December 15, 2010


This paper evaluates the performance of typical residential wall systems that incorporate water-resistive barriers with a range of vapor permeability. These systems included both absorbent and nonabsorbent claddings in hot-humid climates for direct comparison. This paper describes the test design, the test facility construction and installation, and the resulting data. The approach chosen was to use a real-time natural exposure test hut located in Tampa, FL where the interior conditions were controlled by point-terminated HVAC. Wall specimens were instrumented with a variety of temperature, humidity, and wood moisture content sensors for remote monitoring. In addition to natural weather exposure, the wall specimens were periodically wetted to simulate rain leakage by a water injection system.