Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Marc Maguire


Nick Roberts


Marv Halling


Structural engineers have traditionally detailed structures with structural and fabrication efficiency in mind, but often based on a limited understanding of thermal efficiency. Some connection designs can create significant thermal bridging, leading to unnecessary heat transfer and even premature degradation through condensation. Thermal bridging occurs when heat transfer is given a path through a more conductive material like concrete or steel rather than insulation. Concrete sandwich wall panels (SWP) tend to be highly efficient at preventing heat transfer in the middle of panels, with greatest heat transfer occurring at connections. This project identified thermally efficient details for future SWP construction to reduce heat transfer, lessen environmental impact, and increase sustainability of SWP structures. It can be particularly difficult to avoid thermal bridging at corbel connections, so 12 corbel specimens were created and tested to provide alternative corbel design options for engineers. Nine details were successfully created and are presented. Corbel specimens were modeled using the Beam-Spring Method with good agreement. After validating the Beam-Spring Model, a parametric study investigated effectiveness of the PCI Second Order Analysis and the effect of length, panel stiffness, and wythe configuration on SWP behavior under axial and flexural loads.