Hygrothermal assessment of external walls in Arctic climates: Field measurements and simulations of a test facility

Naja Kastrup Friis*, Eva B. Møller, Tove Lading

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The Greenlandic building sector is under pressure due to ever-changing building trends and a building shortage. Regrettably, there have only been made small efforts to investigate the performance of the existing buildings, and few resources have been dedicated to learning from previous attempts. Consequently, the available information and research are insufficient to ensure the construction of robust and well-functioning buildings. This knowledge gap motivated the ABC project, which had the goal of collecting and sharing information about optimal building practices in Greenland. As a part of the ABC project, this study aimed to determine which building practice is the most suitable for Greenlandic conditions. To this end, several real-time experiments were created, including a test pavilion in Nuuk consisting of five different wall constructions oriented towards north and south. This article presents the measured data from this pavilion. The performance of each construction type was compared with each other and to simulations performed in the hygrothermal analysis software Delphin. Furthermore, the robustness of the facades was tested by performing simulations with weather data for different towns in Greenland, including quantification of mould growth risk using the Viitanen model. It was found that the facades were unevenly affected by orientation. Nevertheless, none of the constructions could be labelled unsuitable for the Arctic climate as the assessments revealed no risk of mould growth. Additionally, reanalysis weather data from ERA5 was found to be suitable for performing hygrothermal simulations. It was also found that Nuuk is a favourable location for future test facilities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110347
JournalBuilding and Environment
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Arctic climate
  • Façade constructions
  • Hygrothermal simulations
  • Mould index
  • Test facility
  • Ventilated air cavity


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