Thermal properties of access systems in field trials

Rädle, Wolfgang; Letsch, Bernhard; Bühlmann, Urs; Uehlinger, Urs (2016). Thermal properties of access systems in field trials In: 11th Conference on Advanced Building Skin 2016. Bern, Schweiz. 10.-11.10.2016.

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Today's building codes and green building guidelines require building skins that prevent or at least severely limit air exchange between the inside and the outside of buildings at all points other than where specifically designed. This is particularly true for Minergie-P certified buildings, e.g., buildings with mechanically controlled climate and air exchange systems. However, due to the tightness of the building skin and discrepancies in the fine-tuning of the mechanical air exchange system, pressure differentials between the interior and the exterior of Minergie-P certified buildings are quite common. In such situations, traditional access control systems in doors and windows serve as a gateway for air, creating a potential trouble spot where condensation may accumulate. To find out more about this phenomenon, researchers at Bern University of Applied Sciences exchanged the lock of the entrance door at a single-family home built following the Minergie-P standards (Verein Minergie® 2014) but not yet certified. For this field test, the door was equipped with a modern, commercially available lock including door handle, lock cover, and an electronic closing mechanism. This access system was inserted into the main entrance door of a test house in the Solothurn region. Temperature, pressure differentials, and humidity were measured in the winter of 2012/13. Results show that the mechanical air conditioning system creates sizeable pressure differentials between the outside and the inside of the house. Such pressure differentials exert pressure on all openings in the building skin including openings in the access systems and thus create the potential of moisture build-up due to condensation.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering > Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture
School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering > AHB Teaching


Rädle, Wolfgang;
Letsch, Bernhard;
Bühlmann, Urs and
Uehlinger, Urs


T Technology > TH Building construction






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Date Deposited:

02 Mar 2020 16:32

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2020 16:32

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Door lock Condensation Air tight Watertight Mechatronic Climate control system




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