Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Case Study: Performance of a House Built on a Treated Wood Foundation System in a Cold Climate

Source: In: Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings XI International Conference, December 5-9, 2010, Clearwater Beach, Florida

Author(s)Carll, Charles G.; Boardman, Charles R.; Olson, Collin L.

Publication Year: 2010  View PDF »

Category: Conference Proceedings
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4723-1

Abstract: Performance attributes of a home, constructed in 2001 in Madison, WI, on a treated-wood foundation system were investigated over a multiyear period. Temperature conditions in the basement of the building were, without exception, comfortable, even though the basement was not provided with supply registers for heating or cooling Basement humidity conditions were acceptable (although not ideal), even though dedicated dehumidification equipment was not used in the building. The basement zone did not develop any perceptible smell of mold. No visible moldgrowth occurred on surfaces in the basement. After 98 of building operation, with design humidity levels being maintained during most heating seasons, the foundationsystem (including cellulose insulation that was below grade) was virtually devoid of visible mold growth. Despite this, moisture contents in the bottomplates of the foundation walls were, at most locations monitored, chronically at or near fiber saturation. Otherparts of the foundation remained substantially drier, but apparently at levels roughly in equilibrium with 80% RH. Energy consumption for space heating of the building, normalized to floor area and heating degree days, was roughly equivalent to that for 'average' American dwellings constructed between 1990 and In summary, the moisture performance and thermal performance of the wood foundation system of this building were acceptable.

Keywords: Architecture, climate, heating, climatic factors, buildings, airtightness, temperature, dampness in buildings, humidity, wooden-frame houses, dwellings, ventilation, wooden buildings, environmental engineering, Wisconsin, moisture, foundations, dampness in basements, energy consumption, case studies, moisture control, wood durability, durability, performance testing, moisture content, moisture content of wood in service

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 360 kb(s)

Date posted: 01/10/2011

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 40109

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »