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Analysis of joist masonry moisture content monitoring

Author: Kohta Ueno; United States. Department of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,; Building America (Program : U.S.),
Publisher: Golden CO : U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, October 2015.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : National government publication : English
Summary:
Adding insulation to the interior side of walls of masonry buildings in cold (and wet) climates may cause performance and durability problems. Some concerns, such as condensation and freeze-thaw, have known solutions, but wood members embedded in the masonry structure will be colder (and potentially wetter) after an interior insulation retrofit. Moisture content & relative humidity were monitored at joist ends in  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Kohta Ueno; United States. Department of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,; Building America (Program : U.S.),
OCLC Number: 930076798
Notes: "DOE/GO-102015-4737."
"Prepared for: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy."
Title from title screen (viewed July 13, 2016).
Description: 1 online resource (67 pages) : illustrations
Responsibility: prepared by Kohta Ueno.

Abstract:

Adding insulation to the interior side of walls of masonry buildings in cold (and wet) climates may cause performance and durability problems. Some concerns, such as condensation and freeze-thaw, have known solutions, but wood members embedded in the masonry structure will be colder (and potentially wetter) after an interior insulation retrofit. Moisture content & relative humidity were monitored at joist ends in historic mass brick masonry walls retrofitted with interior insulation in a cold climate (Zone 5A); data were collected from 2012-2015. Eleven joist ends were monitored in all four orientations. One limitation of these results is that the renovation is still ongoing, with limited wintertime construction heating and no permanent occupancy to date. Measurements show that many joists ends remain at high moisture contents, especially at north- and east-facing orientations, with constant 100% RH conditions at the worst cases. These high moisture levels are not conducive for wood durability, but no evidence for actual structural damage has been observed. Insulated versus non-insulated joist pockets do not show large differences. South facing joists have safe (10-15%) moisture contents. Given the uncertainty pointed out by research, definitive guidance on the vulnerability of embedded wood members is difficult to formulate. In high-risk situations, or when a very conservative approach is warranted, the embedded wood member condition can be eliminated entirely, supporting the joist ends outside of the masonry pocket.

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