Scott Wood Associates, LLC
Publications (2003 – 2015)
Scott Wood – Scott Wood Associates, LLC.
VaproShield Technical Library, 2015, Scott Wood, “Air Barrier Systems in Predominantly Cooling Climates” Energy codes now require air barriers that contribute significantly to improve the building energy efficiency, durability, and occupant comfort, health and safety. A continuous air barrier functions by enclosing the building blocking, energy loss (air flow, convective heat loss), moisture (vapor via air flow), pollutants and insects. Up to 40% energy savings has been achieved in northern climates, with a 9-14% energy savings in air conditioned climate zones 1 and 2. For the University of Hawaii at Manoa air barrier installations on existing buildings would have saved the campus millions in annual cooling costs. This paper describes the basics of building science and its heat, air, and moisture barriers, to the history of the vapor barrier starting with its misperception in the 1950 and why it was the air barrier that prevented and continues to prevent condensation. Finally discussing the energy saving an air barrier provides even in a cooling climate such as Hawaii.
Interface, August 2013, Vol. XXXI No. 7, Scott Wood, “Infrared thermography for Roof Investigations” Infrared thermography is an excellent investigative tool used for a multitude of building specific applications including roof investigations. After it was introduced in the 70’s, lower prices and technology advances have allowed thermography to expand becoming an indispensable tool for the roof investigator. For roofing applications thermography is typically used for condition assessment and forensic studies of the low sloped roof. Since many papers have been written on this subject this paper will summarize the discussions on how infrared thermography works as a tool for roof investigations.
InfraMation Proceedings, Vol. 13, 2012, Michael Vollmer, Klaus-Peter Möllmann, Scott Wood, “Surprising Warm Edges Associated with Moisture on Surfaces” Water on surfaces usually leads to evaporative cooling. This is a well-known phenomenon from everyday life, e.g. from wet skin exposed to the wind. Similarly water or moist areas on surfaces show up as colder regions in IR building inspections. However, under certain conditions, one may observe warm edges rather than cold ones at the boundary of the moist areas. Interpretations speak of condensation heating - which from a physics point of view needs clarification. This paper presents plausible theoretical explanations based on detailed experimental investigations as well as practical examples from building inspections about what may cause such behavior. In particular we focus on the possible processes which may produce heat under these circumstances, which include exothermal chemical reactions of water with building materials and adsorption energies related to the swelling of materials containing cellulose.
RCI Hawaii Winter Workshop, January 23-24, 2012, Scott Wood “Locating Areas of Condensation Potential, using Infrared Thermography”, Of the three damage functions for buildings (heat, moisture and ultraviolet energy), moisture is typically at the top of the destructive list. Locating failure points for moisture entry into a building can be as simple as observing defects (holes) in the exterior cladding or as complicated as a destructive investigation of the building’s enclosure system. A method such as infrared thermography provides a nondestructive solution to moisture discovery. Moisture moves in somewhat predictable manners; bulk, capillary, air-transported vapor and vapor diffusion. If in vapor form, it needs a cooler surface to condense into its bulk or liquid state. This presentation (and paper) will discuss locating areas of condensation potential on the building enclosure using infrared thermography. Case studies will be presented describing the process of defining areas of the building that have a high probability of causing condensation.
RCI Hawaii Winter Workshop, January 20-21, 2011, Scott Wood, “Building Science and Infrared Thermography: Heat, Air, Moisture Flow with Buildings“, Building science or the study of Heat, Air, Moisture (liquid) and Moisture (vapor) flows (HAMM) within the building enclosure are important processes to understanding the buildings’ comfort, energy use, sustainability or basic building performance. That is to say we, the investigators, need to understand HAMM in order to fully understand what we see as we explore the building environment. To investigate a building thoroughly we look at the buildings HAMM, but how do we “see” heat, air and moisture flows? This paper will provide a basic understanding of the four building barriers to HAMM. Thermal images will demonstrate how infrared thermography allows the investigator to noninvasively “see” heat, air and moisture.
RCI Hawaii Winter Workshop, January 20-21, 2011, Scott Wood “Infrared Thermography for Roofing Investigations”, Infrared thermography is an excellent investigative tool used for many applications including roof investigations. Infrared Thermography was introduced in the 70’s.However in the intervening years, lower prices and technology advances have allowed thermography to become a valuable tool for the roof investigator. Thermography is typically used for condition assessment and forensic studies of the low sloped roof. Since many papers have been written on this subject this paper will summarize the discussion on how infrared thermography works as a tool for roof investigations.
