A commercial roller-skating centre in southern Australia had condensation problems on both the roof and floor. The building is a typical warehouse-type structure with a high level of natural ventilation due to poor construction and permanently open vents. A computer model of the building, using the thermal simulation software TRNSYS, was calibrated from a sensitivity analysis of three key parameters, namely air exchange rate, roof surface heat transfer coefficient and deep ground temperature. The predicted times of condensation on the roof were compared with site observations. The time of year was predicted with acceptable accuracy, although earlier in the morning than had been observed. The effect of installing foil insulation in the roof was simulated. Under normal winter conditions, this modification was enough to stop the condensation. However, in unusually cold and humid conditions, condensation still occurred on both surfaces. This was overcome by heating the floor (15 W/m 2 ) for approximately eight hours. Subsequent modifications have demonstrated the value of the simulations.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Field of Research
120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning
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