Building Science

Dealing with Moisture Problems in Energy Efficient Buildings

Today’s construction industry strives to produce buildings that are tighter and more energy-efficient. These buildings consume fewer resources, usually require less maintenance, last longer and are better able to withstand dangerous weather conditions.

The downside of newer buildings with tighter designs, however, is that they may develop problems related to excess moisture. Tightly sealed windows, for example, may result in a buildup of condensation, or excess moisture from the exterior might make its way into the wall spaces. Both of these issues can lead to the development of mold and the breakdown of building materials because internal conditions are at a high humidity level.

Avoid Mold Growth and Poor Indoor Air Quality

Building owners should control the amount of moisture in a building to mold growth and the lower air quality that results from it. Here are some ideas for reducing moisture issues in tight buildings:

Ensure that there is mechanical ventilation of indoor air. Most contemporary buildings have fewer air leaks, which means that a building owner can control the air movement throughout all interior spaces.

There are still risk factors, however, like the potential for cold air to get in where warm air escapes. Building owners, therefore, will want to ensure that there are barriers preventing moisture and excess air from entering the building when it is being constructed. To solve this problem, architects and contractors often resort to adding more layers to walls during construction. But each additional layer costs more and increases the potential for mistakes to be made during installation.

It only takes one area of mold buildup to potentially compromise air quality and the health of the occupants throughout an entire structure.

People want to live in buildings that consume less energy, but not at the cost of mold colonization and poor indoor air quality. It is up to architects to strike a balance between sealing up all the potential sources of air leaks and allowing the building to breathe.

As long as buildings continue to be built with wood, metal or concrete wall systems that were designed decades ago, moisture problems will continue.

Many architects and building owners are searching for new wall systems that are designed specifically for the needs of modern, energy efficient buildings. Wall systems that are simpler to design and build, with fewer components rather than more. Walls that can be built faster to reduce construction time and improve the owner’s return on investment.

The Bautex wall system is an example of this type of innovative new, simpler, faster and better wall system. Click here to learn more about the Bautex Wall System and how it can improve your next building project.