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Buildings 2015, 5(1), 179-195; doi:10.3390/buildings5010179

Impacts of an Innovative Residential Construction Method on Internal Conditions

1
Department of Construction, Unitec Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 92025 Auckland, New Zealand
2
Department of Building Technology, Unitec Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 92025 Auckland, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: George Baird
Received: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 30 January 2015 / Published: 11 February 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2671 KB, uploaded 11 February 2015]   |  

Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: housing; internal moisture; innovative construction, vapour check; airtightness housing; internal moisture; innovative construction, vapour check; airtightness
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Birchmore, R.; Pivac, A.; Tait, R. Impacts of an Innovative Residential Construction Method on Internal Conditions. Buildings 2015, 5, 179-195.

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