Architecture is an ever-evolving and expanding discipline. What used to be a craft of hand-drawn blueprints and conjecture can now be tested thoroughly with computer simulation before even breaking ground. There will always be room for traditional tools of the trade, but one of the newest programs currently in use is called the WUFI model.
WUFI stands for the German phrase Wärme Und Feuchte Instationär. In English, this means heat and moisture transiency. If you want to know how this system can significantly impact the structural integrity of buildings, keep reading below.
What can be tested?
The WUFI analysis program Philadelphia PA measures heat and moisture as it travels through the walls of a building. Typically, a third-party laboratory needs to be hired to obtain the required information for analysis. Some of the tested factors include thermal conductivity, capillary suction, redistribution and permeability in the walls. Virtually every material in the wall can be tested this way, including the wood or steel framing, insulation, air, exterior finish and façade.
Once the desired information is gathered, the lab simulates the effect of heat and moisture over time. Some factors the WUFI program considers are:
- Climate conditions over three to five years.
- The exposure of each side of a building to sunlight, wind, rain etc.
- Surrounding bodies of water that might introduce condensation over time.
Depending on the outcome, a builder or manufacturer might confirm the viability of their designs or make revisions to the structure. Once modifications are made, the lab needs to conduct further tests to ensure the changes positively affect the design.
The WUFI system is invaluable to architects and engineers when testing a structure’s resistance to weather and exposure. If you want to validate or test a new design, contact a professional who specializes in WUFI testing. The results will provide you with information that helps ensure the success of your project.