Hygrothermal simulations of timber-framed walls with air leakages

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Air leakages can create substantial excess moisture loads into envelope structures and degrade their hygrothermal performance. Multiple previous research projects have studied the behaviour and modelling of air leakages in building physics applications, but it is still quite rare to see air leakages being considered in practical building design simulations. The purpose of this paper is to present the selection of input parameters for air leakage simulations, utilisation of a factorial design to manage simulation cases and the results for a timber-frame wall with and without air leakages. According to the results, the air permeability of mineral wool and the air pressure difference over the envelope were the two most important factors for the dry air mass flow through the structure, as opposed to gap width and leakage route. An ideally airtight structure had a better hygrothermal performance compared to leaky structure. However, when leakages were present, the exact yearly average air flow rate in the range 70…420 dm3/(m2h) did not have a strong correlation to the performance indicators. For the other studied variables, the existence of a 50 mm thick mineral wool insulation on the exterior side of the gypsum board wind barrier and the impacts from climate change had the biggest effect on the moisture performance of the structure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Journal of Physics: Conference Series
Subtitle of host publication8th International Building Physics Conference (IBPC 2021) 25-27 August 2021, Copenhagen, Denmark
PublisherInstitute of Physics Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2021
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventInternational Building Physics Conference - Copenhagen, Virtual, Denmark
Duration: 25 Aug 202127 Aug 2021
Conference number: 8

Publication series

NameJournal of Physics: Conference Series
PublisherIOP Publishing
ISSN (Print)1742-6588
ISSN (Electronic)1742-6596


ConferenceInternational Building Physics Conference
Abbreviated titleIBPC
CityCopenhagen, Virtual
Internet address


  • Building physics
  • Air leakages
  • Timber-frame walls
  • Moisture
  • Hygrothermal simulation

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction


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