ASHRAE 90.1 and Cold-Weather Condensation

1 module



Course Length
1 hour

Self- Paced

$95 - 150


To comply with the energy code, designers often utilize the Prescriptive Building Envelope Option described in ASHRAE 90.1 when determining the minimum amount of insulation required within a wall assembly. In cold climates, the minimum R-Value requirement for framed wall assemblies allows designers to utilize a split insulation arrangement to meet code requirements. However, these designs often carry an elevated risk of condensation that is not explained in the text of the standard and may lead a designer to unknowingly promote detrimental insulation combinations with regard to convective condensation.

A design tool has been developed based on psychometrics and ASHRAE 90.1 requirements that illustrates the ratio of continuous insulation to total insulation. The design tool currently assumes a high leakage rate; therefore, values along the pass-fail line may be overly conservative. In order to incorporate a more realistic air leakage rate and develop a more defined pass-fail criteria, our research uses software tools such as WUFI® to study the requirements offered by 90.1 to evaluate the hygrothermal performance of insulation combinations for framed wall assemblies based on the simplified exfiltration model. Hygrothermal engineering principles and the results will be presented with future publication of the design tool for the design industry.

Dave Finley is involved in a wide range of structural and architectural investigations with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE). His building enclosure experience includes water infiltration testing of windows, curtain walls, masonry façades, and plaza and below-grade waterproofing, as well as condensation and air leakage testing of glazed fenestrations and masonry façades.

Finley is well versed in performing hygrothermal analyses using steady and transient state techniques. Additionally, he is capable of analyzing window and wall systems for two-dimension thermal conduction.

Manfred Kehrer has been involved in researching, testing, and analysis of exterior enclosure and concrete systems. He has helped develop WJE’s hygrothermal laboratory and computational fluid dynamics initiative for analysis of building enclosures.

Prior to joining WJE, he worked for more than 20 years at Fraunhofer IBP, Germany, in the area of hygrothermics. Kehrer was a senior building scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where he was in charge of a variety of types of research in building science. Since 2011, Kehrer has been the Official WUFI® Collaboration Partner for USA/Canada.


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate Certificate with IIBEC and AIA Logos

Learning Credits

ASHRAE 90.1 and Cold-Weather Condensation
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Added over 1 year ago, by Julien
Added over 2 years ago, by Anonymous
Very good content.
Added over 2 years ago, by Viesturs
Very good course, however, the results can be difficult for the average firm to duplicate. Also-I had audio problems. Very quiet at the beginning and sort of an echo or reverb towards the end. Don't know if that is at my end or the program.
Added almost 3 years ago, by Percy
Interesting but very complex. May have been better to try to convey these concepts in several presentations. Could be a full day course frankly.

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