Heat and moisture balance simulation of a building with vapor-open envelope system for subtropical regions
Journal article, 2012
Global warming and the resource depletion induced discussions on sustainable developments within the construction sector. Also the rapid urbanization in subtropical regions is becoming one of the most important global issues. Appropriate measures must be taken in such developments to avoid further damage to the environment. In this study, the heat and moisture balance simulation of building with a sustainable building envelope system for subtropical climate was proposed. In the moisture balance simulation the moisture buffering by the interior materials was taken into account. The prediction of moisture buffer value (MBV) of the interior finishing materials was attempted and validated by measurements. Subsequently, the whole building calculation was carried out and the contribution of the moisture buffering to the indoor comfort and energy consumption was investigated. The MBVs of the mineral-based materials were predicted with high accuracy. However, that of wood-based composite was much higher than the experimental value. In order to create a more accurate model, nonlinear moisture conductance should be accounted when modeling wood-based materials. The heating and cooling demand of a test house was 9. 4 kWh/m 2 and 14. 5 kWh/m 2, respectively. It was concluded that the utilization of the building envelope system has a high potential to provide sustainable houses in subtropical regions. In order to enhance both energy efficiency and indoor comfort of buildings in subtropical regions, there still is a strong need to develop a holistic method to find the optimum building design considering not only moisture buffering but also all the relevant factors. The presented model will be validated by in-situ measurements in the near future.