December 16, 2010


This paper is from the proceedings of the Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings XI International Conference, December 5-9, 2010 in Clearwater, Florida.The objective of this project was to evaluate 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 testing included both environmental exposure and point-source water leakage. The approach chosen was to use a real-time natural exposure test hut located in Tampa, FL. This test facility had wall specimens inserted in the long sides of the hut, 16 wall specimens per side. Duplicate wall specimens were used on each side for exposure related comparisons. There was an on-site weather station to monitor local weather conditions necessary for experimental analysis. 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.