An Open Discussion on Thermal Bridging and the “Death of Z-Furring?”

On every project we ask ourselves the same questions over and over, “What does the exterior wall assembly look like?” How do I comply with Codes, meet LEED requirements, what about NFPA-285, and then the contractor says it too expensive, what can I do? Mike Spence from Kraus-Anderson Construction Company and Dave Rassmussen from MG McGrath, Inc will lead a collaborative discussion on the issues of thermal bridging and this applies to detailing a metal panel wall assembly from the “contractor’s perspective”.

  • Definition of Continuous Insulation “ci”
  • What is “Thermal Bridging”?
  • Why is “Thermal Bridging” a concern?
  • Use of thermal modeling to determine location of dew point
  • Understanding and specifying the maximum interior RH levels in the winter
  • Detailing the “Ideal Metal Panel Wall Assembly” – Is it possible?
  • R-value required?
  • How does NFPA-285 apply?
  • How do we support the panels?
  • How thick can I go?
  • How much will it cost?


SpenceMichael L. Spence, FCSI, AIA, CCS  |  Director of Quality and Lean Initiatives  |  Kraus-Anderson Construction Company  |  Phone:  612-600-8969  |  Email:

Responsible for the development and implementation of Kraus-Anderson’s company-wide quality and lean initiatives and directly focused on assisting the project teams to develop a more thorough understanding of the customer’s requirements, improving communications, and proactively providing constructability recommendations to the design team in a timely manner.

Mike’s passion for doing it right the first time is being seen though Kraus-Anderson’s pre-construction and pre-mobilization phases by working with the subcontractors to ensure they understand the documents and are prepared to perform when they arrive at the job-site, combined with a life-long interest in building science to ensure the building structure and exterior enclosure systems are designed and detailed to work together, and when constructed, they will perform to everyone’s expectations.  It is about making it all work together, and doing it right the first time!

RassmussenDavid Rassmussen  | Pre-Construction Manager, MG McGrath, Inc.  |  Phone:  651-704-0300 |  Email:

David Rassmussen currently serves as the Pre-Construction Manager for MG McGrath.  David has more than 30 years of years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, business unit development, project and product management, and system strategies. David’s experience in the architectural sheet metal industry included working directly with architects and general contractors and subcontractors developing new systems for project specific needs.   Dave is responsible for the daily management, supervision, coordination, and successful completion of the pre-construction phase of the projects to meet the cost objectives with respect to contracting, scheduling, estimating, and bidding. Dave is highly experienced in sales and marketing with the added ability to lead diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success in a variety of highly competitive industries, cutting-edge markets, and fast-paced environments.  Dave currently sits on the board for PCM and is also an active member of CSI, AIA, and USBGC.