Hygrothermal Performance Assessments of Traditional Timber-Framed Houses in Turkey by Numerical Analysis

Hygrothermal Performance Assessments of Traditional Timber-Framed Houses in Turkey by Numerical Analysis

Seda Nur Alkan Fatih Yazicioğlu

Bahçeşehir University, Turkey

İstanbul Technical University, Turkey

| |
| | Citation



The aim of this research is to evaluate the hygrothermal performances of traditional timber-framed houses’ exterior walls in Turkey to create a base case scenario of hygrothermal behavior as a datum for conservation and restoration projects. There is a unique range of traditional timber-framed houses in Turkey varied according to geographical, social, economic, and cultural characteristics. They are hybrid constructions whereby an infilled timber-framed system is erected on the masonry walls. They are compositions of rectangular studs of wood and infill materials such as adobe, stone, and brick. Most constructed examples may be classified in groups of four depending on infill materials as follows: (1) timber-framed adobe infill, (2) timber-framed brick infill, (3) timber-framed stone infill, and (4) unfilled timber-framed. Within the scope of the research, one example from each type is selected for hygro- thermal performance assessments by applying the simulation program DELPHIN 6.1.1. This research is concentrated on the evaluation of hygrothermal performances of the selected types over 4 years (January 01, 2010–January 01, 2014) by investigating the temperature, relative humidity, U-value, and moisture mass model graphics of the cross-section of the wall samples. 2010 was one of the raini- est years and 2013 was one of the less rainy years in the selected locations for the last 10 years. The findings of this paper indicate that when factors such as construction details, materials, and climatic conditions are varied, there may be humidity-based problems in the selected examples. In that case, intersection points of materials, layers, and their relationships should be re-evaluated to improve the hygrothermal performances of the selected walls for conservation and restoration projects.


DELPHIN 6.1.1, hygrothermal performance, infill materials, traditional timber-framed wall


[1] Gasparin, S., Berger, J., Dutykh, D. & Mendes, N., Solving nonlinear diffusive prob- lems in buildings by means of a spectral reduced-order model. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 12(1), pp. 17–36, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/19401493.2 018.1458905

[2] Pihelo, P. & Kalamees, T., The effect of thermal transmittance of building envelope and material selection of wind barrier on moisture safety of timber frame exterior wall. Journal of Building Engineering, 6, pp. 29–38, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. jobe.2016.02.002

[3] Pihelo, P., Kikkas, H. & Kalamees, T., Hygrothermal performance of highly insu-  lated timber-frame external wall. Energy Procedia, 96, pp. 685–695, 2016. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.egypro.2016.09.128

[4] Webb, A.L., Energy retrofits in historic and traditional buildings: A review of prob- lems and methods. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 77, pp. 748–759, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2017.01.145

[5] Delgado, J., Barreira, E., Ramos, N.M.M. & de Freitas, V.P., Hygrothermal Numeri- cal Simulation Tools Applied to Building Physics, Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Heidelberg, 2013.

[6] Hola, A. & Czarnota, M., Analysis of the possibilities of improving timber-framed wall thermal insulation with regards to historical buildings. Procedia Engineering, 111,  pp. 311–316, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2015.07.094

[7] Kuban, D., The Turkish Hayat House (in Turkish), T.C. Ziraat Bankası Kültür Yayınları, 1995.

[8] Şahin Güçhan, N., History and characteristics of construction techniques used in tradi- tional timber Ottoman houses. International Journal of Architectural Heritage, 12(1), pp. 1–20, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/15583058.2017.1336811

[9] Yazıcıoğlu, F. & Alkan, S., An analysis on building elements of a wooden structured granary “Serender” in Turkey’s Eastern Black Sea Region. Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 14(1), pp. 77–89, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1108/ arch-04-2019-0087

[10] Zarr, R.R., Burch, D.M. & Fanney, A.H., Heat and Moisture Transfer in Wood-Based Wall Construction: Measured Versus Predicted, NIST Building Science Series 173, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1995.

[11] Kalamees, T. & Vinha, J., Hygrothermal calculations and laboratory tests on timber- framed wall structures. Building and Environment, 38(2003), pp. 689–697, 2003. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0360-1323(02)00207-x

[12] Liu, M., Sun, Y., Sun, C. & Yang, X., Study on thermal insulation and heat transfer properties of wood frame walls. Wood Research, 63(2), pp. 249–260, 2018.

