What is the impact of insulation design on condensation risk in laboratory building enclosures?


Submitted By:

Mansi Dhanuka

Firm Name:


Other contributors or acknowledgements (optional):

Jonathan Weiss, Fred Kaulbach, Richard Wilson

What tools did you use to create the graphic?
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Grasshopper Honeybee
  • Grasshopper Ladybug
  • Rhino
What kind of graphic is this?

The graphic is a comparative representation of different window sections and the effect of environmental factors on them.

Primary Inputs:

Climate Data, Window section detail/material, conductivity of Materials

Graphic Information

What is the graphic showing?

The graphic portrays window section options in isometric and envelope heat transfer through those options at different winter month temperatures. It depicts the risk of condensation in each of the options with effective U-Values of construction.

How did you make the graphic?

Rhino was used for modeling and rendering the mullion detail sections. Therm combined with Ladybug-Honeybee for the envelope heat modelling and condensation risk analysis. Post-simulation using Photoshop and Bluebeam.

What specific investigation questions led to the production of this graphic? List them:

What happens to the renovated laboratory spaces in an existing building, over differing humidity? Would it lead to condensation inside the Lab Space? How can we reduce energy loss through the exterior enclosure while maintaining the minimal vertical mullions?

How does this graphic fit into the larger design investigations and what did you learn from producing the graphic?

Since, it is a retrofit of existing strip windows on historically significant mid-century modern building, the design / construction team identified costs associated with different treatments, and design leads considered the visual impact of different thermal interventions on the existing exterior envelope fabric.

What was successful and/or unique about the graphic in how it communicates information?

It clearly shows the different options all in one graphic, for ease of comparison between environmental factors and visual aesthetics.

What would you have done differently with the graphic if you had more time/fee?

We would have integrated with an energy model of the space for studying the energy use impacts of the building envelope.