Durable Envelopes for Cold Climates
CCHRC is working with industry partners to identify building envelope designs that can withstand healthy indoor humidity levels. The Mobile Test Lab is a trailer with nine test wall bays, each with a different configuration of studs and insulation—including a control wall with fiberglass batt insulation. We designed four walls with spray-foam manufacturers Demilec and Icynene to test how low-density spray polyurethane foam performs in the extreme cold climate of Alaska. Two wall cavities are filled with Thermo-Kool cellulose insulation.
Each wall has a Tyvek weather barrier and vinyl lap siding on the exterior, while the interior is finished with painted gypsum drywall. Each was instrumented with temperature, moisture, and relative humidity sensors. During the study, which will take place in Winter 2012, the lab will be maintained at 70ºF and 40% relative humidity with near neutral pressure (0 to 1 Pa).