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This paper presents selected findings of a field survey of the indoor temperature and relative humidity conditions in 24 homes located in one northern coastal climate and two climates North of the 60th parallel. This survey is part of a four-year research project aiming at the development of durable building envelopes for extreme northern and northern coastal climates. Findings of the surveys show that a higher occupancy load did not translate into either higher relative humidity indoors or higher occurrence of moisture problems. Some surveyed homes experienced untypically poor temperature control indoors due to the absence of a heat distribution system compounded by high air leakage rates through the building envelope, and that led to moisture-related problems such as occurrence of mould growth on interior finishes. Other findings from the surveys showed that short-term peaks of high relative humidity events regularly occurred in all homes surveyed in ‘wet rooms’ (bathrooms and kitchens). The data captured in these field surveys provide valuable information for the design of a test protocol for the assessment of the hygrothermal response of large-scale wall test specimens, which will be subjected to extreme environmental loads on both the interior and the exterior sides.

Presented at Thermal Performance of Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings X – December 2007

Units: Dual

Citation: Thermal Performance of Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings X