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Implementation of rainwater infiltration measurements in hygrothermal modelling of non-insulated brick cavity walls

Klaas Calle (UGent) , Charlotte Coupillie (UGent) , Arnold Janssens (UGent) and Nathan Van Den Bossche (UGent)
(2020) JOURNAL OF BUILDING PHYSICS. 43(6). p.477-502
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Abstract
The watertightness of solid masonry walls is generally based on the concept of buffering and afterwards drying out the absorbed rainwater. In cavity walls, on the contrary, the air layer provides a capillary break between the inner and outer leafs allowing drainage of rainwater and preventing infiltration to the interior wall surface. For assessing moisture-related risks, heat, air and moisture models have proven to be a valuable tool, but in the case of cavity walls two problems arise: the degree of water infiltration into the cavity is unknown, and no consensus is available on the method that should be used to implement these infiltrations in a simulation. For example, for the existing buildings, it is worthwhile to investigate whether injecting cavity wall insulation induces an increase or decrease in moisture-related pathologies, in contrast to adopting a fixed performance criterion for assessment. However, to complete a thorough analysis of a brick cavity wall, it is first useful to review the hygrothermal behaviour of cavity walls as it has been previously described in the literature. As such, this article provides a summary of experimental water infiltration results for cavity walls as described in the literature, discusses experimental results of four test walls subjected to four test protocols and extracts from these results the water infiltration rate for implementation in heat, air and moisture models. Finally, several methods for implementing the infiltrations in heat, air and moisture simulations are presented and evaluated based on different damage criteria. In general, the new modelling approaches are considered to provide realistic results. Nonetheless, an in situ investigation on whether mortar bridges occur in the cavity due to poor workmanship remains crucial to understanding the hygrothermal response as mortar bridges are found to have a dominant impact on the risk of mould growth at the interior wall surface.
Keywords
General Materials Science, Building and Construction, Brick masonry, rain water infiltration, heat, air and moisture, moisture sources, cavity walls, ASHRAE 160, ESTABLISH TEST PARAMETERS, UNIFORM METHODOLOGY, MOISTURE, HEAT

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MLA
Calle, Klaas, et al. “Implementation of Rainwater Infiltration Measurements in Hygrothermal Modelling of Non-Insulated Brick Cavity Walls.” JOURNAL OF BUILDING PHYSICS, vol. 43, no. 6, 2020, pp. 477–502, doi:10.1177/1744259119883909.
APA
Calle, K., Coupillie, C., Janssens, A., & Van Den Bossche, N. (2020). Implementation of rainwater infiltration measurements in hygrothermal modelling of non-insulated brick cavity walls. JOURNAL OF BUILDING PHYSICS, 43(6), 477–502. https://doi.org/10.1177/1744259119883909
Chicago author-date
Calle, Klaas, Charlotte Coupillie, Arnold Janssens, and Nathan Van Den Bossche. 2020. “Implementation of Rainwater Infiltration Measurements in Hygrothermal Modelling of Non-Insulated Brick Cavity Walls.” JOURNAL OF BUILDING PHYSICS 43 (6): 477–502. https://doi.org/10.1177/1744259119883909.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Calle, Klaas, Charlotte Coupillie, Arnold Janssens, and Nathan Van Den Bossche. 2020. “Implementation of Rainwater Infiltration Measurements in Hygrothermal Modelling of Non-Insulated Brick Cavity Walls.” JOURNAL OF BUILDING PHYSICS 43 (6): 477–502. doi:10.1177/1744259119883909.
Vancouver
1.
Calle K, Coupillie C, Janssens A, Van Den Bossche N. Implementation of rainwater infiltration measurements in hygrothermal modelling of non-insulated brick cavity walls. JOURNAL OF BUILDING PHYSICS. 2020;43(6):477–502.
IEEE
[1]
K. Calle, C. Coupillie, A. Janssens, and N. Van Den Bossche, “Implementation of rainwater infiltration measurements in hygrothermal modelling of non-insulated brick cavity walls,” JOURNAL OF BUILDING PHYSICS, vol. 43, no. 6, pp. 477–502, 2020.
@article{8640210,
  abstract     = {The watertightness of solid masonry walls is generally based on the concept of buffering and afterwards drying out the absorbed rainwater. In cavity walls, on the contrary, the air layer provides a capillary break between the inner and outer leafs allowing drainage of rainwater and preventing infiltration to the interior wall surface. For assessing moisture-related risks, heat, air and moisture models have proven to be a valuable tool, but in the case of cavity walls two problems arise: the degree of water infiltration into the cavity is unknown, and no consensus is available on the method that should be used to implement these infiltrations in a simulation. For example, for the existing buildings, it is worthwhile to investigate whether injecting cavity wall insulation induces an increase or decrease in moisture-related pathologies, in contrast to adopting a fixed performance criterion for assessment. However, to complete a thorough analysis of a brick cavity wall, it is first useful to review the hygrothermal behaviour of cavity walls as it has been previously described in the literature. As such, this article provides a summary of experimental water infiltration results for cavity walls as described in the literature, discusses experimental results of four test walls subjected to four test protocols and extracts from these results the water infiltration rate for implementation in heat, air and moisture models. Finally, several methods for implementing the infiltrations in heat, air and moisture simulations are presented and evaluated based on different damage criteria. In general, the new modelling approaches are considered to provide realistic results. Nonetheless, an in situ investigation on whether mortar bridges occur in the cavity due to poor workmanship remains crucial to understanding the hygrothermal response as mortar bridges are found to have a dominant impact on the risk of mould growth at the interior wall surface.},
  author       = {Calle, Klaas and Coupillie, Charlotte and Janssens, Arnold and Van Den Bossche, Nathan},
  issn         = {1744-2591},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF BUILDING PHYSICS},
  keywords     = {General Materials Science,Building and Construction,Brick masonry,rain water infiltration,heat,air and moisture,moisture sources,cavity walls,ASHRAE 160,ESTABLISH TEST PARAMETERS,UNIFORM METHODOLOGY,MOISTURE,HEAT},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {477--502},
  title        = {Implementation of rainwater infiltration measurements in hygrothermal modelling of non-insulated brick cavity walls},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1744259119883909},
  volume       = {43},
  year         = {2020},
}

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