Preliminary investigation of a vapor-open envelope tailored for subtropical climate
Journal article, 2011

Concerning global warming and resource depletion, the impact of buildings in subtropical regions is becoming even greater due to a high growth rate of urbanized areas. From the viewpoint of building physics, the main problem concerning subtropical climate is the high level of humidity in combination with high temperature. In this study, a flexible building envelope consisting of wood and clay components was developed so that the materials and the assemblies can be easily tailored to comply with local climatic conditions. The movement and accumulation of moisture in the wall was of prime concern. This has been investigated by means of testing full scale walls in a climate chamber and the corresponding one dimensional transient heat and transfer simulation. In order to achieve a consistency between calculation and measurement, the individual materials were tested for their hygric and thermal properties. Based on these findings attempts were made to calculate the behavior of an optimized wall assembly under real climatic conditions of central Japan. As a result, it was shown that the hygrothermal behavior of the envelope is predictable by means of the models and the simulation program used, and that no risk of interstitial condensation and mold growth was predicted under the real climatic conditions of Kyoto.

Sustainable building envelope

Diffusion open

Wood fiber insulation

Clay and wood mixture

Climate chamber

Japanese climate


Karim Ghazi Wakili

York Ostermeyer

Thomas Frank

Naoto Ando

Holger Wallbaum

Building and Environment

0360-1323 (ISSN)

Vol. 46 3 719-728

Subject Categories

Building Technologies



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