Durable Envelopes for Cold Climates

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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).


Read the full report and a shorter snapshot below. 


Cellulose Moisture Snapshot

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Knauf Insulation Monitoring in Tununak CCHRC and Knauf Insulation will be monitoring the moisture performance of the wall system in a truss house in Tununak, Alaska over two winters.
Cold Climate Window Insulation Evaluation Analysis of insulation technique that places foam board on exterior portion of double-pane window
Little Ventilation Project Looking at ventilation systems that can improve indoor air quality in small homes while limiting energy use.
Slab-on-Grade Foundation Best Practices An evaluation of best practices for insulating under slab-on-grade foundations
Garage Wall Analysis CCHRC is looking at attached garages to see if they adequately prevent pollutants from entering the house.