hall, Bishopsgate - London, 100's of people gathered to celebrate the Glass & Facade Industry at the annual prestigious Glass Supper.

The evening incorporated the announcement of the winners of FACADE2016, the Society of Facade Engineers competition celebrating the innovation & advancement within Facade Engineering.

Best Innovation was awarded to TU Delft & ABT Consulting Engineers for Crystal Houses, MVRDV

Best Innovation 2016 Award


Using pioneering glass technology to replace the brick facade of a former townhouse in  Amsterdam with a transparent replica, using over 7000 glass block more suited to the building's new use as a Chanel boutique.

This unique, flawless glass self-supporting structure was created by using a novel glass system assigned to the Glass & Transparency Lab of the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft)

The research undertaken by TU Delft and the Structural analysis & testing by ABT resulted in the judges awarding this project the title of Best Innovative Façade 2016.

Glass Supper 2016

Judges Patrick Ryan from Patrick Ryan Associates & Graham Hackley from Century Facades, standing with the researchers from TU Delft Faidra Oikonomopoulou & Telesilla Bristogianni

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