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BRE | WUFI Reports - Condensation Analysis Report


Conservatories are a popular addition to a home and previous data has suggested that they may be a major source of heat loss in dwellings where they are present. However, only limited information at the national level has been available to date. This report presents results from the Interview Survey component of the 2011 Energy Follow-Up-Survey (EFUS) which collected detailed information on how households in England use conservatories. Analysis is based on the interview sample weighted to the national level, using a weighting factor specific to the interview sample. The results presented in this report are therefore representative of the English housing stock, with a population of 21.9

million households. However, it should be noted that the proportion of households with a conservatory is based on a relatively small sample size and there are some instances, where the sample is further subdivided for analysis, that the results have an increased level of statistical uncertainty and should be considered as indicative only.


If heated, conservatories can result in a significant additional space heating requirement, particularly if they have poor thermal performance (e.g. if they are single glazed). In addition, leaving a door open between the house and conservatory in winter will result in additional heat loss from the house.


In addition to accounting for the thermal response of buildings and building components it is necessary to also understand the moisture conditions and the effects of humidity. Long-term exposure to high moisture conditions can cause damage in building components, and significant health problems result from mold growth on surfaces that are exposed to high moisture conditions.


The thermal and moisture conditions and transport in buildings and building components are coupled. It is well known that high moisture levels result in higher heat losses, and the temperature conditions in building components influence the moisture transport. Analysis of the coupling of heat and moisture is known as “hygrothermics.”


WUFI® performs dynamic simulations of coupled heat and moisture transfer. The methods have been validated world wide and provide realistic simulation of hygrothermal conditions in building components and buildings under actual climate conditions.


WUFI® is based on the latest knowledge in vapor diffusion and liquid transport in building materials. Nonetheless, the WUFI® software requires only standard material properties and easy-to-determine moisture storage and liquid transport functions. For boundary conditions, measured outdoor climates –  including driving rain and solar radiation –  are used. Various types of models thus allow the analysis of multi-layer materials, component connections, and even multi-zone buildings under realistic exposure to natural weather conditions.

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