InfraMation Proceedings, Vol. 12, 2011, Scott Wood “Building Science and how Infrared Thermography plays a key role in its understanding as it is applied to buildings” Building science or the study of Heat, Air, Moisture (liquid) and Moisture (vapor) flows (HAMM) within the building enclosure are important processes to understanding the buildings' comfort, energy use, sustainability or basic building performance. That is to say we, the investigators, need to understand HAMM in order to fully understand what we see as we explore the building environment. To investigate a building thoroughly we look at the buildings HAMM, but how do we "see" heat, air and moisture flows? This presentation will provide a basic understanding of the four building barriers to HAMM. During the discussion I will present thermal images demonstrating how easily infrared thermography allows the investigator to "see" heat, air and moisture flows.
InfraMation Proceedings, Vol. 10, 2009, Scott Wood, Lee Durston: “Commercial Air Barrier Testing and the use of IR Thermography in Locating Air Leaks Recent publications have clearly shown that air leakage has a huge impact on a commercial building’s sustainability, comfort, and energy efficiency”, Recent publications have clearly shown that air leakage has a huge impact on a commercial building’s sustainability, comfort, and energy efficiency. New standards and contract requirements reflect a greater understanding of the importance for controlling air leakage in such structures. To verify air leakage rates of commercial buildings, a whole building pressurization test is performed. This paper discusses construction strategies, performance specifications and testing methods for the air barrier system of commercial buildings. It will also provide examples of how infrared thermography is used during air barrier testing to provide information enabling the location of air intrusions.
Construction Dimensions, April, 2009 Scott Wood, “Protect Wall and Ceiling Work through Forensics”, The forensic building science field is a growing specialty providing design evaluations, consulting and oversight for building systems during construction. The building scientist provides investigations into completed buildings, evaluating fenestration and commissioning. Hygrothermal modeling, air leakage testing and water testing are some of the techniques used in building forensics. One of the greater tools used by the building scientist is thermography. These techniques, tools and the proper training provide the forensic building investigator the ability to quickly and effectively evaluate the building.
IEA ECBC Annex 46, Energy Process Assessment Protocol, Appendix G, April, 2009 Scott Wood, “Use of Thermography in Building Energy Assessment”, Infrared thermography is used for many applications: historically, for condition monitoring of electrical and mechanical equipment, and for locating “hot spots” that may indicate a future failure, thus enabling the Thermographer to schedule a repair before a failure. The recent decrease in camera cost, availability of training in building science thermography, and increase in experienced building Thermographers have facilitated the rapid acceptance of IR as a major tool for building evaluations. When performing a building energy assessment, IR thermography reveals details of the performance of buildings and building structure not viewable without its use. Building Science thermography is critical for the evaluation of buildings providing: insulation conditions, detecting thermal bridging, locating air leaks, evaluating double pane
glazing, detecting moisture intrusion, locating building components within the structure, examining HVAC performance and its system, evaluating plumbing and electrical systems of the building.
InfraMation Proceedings, Vol. 9, 2008, Antonio Colantonio, Scott Wood, “Detection of Moisture within Building Envelopes by Interior and Exterior Infrared Thermographic Inspections”, Infrared imagers have become vital diagnostic tools in building maintenance with mold related health issues becoming more prevalent. Although infrared imagers do not detect the presence of mold, they can be used to detect the presence of moisture by means of variances in conductive and phase change heat loss or gain. When commissioning new building envelopes, or carrying out building condition inspections of existing building envelopes, it is imperative to differentiate the source of the moisture accumulation between interior or exterior sources since remedial actions will vary considerably. Moisture detection methodologies for interior and exterior inspections vary and equipment specifications are different for both types of inspections. The physical mechanisms that produce moisture patterning in the infrared wavelengths are different for both interior and exterior inspections. Ensuring optimal inspection ambient conditions is paramount to obtain accurate inspection results. This paper will discuss the various types of thermal patterns created by surface penetration of water versus those patterns created by air leakage from the building interior in cold winter conditions. Moisture detection methodologies for interior inspections will be discussed and the importance of timing will be stressed regarding detection of moisture within assemblies by non-destructive means. Various types of exterior building envelopes will be discussed along with their performance characteristics and how these affect thermal patterns during various inspection procedures.
InfraMation Proceedings, Vol. 8 2007, Ken VanBree, Scott Wood, “Conducting a Whole House Inspection for Latent Fastener-into-Pipe Defects Using Visual and Thermal Information”, A certain class of building defects continues to plague the construction industry, despite a variety of defensive techniques put in place to prevent them. The defects occur when a nail or screw comes into contact with a copper pipe or penetrates a plastic pipe carrying fluids. If these defects are not caught during construction, they can turn into leaks that can go undetected for years. The resulting leaks can result in mold growth, dry rot or even structural damage in extreme cases. Contractors in California have a ten-year liability window for these types of defects. Finding cost-effective ways to eliminate these defects during construction can lower builders overall warranty costs and improve overall customer satisfaction.
