Impacts of an innovative residential construction method on internal conditions
Birchmore, Roger; Tait, Robert; Pivac, Andy
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Citation:Birchmore, R., Tait, R., & Pivac, A. (2015). Impacts of an Innovative Residential Construction Method on Internal Conditions. Buildings, 5, pp.179-195. ISSN 2075-5309. doi:10.3390/buildings5010179
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/4007
New Zealand houses are known for producing sub-optimal internal thermal conditions and unacceptably high internal moisture levels. These contribute to poor levels of health, mould and can coincide with the decay of structural timber frames. A proposed solution is to provide an alternative structure utilising plywood, a vapour check on the internal face of the timber frame and an additional air gap, followed by the internal lining. The internal vapour check is designed to prevent moisture vapour diffusion from inside into the frame and to permit moisture diffusion from outside through the structure to the internal environment. Two full scale houses had temperatures, dew points and humidity levels monitored in passive, unoccupied conditions. The test case house incorporated the innovative construction solution. The control house was of identical design and location, using standard construction practice. The calculated internal moisture content profile appeared to be unrelated to the external moisture content as expected, instead following the profile of the changing internal temperature. Whilst the innovative construction appeared to prevent moisture diffusion into the structure in winter and permit it inside in summer, this resulted in a generally higher internal relative humidity than the control house.