Moisture Dynamics and High-Performance Walls

Moisture Dynamics

The Michigan Energy Center here at Ferris State University was chosen to be the liaison between the NAHB and the climate zone found in Western Michigan. We have installed sensors within six new homes in three cities across Michigan: Petoskey, Travers City and Grand Rapids. The sensors monitor relative humidity, temperature and the moisture content of the wall cavity as well as the material in which the sensor is mounted to. The sensors send the collected data wirelessly to the sending unit which usually is concealed within the home. The sending unit then sends the data to NAHB in Washington D.C. The sensors are placed within the exterior walls except one sensor on the exterior of the home and a minimum of one sensor per level on the interior which monitor the outdoor/interior climate.

The homes selected for the project were based on the type of construction for the exterior walls; no two houses have the same exterior wall design. With this study the NAHB hopes to learn how moisture travels through a wall and how the materials dry after installation.