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Improving the thermal performance of concrete-sandwich envelopes in relation to the moisture behaviour of building structures in boreal conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-233
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Volume107
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

The excellent thermal performance and low cost of concrete-sandwich walls have made them widely applied in residential buildings. However, their standard composition may require additional insulation in boreal and arctic climates, where improvements in thermal insulation are achieved mainly by applying additional insulation layers on the envelope surface. Although thick insulation will substantially improve the heat capacity of a structure, elevated temperatures and entrapped humidity can lead to favourable conditions for the initiation of mould growth. The present study simulates the thermal performance of a model house wall structure in relation to increased mould growth risk. The results indicate that added insulation may have a negative impact not only on the structure and material properties of structural elements, but also on the environmental health and comfort of residents. Furthermore, climate conditions are shown to be a significant factor in identifying an optimal insulation design based on thermal performance and structural health.

Keywords

  • Concrete sandwich, Energy efficiency, Heat and mass transfer, Mould growth, Renovation building, Structural health