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Humidity, thermal and environmental efficiency

Humidity, thermal and environmental efficiency
Humidity, thermal efficiency and environmental efficiency in buildings are linked.
Wherever water comes from, the sky, the ground, the air or plumber installations, humidity and moisture are to be monitored to optimise building maintenance and operation.

Humidity, hygroscopy and thermal efficiency

The damper a wall, the less it is insulating. Any excess moisture in a building has an impact on its thermal efficiency.

Preventive moisture diagnosis

A preventive moisture diagnosis allows to monitor critical points, such as the followings.
- Roof and rain stack
- Stiles, jambs and surrounding walls
- Plumber installations, water supply, draw off and waste stack
- Outdoor environment and exposition of a building
- Base of walls at the ground level
- Water consumption

Ventilation and material hygroscopy

The occupants’ activities release water vapour (breathing, shower, cleaning, cooking…).
Ventilation and material hygroscopy allow this water vapour to drain away, when in excess, may produce condensation. The water vapour permeability of a wall, its hygroscopicity, also allows rising damp to evaporate.
A condensation may occur inside the wall when a face of a wall is water vapour proof. So it is critical to insure walls are permeable to water vapour in taking into account the resistance of materials.

Air quality, energy efficiency and life cycle

Energy efficiency and indoor air quality contribute to the global environmental quality of a building. Renewing and treating air as well as optimising energy efficiency suppose to assess the environmental and sanitary impact of the proposed solutions.

An insulating material is to be installed when the sources of humidity have been removed only. Wall or insulation, the excess of water makes them loose their insulating capacity.
Whether of synthetic, mineral, plant or animal origin, an insulating system is to be selected on many factors: conductivity, water vapour permeability, emission in indoor air, acoustics, grey energy, availability of the resource, composition, production origin, recyclability, insurance….

In renovation as well as in new construction, taking into account all the life cycle of a building to isolate and ventilate allows to adopt ecological solutions, that do not transfer pollution from one step to another or transfer impact from a medium to another (air, water or soil): the life cycle analysis (LCA) is a precious tool to help decision.

Housing moisture audit and study of people behaviours contribute to identify the leverage for action to optimise operating and maintenance costs and reduce the environmental impact of a building.

Zoom on leakage causes in plumber installations
- Ageing of joints between pipes
- Pipe corrosion due to move water or the surrounding ground
- Ground settlements, vibrations and strains
- Brittle points where local plumbers connect into the public network
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Recommanded products

Humitest for building

This moisture meter for building materials allows to measure water content of screed, floor screed, drywall, heavy concrete brick, brick…
Adjustable thanks to it optional sensors:
- Infrared surface temperature probe
- Thermo-humidity probe
- CO2 probe

Humitest MMS2

Four-in-one system: two-pin-contact moisture meter, in depth radiofrequency moisture detector, infrared thermometer, fast responding thermo-hygrometer.
- intuitive user interface with color screen,
- data logging,
- firmware upgradable,
- psychometric calculations,
- non-contact IR temperature probe with laser pointer.

Did you know?

Wall dampness treatment contributes to improve thermal efficiency of the masonry as well as indoor air quality.

Thermal efficiency and dryness

The thermal performance of a wall depends on its dryness. Before installing an insulation system, wall dampness is to be removed.

Indoor air emissions

Health labelling of all the construction and decorating products from 2013

This IAQ labelling involves the manufacturers, the importers and the distributors of the products as well as contractors in France.

Humidity, temperature and comfort

Far from fighting against humidity, heating maintains condensation: the hotter the air, the more humidity it can contain. Moreover, the more humid the air, the more it needs to be heated to get a feeling of comfort.