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Imperfections in the building skin: detrimental for the hygrothermal perfomance?

Although moisture is one of the leading factors for building damage, water infiltration is barely taken into account in the current methods to evaluate a building skin. The infiltration rate is strongly simplified in present numerical simulation software. Experimental test protocols mainly consider worst-case scenarios, which are severely differing from everyday weather situations.
This research will focus on the determination of the infiltration rate of typical building details for regular (Belgian) weather conditions. Based on the results, a general method will be developed to include potentially infiltrating water in the assessment of the hygrothermal performance of a building skin. This leads to better insight in the risk for damage, which is important when new construction methods or – materials are applied, as wood frame building or cellulose insulation. The lack of experience complicates the prediction of the consequences of their use.