InfraMation Proceedings, Vol. 7, 2006, Noah Ceteras, Scott Wood “Infrared Thermography and Water Damage Assessment”, Thermal imaging devices have many uses across a wide spectrum of industries. Using infrared thermography to address, assess and remediate water damage claims is one of the most effective ways to minimize costs, maximize dry-down effectiveness and provide your client with thorough documentation of the damage caused by water loss.
InfraMation Proceedings, Vol. 7, 2006, Ken VanBree, Scott Wood, “Using Thermography To Find A Class Of Latent Construction Defects In Drain And Vent Pipes”, A certain class of building defects continues to plague the construction industry despite a variety of defensive techniques put in place to prevent them. The defects occur when a nail, screw or staple penetrates a drain or vent pipe and the problem isn’t detected because the pipe doesn’t immediately begin to leak. Oxidation of the metal fastener will eventually lead to a hole in the pipe; however it may take months or years for the leak to develop.
Thermal Solutions, 2006, Scott Wood, Ken VanBree, “Using Thermography to find a class of latent construction defects”, Building defects continue to plague the construction industry. This paper describes the defects occurring when a nail, screw or staple comes into contact with a copper water pipe and the detection using thermography. When non copper material such as a nail, screw or staple comes into contact with copper plumbing galvanic action between the steel fastener and the copper pipe will eventually create a hole in the pipe. A leak due to the contact or in some cases even a penetrating fastener may take months or years for the leak to develop. Thermal imaging can be used to find these defects before they become an expensive water leak or mold remediation. Both wood and gypsum wallboard are very good thermal insulators as compared to the conductance of the steel fasteners. By heating the copper pipe any steel fastener in contact with the heated copper will conduct much quicker than the wood or gypsum wallboard. The steel fasteners in contact with the heated copper will appear as hot spots with an infrared camera, becoming observable thermally within minutes.
InfraMation Proceedings, Vol. 6, 2005, Ken VanBree, Scott Wood, “Using Thermography to Find a Class of Latent Construction Defects.” An issue that continues to plague the construction industry, nails and screws coming into contact with copper water pipes, can be diagnosed with infrared thermography. A leak may not immediately occur, but galvanic action between the steel fastener and the copper pipe will eventually lead to a hole in the pipe, although it may take months or years for the leak to develop. Thermal imaging can be used to detect this class of latent defect before it becomes an expensive water leak or mold remediation. This technique relies on the high conductance of the metal screws or nails. By running hot water through the pipes, a metal fastener that is in contact with or near a water line will heat up more quickly, and at a higher temperature, than the nearby wall board, providing an easily observable hot spot for an infrared camera. This paper will describe the techniques developed to detect this class of latent construction defect, and show examples of its use in both renovation and new home construction.
InfraMation Proceedings, Vol. 5, 2004, Scott Wood, Bill Weber, “Non Evasive Roof Leak Detection Using Infrared Thermography.” Residential roofs without attics are typically inspected for leaks by installing scaffolding and probing the ceiling for water intrusion with a moisture meter. This paper discusses infrared thermography’s ability to probe the ceiling for water intrusion without physical contact with the ceiling. Water was applied to the roof in a controlled manner, starting at the lower sections, then moving to the peak of the roof. During the water application, continuous scanning of the ceiling with a FLIR E4 infrared camera allowed instant discovery of the water intrusion.
InfraMation Proceedings, Vol. 4, 2003, Scott Wood, Bill Weber, “IR Thermography Use in the Building Science Industry.” Building assessments for water detection can routinely be performed using an infrared (IR) camera. IR camera surveys were performed at various locations in buildings to evaluate if building material was wet or not. The rapid IR camera surveys allowed for hard to reach area evaluation, quick survey of the building as well as provided images for the survey report.
Protect Wall and Ceiling Work through Forensics Construction Dimensions April 2009 AWCI’s Construction Dimensions published for contractors by the association of the wall and ceiling industry.
Manuals and Programs
IEA ECBCS Annex 46, Energy Process Assessment Protocol, Appendix G, Use of Thermography in Building Energy Assessment, 2009
Download link for Subtask A - 2009 Energy Process Assessment Protocol: http://www.annex46.de/pdf/bericht_EPA-Protocol.pdf
Building Science Thermography Course Training Manual IRBS351, 2003 – to date
Application specific training for the use of infrared thermography in building investigations
Infrared Thermography’s Use in Buildings, ELC Training, 2007 a web base training program