The comparative in situ hygrothermal performance of Hemp and Stone Wool insulations in vapour open timber frame wall panels

E Latif, Mihaela Anca Ciupala, Devapriya Chitral Wijeyesekera

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Abstract

An in situ experiment in a full scale timber frame test building was carried out to compare the hygrothermal performance of Hemp and Stone Wool insulations of identical thermal conductivity. Hemp and Stone Wool insulations were installed in timber frame wall panels without vapour barrier. The comparison was made in terms of heat transfer properties, likelihood of mould growth and condensation. Step changes in internal relative humidity were performed to explore the effect of high and normal internal moisture load on the wall panels. No significant difference between the average equivalent thermal transmittance (U-values) of the panels incorporating Hemp and Stone Wool insulations was observed. The average equivalent U-values of the panels were closer to the calculated U-values of the panels based on the manufacturers’ declared thermal conductivity of Hemp and Stone Wool insulations. It was observed that the placement of heat flux sensor along the depth of the insulation had significant influence on the measured equivalent U-value of the panels during high internal moisture load. The frequency and likelihood of condensation was higher in the interface of Stone Wool and Oriented Strand Board (OSB). In terms of the parametric assessment of mould germination potential, relative humidity, temperature and exposure conditions in the insulation-OSB interfaces were found to be favourable to germination of mould spore. However, when the insulations were dismantled, no mould was visually detected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
JournalConstruction and Building Materials,
Volume73
Early online date17 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2014

Keywords

  • Sustainable material
  • Hemp insulation
  • Stone Wool insulation
  • U-value
  • Mould spore germination
  • Condensation.

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