Today's building enclosures are more energy efficient than decades ago, mainly due to a higher level of insulation and air tightness requirements; however, the downside is an increased risk of moisture problems with potential structural failure and unhealthy indoor air quality. Modern thermal and hygrothermal analysis tools have already made their way from science to engineering and readily available today for the application in design, education, and forensic analysis. This presentation will describe the motivations for hygrothermal engineering, introduce commonly used tools, outline the basic principles, and include application examples for cold as well as for hot and humid climate zones.


Our keynote speaker, Manfred Kehrer joined WJE in 2017. He has been involved in researching, testing, and analysis of exterior enclosure systems for over 30 years. He has helped develop WJE’s hygrothermal laboratory and computational fluid dynamics initiative for analysis of building enclosures. Prior to joining WJE, he was involved in the research and investigation of building science issues and developed analytical methods to advance the industry. He worked for more than twenty years at Fraunhofer IBP, Germany, in the area of hygrothermics and has been group manager for software development where he was responsible for development, quality control and sales of WUFI® products. Mr. Kehrer was a senior building scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where he was in charge of a variety of types of research in building science. Following his work at Fraunhofer and ORNL, he became president of the start-up company justSmartSolutions LLC in the field of building science consulting. Since 2011, Mr. Kehrer has been the Official WUFI® Collaboration Partner for USA/Canada.


Learning Objectives:

1) Understand the necessity for hygrothermal analyses of today’s building enclosure assemblies.

2) Identify basic heat and moisture transport mechanisms and their effect on the building enclosure.

3) Understand available thermal and hygrothermal analyses tools and their limitations.

4) Understand the application of the tools to cold as well as hot and humid climate zones.




The Building Enclosure Council (BEC) is a network of affiliated architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers and others located in major cities across the United States. The Dallas BEC was formed to address durability, design and the unique air, moisture and thermal performance challenges of building enclosures in Texas.