Vapour diffusion and condensation control in high-performance buildings
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Purpose of Article
The article helps the reader to understand the correct selection and placement of vapour permeable and impermeable materials within the
assemblies to increase durability, and improve the thermal and health performance of building envelopes by keeping the wall system dry throughout
the service life of the building. The article talks the reader through common wall construction assemblies such as stud cavity insulated walls,
split insulated walls and highly insulated walls. It also teaches the reader the causes of and science behind vapour diffusion and condensation
accumulation in walls.
1. Understand the principles of vapour diffusion, and why this is an important factor to consider in wall assemblies.
2. Understand the proper and improper ways to address vapour diffusion in wall assemblies, particularly in cold climates.
3. Differentiate the various wall assembly construction methodologies and the benefits or impacts the assembly could have
on condensation accumulation within various locations of the assemblies.
4. Understand all environmental factors both interior and exterior of the building that can impact vapour diffusion,
air leakage and condensation accumulation through building envelopes.
All articles offered by SABMag are GBCI approved. To qualify for continuing education learning hours, practitioners must first read the technical article below, and then proceed to complete the short quiz at the end. You must receive 80% on the quiz to record the activity as part of your continuing education. An email will be sent to you and will act as your certificate of completion once you have successfully completed the requirements.
Quiz by: Alison Walker, LEED AP [ND], Sustainability Analyst with Integral Group, and Certified Passive House Consultant.
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In which wall type is condensation accumulation due to air leakage of less concern?Correct
In a split-insulated wall assembly, wall durability is increased and air leakage related condensation risk is reduced because the sheathing temperature is:Correct
Vapour diffusion is the passage of vapour molecules through materials as a result of:Correct
Latex paints, plywood, OSB and some foam plastic insulations are considered:Correct
Vapour diffusion should be completely eliminated across a building envelope assembly.Correct
What can potentially cause the most water to deposit in an assembly in a short amount of time?Correct
Fungal growth can occur in wall assemblies if the Relative Humidity is not kept below:Correct
For a material to be considered a “vapour barrier” it needs a US perm rating, or permeance value, of ___ or less.Correct
When using vapour impermeable insulation outside the exterior sheathing, a vapour barrier is still needed on the interior,
on the warm side of the insulation to stop vapour diffusion from interior to exterior.Correct
The insulation materials mineral wool and fiberglass are considered:Correct