Volume 7, Issue 1 (January 2010)
Drying Response of Wood-Frame Construction: Laboratory and Modeling
Recent research in the assessment of hygrothermal response of building enclosures focuses on both laboratory experimentation and modeling in which the results from both processes are compared. Evidently such type of studies can potentially offer useful information regarding the benchmarking of models and related methods to assess hygrothermal performance of wall assemblies. This paper reports on experimental results and the use of an advanced hygrothermal computer model called hygIRC to assess the hygrothermal response of various components in wood-frame wall assemblies when subjected to nominally steady-state environmental conditions. There was interest in obtaining information on the drying rates of wall components, in particular, oriented strand board (OSB), featuring several different types of membrane in contact with OSB given that such results could provide direct evidence of the degree to which membranes may retain moisture and affect moisture migration. On this basis, the drying responses of mid-scale specimens of approximately (0.8×1 m2) and full-scale specimens (2.44×2.44 m2) were assessed in a series of experiments undertaken in a controlled laboratory setting. The results were subsequently used to help benchmark simulation results obtained from hygIRC in which a comparison is made between experimental and simulation results.