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Open AccessArticle

Computational Prediction of Susceptibility to Biofilms Growth: Two-Dimensional Analysis of Critical Construction Details

1
Department of Materials Engineering and Chemistry, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Thákurova 7/2077, 166 29 Prague 6, Czech Republic
2
Institute of Technology and Business in České Budějovice, Okružní 517/10, 370 01 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(2), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13020293
Received: 11 December 2019 / Revised: 29 December 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2020 / Published: 7 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in Building Physics)
Retrofitting of historical and traditional buildings is an effective thermal protection measure. The presence of thermal insulation in the composition of building envelopes might, however, bring some shortages due to a decrease of exterior surface temperatures or possible water vapor condensation. These shortages can improve living conditions for various microorganisms on the exterior surfaces, especially in the case of interior thermal insulation systems that are typical with thermal bridges and thus supply the surface with heat to a greater extent. This paper, therefore, aims at the investigation of hygrothermal conditions in selected critical construction details and evaluates the results from the point of view of potential biofilms growth. Two-dimensional modeling of coupled heat and moisture is applied and the hygrothermal patterns are evaluated based on an adjusted isopleth growth model. The results showed that the duration of favorable conditions for biofilms growth is relatively low, accounting for less than 180 h in the worst-case scenario. It means the exterior surfaces of historical buildings provided with interior thermal insulation systems are not threatened by biofilms growth. Anyway, other negative aspects have been revealed that should be treated individually. Possible wood decay or increased hygrothermal straining are the typical examples in that respect. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofilms growth; computational modeling; hygrothermal patterns; brick masonry; interior thermal insulation; climatic data; mineral wool; wood fiber board biofilms growth; computational modeling; hygrothermal patterns; brick masonry; interior thermal insulation; climatic data; mineral wool; wood fiber board
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kočí, V.; Kočí, J.; Maděra, J.; Žák, J.; Černý, R. Computational Prediction of Susceptibility to Biofilms Growth: Two-Dimensional Analysis of Critical Construction Details. Energies 2020, 13, 293.

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