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Title: Airflow patterns in ventilated wall cavities
Author: Odewole, Gboyega Akindeji
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 227X
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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Though heating, insulation, wall claddings and cavity-wall construction are considered as measures for remediating moisture and condensation in buildings, ventilation of wall cavities has however become a mantra among architects and other building professionals. Holes of any size and shape are made and located on building facades based on the accepted wisdom that a little air movement will keep the wall cavities dry. Whilst ventilation has been found to be successful in the control of moisture and condensation in rooms and larger enclosures, there is however insufficient understanding of how it works in thin spaces with high aspect ratios, such as the wall cavities studied in this thesis.In order to put in place good control and management practices in the remediation of moisture and condensation in vertical wall cavities by natural ventilation, it is vital to understand the dynamics of airflow in these cavities. In this thesis therefore, different size and shape of slots were employed to numerically investigate the effects of size, spacing and number of the slots on the characteristics of the velocity fields (patterns of airflow and distributions of velocity) in different cavity models. The Reynolds-Averaged-Navier-Stokes (RANS) methodology was employed to simulate the cavity flows under different modelling conditions using FLUENT. The BS 5925 model, an empirical relation for predicting ventilation rates in rooms and other larger enclosures, was employed and modified to predict ventilation rates in these cavities. Experimentally, the mapping of the airstreams in these cavities was obtained under similar reference (inlet) wind speeds employed for the numerical investigations.The results of this study show that there exists a potential at higher wind speeds for natural ventilation in the remediation of moisture and condensation in the cavities of vertical walls. The steady state approach employed in the RANS-based computation of cavity flows in this thesis averages out the peak values of air velocities and therefore gives no information about regions of maxima or minima velocity values even at higher wind speeds. This makes the predicted air change rates insensitive to the inlet air velocities from the ventilation slots and therefore makes the results more applicable for long term control and management of moisture in these cavities. In order to therefore put in place short, medium and long term plans for remediation of moisture in these wall cavities, a time-dependent computation is required. This will also allow the efficiency of the cavity ventilation to be properly assessed. Using the modified BS 5925 model, reasonable predictions were obtained for the air change rates of the wall cavities with the different size of ventilation slots employed. Close agreements are also obtained at lower and higher wind speeds between the predicted ventilation rates from the modified BS 5925 model and the experimental results employed as benchmark for validating the results.
Supervisor: Edwards, Rodger Sponsor: English Heritage and Irish Heritage
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Moisture, Condensation, Wall Cavities, CFD