Paper Conference

Proceedings of eSim 2022: 12th Conference of IBPSA-Canada


Assessing Freeze-Thaw and Moisture Damage Risks for Heritage Buildings and Unique Constructions

Larissa Resende Ide, Shahrzad Pedram
Stantec Consulting Ltd, Canada

Abstract: Hygrothermal modelling is useful to analyse the heat and moisture flow through a building enclosure, especially for heritage buildings, where adding insulation to the interior of masonry walls can potentially increase freeze-thaw damage risk in a cold/humid climate. This becomes critical as many heritage buildings across North America are reaching a mid-life refit stage, while the government is targeting energy efficiency and improved occupant comfort/well-being. Sometimes unique new enclosure options and conditions need consideration through hygrothermal analyses. This paper presents the moisture content, mould index, and freeze-thaw damage risk of projects involving insulating heritage buildings and unique new construction. Recommended designs are proposed to ensure durability/occupant comfort/well-being without accelerating deterioration due to moisture accumulation within the wall assemblies. A safe level of insulation can be determined and applied to the interior of heritage walls, however, improving water-shedding features is critical to reducing water accumulation and moisture damage to the enclosure.
Keywords: hygrothermal, durability, building envelope, heritage fa├žade