Polygon has joined forces with academic and industry partners in the construction sector to overcome the sustainability challenge presented by moisture damage in wooden buildings.
The research and development project aims to produce a guide on how wooden buildings should be designed to protect them from moisture-related damage, supporting the construction industry’s ambitions to lower its carbon impact by limiting demand on raw materials.
Polygon is among the stakeholders responsible for the financing behind the project, alongside the Swedish property owner Akademiska Hus, The Swedish Federation of Wood and Furniture Industry, WoodCenter North and Cementa, and will carry out the work in collaboration with Lund University.
Without the appropriate measures moisture damage presents a threat to the long-term integrity of newly built wooden houses and buildings, buildings employing organic and wood-based construction components, and hybrid structures where there is a mix of wood and cement-based materials.
The current lack of guidelines in this area can result in more properties being affected by moisture damage and a rise in the number of high-cost restoration claims, particularly with new, inexperienced players seeking to establish themselves in the market. The situation will place greater burden on the environment by increasing the demand for wood.
Anders Rönneblad, head of standardization and certification at Cementa's research and development department, said: “Buildings that are made up mostly of concrete can also contain wood-based materials and vice versa. These hybrid solutions are becoming more common, and complex combinations between cement and wood-based materials need to be handled in a moisture-proof manner to avoid damage. This research project is a positive opportunity for industry-wide collaboration, with a focus on resource-efficient and moisture-proof construction.”
The project plans to invent input of data for moisture calculations as well as specifying the relevant steps in moisture safety design. For building parts and materials, it will provide a qualitative “hands-on” approach with examples of how to reduce the risk of moisture and mould-related damage.
Per Hilmersson, construction technology manager at Akademiska Hus, said: “As one of the country's largest real estate companies with ambitious goals for climate neutrality, we want to contribute to the development of concrete strategies and techniques for moisture-proof wood construction that covers the entire construction process, from design to management. The results of the project will give all parties involved a considerably increased opportunity for more sustainable construction.”
The theoretical aspects covered by the project include specification for the necessary input data to use for moisture calculations. Since both input data and details are normally equivalent regardless of the size of a building, the instructions will be able to use on virtually all types of buildings, regardless of size, geometry, or purpose.
Anders Rosenkilde, head of technical development at The Swedish Federation of Wood and Furniture Industry, said: “This project is a step in the right direction for increasing quality and reducing the risk of moisture-related damage in the construction sector. But is also one of many important steps in the industry's work to take greater responsibility when building regulations are updated.”
The project starts in the second quarter of 2022 and is expected to run until 2027. Reporting will take place on an ongoing basis during the project's implementation, which is divided into nine sub-projects. In addition to the main financiers, NCC, OBOS, Lindbäcks and Derome are also supports and participate in the project through their own time and efforts.
For further information, contact project manager S. Olof Mundt-Petersen, firstname.lastname@example.org, +46 72 245 19 19
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