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Title: Moisture Durability Assessment of Selected Well-insulated Wall Assemblies

This report presents the results from studying the hygrothermal performance of two well-insulated wall assemblies, both complying with and exceeding international building codes (IECC 2015 2014, IRC 2015). The hygrothermal performance of walls is affected by a large number of influential parameters (e.g., outdoor and indoor climates, workmanship, material properties). This study was based on a probabilistic risk assessment in which a number of these influential parameters were simulated with their natural variability. The purpose of this approach was to generate simulation results based on laboratory chamber measurements that represent a variety of performances and thus better mimic realistic conditions. In total, laboratory measurements and 6,000 simulations were completed for five different US climate zones. A mold growth indicator (MGI) was used to estimate the risk of mold which potentially can cause moisture durability problems in the selected wall assemblies. Analyzing the possible impact on the indoor climate due to mold was not part of this study. The following conclusions can be reached from analyzing the simulation results. In a hot-humid climate, a higher R-value increases the importance of the airtightness because interior wall materials are at lower temperatures. In a cold climate, indoor humidity levels increase with increased airtightness.more » Air leakage must be considered in a hygrothermal risk assessment, since air efficiently brings moisture into buildings from either the interior or exterior environment. The sensitivity analysis of this study identifies mitigation strategies. Again, it is important to remark that MGI is an indicator of mold, not an indicator of indoor air quality and that mold is the most conservative indicator for moisture durability issues.« less
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
BT0101000; CEBT114
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States