[13] Pihelo, P., Kikkas, H. & Kalamees, T., Hygrothermal Performance of Highly Insulated Timber-frame External Wall. Energy Procedia, 96(2016), pp. 685–695, 2016. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2016.09.128

[14] Martinez, R.G., Hygrothermal assessment of a prefabricated timber-frame construction based in hemp. Procedia Environmental Sciences, 38, pp. 729–736, 2017. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.proenv.2017.03.155

[15] Fu, H., Ding, Y., Li, M., Li, H., Huang, X. & Wang, Z., Research on thermal perfor- mance and hygrothermal behavior of timber-framed walls with different external insu- lation layer: Insulation cork board and anti-corrosion pine plate. Journal of Building Engineering, 28, p. 101069, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2019.101069

[16] Schjøth Bunkholt, N., Rüther, P., Gullbrekken, L. & Geving, S., Effect of forced con- vection on the hygrothermal performance of a wood frame wall with wood fibre insu- lation. Building and Environment, 195, p. 107748, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. buildenv.2021.107748

[17] Claude, S., Ginestet, S., Bonhomme, M., Escadeillas, G., Taylor, J., Marincioni, V., Korolija, I. & Altamirano, H., Evaluating retrofit options in a historical city center:  Relevance of bio-based insulation and the need to consider complex urban form in deci- sion-making. Energy & Buildings, 182, pp. 196–204, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. enbuild.2018.10.026

[18] Umaroğulları, F., Betonarme Düşey Yapı Kabuğunda Yalıtımın Yerinin ve Kalınlığının, Nem Denetimi Açısından Deneysel ve Sayısal Değerlendirmesi (in Turkish), PhD The- sis, Trakya University, 2011.

[19] Edis, E. & Kuş, H., Bina kabuğunun nemsel-ısıl performansının bilgisayar benzetimi ile belirlenmesi (in Turkish). Gazi Üniv. Müh. Mim. Fak. Dergisi, 29(2), pp. 311–320, 2014. https://doi.org/10.17341/gummfd.16852

[20] Mıhlayanlar, E. & Umaroğulları, F., Kalker taş duvarlarda sıcaklık ve nem performansının incelenmesi. Çukurova Üniversitesi Mühendislik Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, 31(1), pp. 313–321, 2016. https://doi.org/10.21605/cukurovaummfd.317844

[21] Ekşi, A., Mevcut Binaların Cephelerinde Dıştan IsıYalıtımı Uygulamalarının İstanbul’da Alanda İncelenmesi ve Higrotermal Performansın Benzetimle Değerlendirilmesi (in Turkish), Master Thesis, İstanbul Technical University, 2016.

[22] Samancı, B., Ahşap Dış Duvarların İstanbul’daki Uygulamalar Üzerinden İncelenmesi, Isıl ve Nemsel Performansın Benzetim ile Değerlendirilmesi (in Turkish). Master The- sis, İstanbul Technical University, 2019.

[23] Doğangün, A., Tuluk, Ö., Livaoğlu, R. & Acar, R., Traditional  wooden  buildings  and their damages during earthquakes in Turkey. Engineering Failure Analysis, 13,  pp. 981–996, 2006. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engfailanal.2005.04.011

[24] Şahin Güçhan, N., Observations on earthquake resistance of traditional timber-framed houses in Turkey. Building and Environment, 142(2), pp. 840–851, 2007. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2005.09.027

[25] Aktaş, Y.S., Evaluation of Seismic Resistance of Traditional Ottoman Timber Frame Houses, Doctoral Thesis, Middle East Technical University, 2011.

[26] Köylü, A., Geleneksel Yapıların Yatay Yükler Etkisinde İncelenmesi (in Turkish), Master Thesis, Eskişehir Osmangazi University, 2008.

[27] Alkan S.N. & Yazıcıoğlu, F., Hygrothermal performance analysis of traditional timber- framed houses in Turkey. WIT Transactions on the Built Environment, WIT Press, Vol. 195, pp. 125–135, 2020.

[28] Tijskens, A., Janssen, H. & Roels, S., A simplified dynamic zone model for a probabi- listic assessment of hygrothermal risks in building components. Energy Procedia, 132, pp. 717–722, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2017.10.012

[29] Chen, G., Luo, Q., Guo, X., Liu, X., Tu, M. & He, Y., Study on mould germination risk in hydroscopic building wall. Procedia Engineering, 205, pp. 2712–2719, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2017.10.193

[30] Chang, S.J. & Kim, S., Hygrothermal performance of exterior wall structures using a heat, air and moisture modeling. Energy Procedia, 78, pp. 3434–3439, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2015.12.328

[31] Türk Standardları Enstitüsü. TS825 Binalarda ısı yalıtım kuralları (in Turkish) (Ther- mal insulation requirements for buildings), 2013