Knauf Insulation Monitoring in Tununak

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The climate of Southwest Alaska, with its long cold season and frequent wind-driven rain, is harsh on houses. The most likely point of building failure is moisture-driven, as mold and rot can set in and destroy building components if they are not designed with a path for drying. In this project, researchers will monitor the temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the blown-in fiberglass in the 12-inch thick walls of a V.P.S.O. house in Tununak over the course of two years. The data will show if the wall components get wet, either through rain coming in through the outside or from condensation from high humidity inside. Researchers will also look to see if the wall is able to dry out after any wetting events. The results of this project will inform the building envelope design of future homes, leading to greater durability in wet and cold climates. A research snapshot will be published in summer 2021.

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