Air Regulating Materials

Air movement is normally addressed in two areas in a wall or other parts of the building envelope. Towards the outside there is a wind-proof layer. On the interior there is an air barrier that adds to the wind-proofing

Table 14.3 The approximate reflection of heat radiation from different surfaces


Reflection [%]

Shiny aluminium


Aluminium bronze






White paint


Black paint


and ensures that there are no significant air leaks, which increase a building's energy use considerably. Leakage points also dramatically increase the risk of humidity damage inside the walls, where humid warm air leaks out to a cold spot and condenses there (Morgan, 2006). Air barriers in buildings usually combine their function with that of vapour membranes. Although the primary function in climatic terms is as an air barrier, this construction feature is discussed in the section on moisture regulating materials (see page 245), according to procedures in conventional building physics.

The wind-proofing of a building should be addressed at two levels: the first is that of good site planning and sheltering with trees and hedges; the second is at the level of the construction itself.

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