Renovation with Internal Insulation and Heat Recovery in Real Life – Energy Savings and Risk of Mold Growth

Martin Morelli, Eva B. Møller

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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This paper presents a pilot project for renovation of a large residential area; focus is on energy consumption and risk of mold growth. The renovation included internal insulation of walls with capillary active insulation material, balanced mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and insulation of floor towards basement. These types of measures are not completely new and have been used in other buildings as well, however the measures may be either risky
regarding mold growth or the effect is uncertain with the specific external wall composition. A pilot project including six apartments was performed to test the measures in these specific buildings. Furthermore, six reference apartments were monitored simultaneously.
For two years, energy use for heating was measured as well as temperature and relative humidity in the internal insulation, indoors and outside. The insulation was dismantled in two apartments after two years, to test
for mold growth at the original wall surface.
In extreme cases, the relative humidity in the walls behind the insulation system
was up to 90 % RH shortly after installation, and mold growth models predicted growth of mold. However, the relative humidity decreased, typically to 70 % RH in the second winter. The inspection and measurements after the removal of the insulation material did not show signs of mold growth. Apparently, the used insulation material can be used in this specific case without risk of mold growth. Energy savings for heating was measured and calculated to around 25 %. However, the electricity use for ventilation was almost equal to savings from heat recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th International Building Physics Conference, IBPC2018 : Healthy, Intelligent and Resilient Buildings and Urban Environments
Number of pages6
Place of PublicationSyracuse, NY, USA
PublisherInternational Association of Building Physics
Publication dateSep 2018
Article number93
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
Event7th International Building Physics Conference: IBPC2018 - Syracuse, NY, United States
Duration: 23 Sep 201826 Sep 2018
Conference number: 7


Conference7th International Building Physics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySyracuse, NY
Internet address


  • Internal insulation
  • capillary active material
  • measurements
  • moisture
  • heat


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