The Box - Thermal High Performance Decoupling - Next Generation Thermal Break Technology

The project pursues the overall strategic objective "solution of the problem-inducing heat bridge". For this purpose, the thermal bridging losses should be reduced by the factor of 15 in contrast to the state of the art. The significant increase in efficiency should rely on existing system solutions, but incorporating a new holistic view in terms of construction, geometry and materials.

Short Description


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Starting point / motivation

European, national and local energy strategies involve substantial reductions in energy demand by 2020 and 2050. In the building sector, this reduction has to be achieved by improving energy efficiency.

Load transmitting external structural thermal bridges such as balconies, loggias, canopies, exterior emergency exits, facades, etc., can be reduced by available products to some extent, but remain an unsolved issue in terms of energy efficiency.

Consequently, in new buildings or refurbishments taking currently available high-standard energy measures (lowest or passive house energy or zero house standard), the design flexibility of the planning engineers and thereafter the inhabitants is limited. Hence, the increasing demand for living and rest areas, e.g., in the form of balconies, directly competes with the high energy requirements.

Contents and goals

The present project's "Thermal High Performance decoupling – THE BOX" superior objective is to solve the problem of a load-transmitting thermal bridge. To reach this target, the energy efficiency of the thermal decoupling system needs to be increased by a factor of 15 in comparison to state-of-the-art systems.

The construction "THE BOX" should achieve a significant increase in efficiency based on a new holistic view of the thermal decoupling system in terms of construction, geometry and materials. Key measures to be mentioned for the increase in efficiency comprise:

  • Material optimization
  • Geometrical and structural optimization


The development of "THE BOX" should be based on an iterative process divided into several phases – starting from the concept, through laboratory tests to field tests.

Expected results For the first time, by using "THE BOX" the requirements to a construction with thermal bridge loss coefficients - synonymous to be free of thermal bridges - also in highly loaded regions should be met.

Project Partners

Project management

Green Energy Center Europe in Innsbruck – FEN Sustain Systems GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

  • AVI – Alpenländische Veredelungs-Industrie Gesellschaft m.b.H
  • Montanuniversität Leoben – Lehrstuhl für Werkstoffkunde und Prüfung der Kunststoffe
  • Secar – Secar Technologie GmbH
  • Universität Innsbruck – Technische Versuchs- und Forschungsanstalt der Universität Innsbruck

Contact Address

Nikolaus Fleischhacker
Technikerstraße 1a
A-6020 Innsbruck
Tel./Fax: +43 (512) 209 039 11