Building with timber across Australian climatic contexts: an hygrothermal analysis

  • YEAR
    Brambilla, Arianna
    Gasparri, Eugenia
    Aitchison, Mathew
    2018 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science: Building Science and Built Environment Quality


This paper aims to improve understanding of timber-based envelope hygrothermal performance in relation to five different Australian climate regions, ranging from subtropical hot and humid to cool temperate and including all of the country’s major cities. A standard apartment unit is used as a case study to analyse the hygrothermal performance (expressed as thermal resistance, condensation and mould growth risk) of two selected external wall types: massive wall and timber-frame panelised components. The different scenarios are assessed through the adoption of a multi-criteria approach, accounting for both steady-state and transient behaviour. The thermal analysis is performed in a transient state to create the yearly profile of indoor humidity and temperature. These are then used as the input data to assess the hygrothermal behaviour of the external wall solutions. Results show how the massive timber wall system performs better across the Australian climate zones, with consistent thermal behaviour and higher indoor temperature stability. Condensation phenomena and mould growth risk are significant for all scenarios and must be closely considered during the building design phase, especially in very hot and highly humid climates.


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