Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Mass Timber Envelopes in Passivhaus Buildings: Designing for Moisture Safety in Hot and Humid Australian Climates

Version 1 : Received: 21 August 2021 / Approved: 10 September 2021 / Online: 10 September 2021 (11:21:01 CEST)
(This article belongs to the Research Topic Ecofriendly Materials)

How to cite: Strang, M.; Leardini, P.; Brambilla, A.; Gasparri, E. Mass Timber Envelopes in Passivhaus Buildings: Designing for Moisture Safety in Hot and Humid Australian Climates. Preprints 2021, 2021090184 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202109.0184.v1). Strang, M.; Leardini, P.; Brambilla, A.; Gasparri, E. Mass Timber Envelopes in Passivhaus Buildings: Designing for Moisture Safety in Hot and Humid Australian Climates. Preprints 2021, 2021090184 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202109.0184.v1).

Abstract

The uptake of buildings employing cross-laminated timber (CLT) assemblies and designed to Passivhaus standard has accelerated internationally over the past two decades due to several factors including design responses to the climate crisis by decarbonising the building stock. Structural CLT technology and the voluntary Passivhaus certification both show measurable benefits in reducing energy consumption, while contributing to durability and indoor comfort. However, there is a general lack of evidence to support a fast uptake of these technologies in Australia. This paper responds to the compelling need of providing quantitative data and adoption strategies, it explores their combined application as a potential pathway for climate-appropriate design of energy-efficient and durable mass timber envelope solutions for subtropical and tropical Australian climates. Hygrothermal risk assessments of interstitial condensation and mould growth of CLT wall assemblies inform best-practice design of mass timber buildings in hot and humid climates. This research found that the durability of mass timber buildings located in hot and humid climates may benefit from implementing the Passivhaus standard to manage interior conditions. The findings also suggested that climate-specific design of the wall assembly is critical for mass timber buildings, in conjunction with excellent stormwater management practices during construction and corrosion protection for metallic fasteners.

Keywords

cross-laminated timber; hygrothermal; energy; moisture; durability; tropical; passivhaus

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