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Building Elements - Heat Loss and Thermal Resistivity

Thermal resistance in common building elements - like walls, floors and roofs above and below the ground

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Thermal resistance in some common building elements are indicated in the table below. The values can be used to approximately heat loss calculations from buildings.

Thermal Resistance Inside and Outside WallsResistance (m2K/W)
Ri = 1/fi 1) Ro = 1/fo 1) Ri+ Ro
Building parts against the surrounding environment 0.13 0.04 0.17
Building parts others 0.13 0.13 0.26

building heat loss through ground

Thermal Resistance for Building Elements against EarthResistance (m2K/W)
Floors 0.5 m above to 0.5 below earth bound, 0-1 m from inside outside wall - without cold bridge protection 0.2
Floors 0.5 m above to 0.5 below earth bound - with cold bridge protection 1.0
Center-field above 1 m from inside outside wall 1.5
Basement floors 0.5 m below earth bound 2.0
Basement walls under earth bound, the whole wall against the earth, where h is the basement floors level below the earth bound (m) 0.2 + 0.3 h
Basement walls under earth bound, basement floor against the earth and partly against air 2.0
  • 1 K/W = 0.5275 (h oF)/Btu
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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2003). Building Elements - Heat Loss and Thermal Resistivity. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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