The role of the building envelope research team in this project was to assess whether midrise wood-frame (LWF) and cross-laminated timber (CLT) building envelope solutions developed by the fire research team to meet the fire provisions of the National Building Code (NBC) 2010 Part 3 Fire Protection, would also meet the NBC Part 5 Environmental Separation requirements relating to the protection of the building envelope from excessive moisture and water accumulation. As well, these wood-based mid-rise envelope solutions were to be assessed for their ability to meet Part 3 Building Envelope of the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011. Requirements relating to heat, air, moisture, and precipitation (HAMP) control by the building envelope are included in Part 5 Environmental Separation of the NBC 2010. Part 5 addresses all building types and occupancies referred to in Part 3, but unlike requirements for fire protection, this section of the code was written more recently and is generic, including requirements that are more objective-oriented rather than prescriptive requirements pegged to specific constructions systems. The investigated methodologies developed and adapted for this study took those code characteristics into account.
The objective of the task is to select, from the 679 locations in Table C-2 of the 2010 National Building Code of Canada (NBC 2010) , several representative locations for which long-term historical weather data exists. This information from these locations can subsequently be used to determine the exterior boundary conditions for input files for hygrothermal simulation programs and hygrothermal testing in the laboratory.
This report discusses the selection of locations for the hygrothermal simulation task of the project on Mid-rise Wood Buildings and the determination of spray-rates and pressure differentials for the water penetration testing portion of the project.
In general for both wall constructions simulation results tended to point to the exterior of the stud
in the Lightweight Wood Frame (LWF) and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) construction cases to
be the area most at risk, specifically toward the exterior surface of the stud. Generally the total
Moisture Content (MC) of the stud decreased to an acceptable level within the simulation period
however the exterior surface appeared to remain at relatively high of moisture content level for
significant periods of time. The presence of wood strapping covering the exterior face of the stud
seemed to exacerbate the situation. If a support system for the cladding can be designed that does
not rely on wood strapping or covers a minimum area of the stud the performance of this critical
area could be improved. If the initial moisture content of the wood materials could be reduced
before close up the performance would also be improved for all locations that did not show an
increase in moisture content and the RHT index in the second year, at least with respect to
computer modelling. This work however was not in scope of the work.
The role of the Building Envelope team in this project is to assess whether alternate wood-based building envelope solutions developed by the Fire Team to meet the fire provisions of NBC 2010, also meet NBC Part 5 requirements relating to the protection of the building envelope from long term degradation due to uncontrolled heat, air, moisture and precipitation (HAMP) ingress into the building envelope of mid-rise buildings.
In a process of consultations with stakeholders, including the Canadian Wood Council (CWC), FPInnovations, and consultations with NRC’s Fire and Acoustics teams, specifications were developed for 2.44 m x 2.44 m wall specimens that would be investigated for hygrothermal performance.