Thursday, June 22, 2006

Building in Hot Humid Climates: I

Air-conditioned buildings constructed in the humid climates should have a vapor reetarder and air barrier installed as close as possible to the exterior of the wall to prevent condensation occuring on the inside cladding of the wall during the summer.

For air-conditioned buildings constructed of masonry, a surface coating on the masonry block that retains suffiecient elasticity to avoid cracking under temperature changes to which it is exposed can alleviate condensation on the back of the vapor retarder. A saturated sheathing paper installed between teh masonry block and the insulation would also protect the insulation and the interior plasterboard.

Concrete slab floors should be underlaid with a 4in. layer of gravel to serve as a capillary break for groundwater. The gravel should be covered by a continuous vapor retarder of sufficient strength to prevent puncture by the gravel during construction. The subfloor vapor retarder should be turned up and sealed with the vapor retarder in the walls. The vapor retarder should be placed underneath the grade beam in that type of construction.

Part II: Ceilings and roofs, Indoor relative humidity

U.S. department of Energy
**Hot-Humid Climate: Houston Profile[via Building] Lots of info!
Florida Solar Energy Center
General Construction Principles by Paul R. Achenbach

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