Complex 3D Condensation Risk Analysis

About

A concern was raised that there would be a risk of condensation around the steel beam. A two-dimensional analysis failed to accurately asses the situation and so a three-dimensional model was required.

The Brief
  • To investigate the detail to determine any risk of condensation and explore options to limit or eliminate that risk.

Key Challenges
  • This was a very complex detail with several factors driving the risk.

    • The structure was composed of heavy steel elements

    • The window system was aluminium frame

    • The beam penetrated from the interior to the exterior at the top corner of the building, this three-dimensional corner amplified the problem 

    • The roof was composed of an unusual steel and rubber sandwich deck

  •  An in-depth knowledge of building physics and material heat flow was required to correctly identify the issues.

Our Approach

We first build a series of two-dimensional models to get a sense of the geometry of the detail and see where the main risk of condensation was likely to be.

We converted these models into a complex three-dimensional model and viewed the model from various angles and at differing depths in order to determine which drivers were causing the condensation risk.

Having achieved this we then ran a series of engineering variations to bring the condensation risk into an acceptable level.

Results

With close co-ordination with our client the condensation risk was finally reduced to an acceptable level.

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