Application of modeling tool to assess moisture and thermal performance of retrofitted wall assemblies

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ConferenceCIB World Building Congress 2004: 02 May 2004, Toronto, Ontario
Pages110; # of pages: 10
Subjectmasonry wall, retrofit options, hygIRC, air-leakage; Moisture performance
AbstractAs the stock of buildings in Canada ages, it is expected that there will be an increase in building envelope rehabilitation work. Such activities represent an ideal opportunity to add insulation and reduce air leakage to improve energy efficiency and building envelope durability. However, there is very little information available on how to assess the moisture and thermal (i.e. energy) performance of retrofitted building envelope assemblies and select the optimum retrofit options that will maximize the energy efficiency without compromising the long-term moisture performance of the retrofitted building envelopes. This paper depicts selected results from a study that has used a two-dimensional hygrothermal simulation tool, hygIRC-2D, to assess thermal and moisture performance of retrofitted masonry walls used in high-rise construction. The performance analyses of three basic (i.e. base case) masonry wall systems (Brick Veneer - Steel Stud, Brick Veneer - Concrete Masonry, and Precast Concrete Panels - Steel Stud) with four retrofit options, located in the National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau) of Canada, are presented in this paper. The results from the simulations indicate that hygrothermal simulation tools can be used to evaluate the thermal and moisture performance of various wall systems and associated retrofit options. Simulations results also indicate that with specific retrofit options the energy performance of the wall system can be improved significantly without compromising the moisture response of the wall by adding insulation and reducing air-leakage in the wall assembly. However, heat or energy loss through the wall system is directly proportional to the air-leakage characteristics of the wall system. In general, based on the results presented in this paper, it can be concluded that use of a hygrothermal simulation tool can help to identify potentially problematic retrofit strategies while more promising measures can be advanced for additional assessment through full-scale laboratory testing or field demonstration.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number46869
NPARC number20377110
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Record identifier6425d489-7cb1-4578-a42e-5077504ff57e
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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