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Importance of moisture control in building performance

Karagiozis, A. N.
Canadian conference on building energy simulation, September 11th - 13th, Montreal, Canada

Karagiozis, A. N., (2003), "Importance of moisture control in building performance", Canadian conference on building energy simulation, September 11th - 13th, Montreal, Canada.
The number and frequency of moisture-related premature failures in exterior wall systems has called into question current design and construction practice, materials use, and building code requirements. Many questions have been raised as to whether more rugged materials, more robust assemblies, and revised building codes are needed for climate regions subject to higher oisture loads.

A Seattle research project titled, "Building Enclosure Hygrothermal Performance Study" has been initiated by the moisture-damage committee formed by the Department of Design, Construction and Land Use (DCLU) for the city of Seattle. This committee will assess the performance of current and past typical wall constructions. In the first phase of this project, we analyzed heat, air, and moisture performance of a set of (primarily stucco-clad) wall systems. A new "moisture engineering approach" was adopted in the project. Moisture engineering analyzes hygrothermal loads from vapor, water, heat, and pressure. In addition to these loads, water penetration data are also included to provide realistic assessments of the performance of building envelope systems. This paper reports on moisture engineering as performed using Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL's) state-of-the-art hygrothermal model, MOISTUTE-EXPERT. Transient two-dimensional analysis was performed using hourly weather and interior environment data. Data on the sensitivity of water penetration are also shown for a few selected walls in the Seattle research project. This paper describes only part of the overall project that investigated the response of the walls as a function of weather-resistive barriers, wall venting or ventilation, and the influence of interior moisture generated by the building's inhabitants. The research results also have implications for the need to re-evaluate building codes an d their influence on building material durability.

Related Resources:
  • This link has not been checked.Building Science .com
    "rovides objective, high-quality information about buildings. This resource combines building physics, systems design concepts, and an awareness of sustainability to promote the design and construction of buildings that are more durable, healthier, more sustainable and more economical than most buildings built today."
  • This link has not been checked.ORNL -- Building Envelopes Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    "building envelope research, which focuses on the structural elements that enclose a building (walls, roofs and foundations), and materials research, which concentrates on the materials within the envelope systems (such as insulation)."
  • Conference: Building Simulation, eSim

This publication in whole or part may be found online at: This link was checked on Dec. 2006here.

Related Concepts

Author Information and Other Publications Notes
Karagiozis, A. N.
Achilles N. Karagiozis, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Building Technology Center, Oak Ridge
  1. A North American research approach to moisture design by modeling
  2. Advanced hygrothermal modeling of building materials using MOISTURE-EXPERT 1.0
  3. Advanced hygrothermal models and design models
  4. An educational hygrothermal model: WUFI-ORNL/IBP
  5. Applied moisture engineering
  6. Barrier EIFS clad walls: Results from a moisture engineering study
  7. Boundary element analysis of uncoupled quasi-static hygrothermoelasticity for two-dimensional composite walls
  8. Building enclosure hygrothermal performance study phase I
  9. Drying capabilities of wood frame walls with wood siding
  10. EIFS hygrothermal performance due to initial construction moisture as a function of air leakage, interior cavity insulation, and climate conditions
  11. Hygrothermal system-performance of a whole building
  12. Influence of material properties on the hygrothermal performance of a high-rise residential wall
  13. Integrated approaches for moisture analysis
  14. Integrated hygrothermal performance of building envelopes and systems
  15. Measurements and two-dimensional computer simulations of the hygrothermal performance of a wood frame wall
  16. Moisture transport in building envelopes using an approximate factorization solution method
  17. Position paper on material characterization and HAM model benchmarking
  18. Simulation of indoor temperature and humidity conditions including hygrothermal interactions with the building envelope
  19. Wind-driven rain distributions on two buildings
  20. WUFI-ORNL/IBP - A North American Hygrothermal Mode  

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