The University of Florida (UF) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are evaluating the hygrothermal (heat and moisture flow) performance and durability of sealed attic construction where open cell spray polyurethane foam (ocSPF) insulation is applied directly to the underside of the roof deck. During the 2015–2016 fiscal year and with financial support from the Florida Building Commission (FBC) and the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA), UF and the ORNL Building Technology Research Integration Center (BTRIC) completed Phase I of a study that setup four residential home demonstrations in Florida climate zones CZ-1A and CZ-2A. Field measurements for the homes are listed in Table 1.
The four homes are instrumented for measuring temperature and relative humidity of the indoor living space, the outdoor air and the attic air. In addition, the temperature, relative humidity and moisture content of the roof sheathing are being monitored and recorded by remotely-accessible data acquisition equipment. Air leakage tests on the whole house, on the sealed attic and in the HVAC ducts were conducted on all four homes, Table 1. Digital and infrared images were captured to document the thermal performance of the sealed attics. Field tests commenced on June 1, 2016. Data acquisition will continue for one full year to document heat and moisture flows, which, in turn will be used in a second phase of work to benchmark an analytical tool kit for predicting the heat and moisture flows in Florida's hot and humid climate. The second phase of work is pending approval by the FBC.