Architects spend a lot of time trying to understand thermal and moisture performance of building assemblies and the likelihood that temperature and moisture variables might add up to catastrophe. This year, MSR sponsored a six-week research project in which I looked at integrating thermal and moisture simulation into our design process workflow. Conclusions? Given the complexity involved in a simulation approach and the fact that the tools involved are “engineer-friendly” at best, this approach may not be needed on every project. However, in some cases, thermal and moisture modeling may be beneficial even without deep expertise, as long as you understand the limitations.
Read more about the process and managing expectations in my guest blog post on the GreenBuildingAdvisor.com website.