FabTrads involves the testing and characterisation of the thermal and hygrothermal properties of a wide range of traditional and historic building wall fabrics and constituent materials.
FabTrads is funded by the SEAI under the RDD scheme RDD744.
The project team includes: Rosanne Walker, Anna Hofheinz, Caroline Engel-Purcell and Oliver Kinnane from UCD, in collaboration with partners Carrig Conservation.
The project is being undertaken in collaboration with the OPW, DCC, ICOMOS and the Irish Georgian Society with a steering group including members from the Department of Housing and the Department of Environment Climate and Communications.
1 in 6 Irish buildings is of traditional construction – proper understanding of their material characteristics is essential to their conservation and energy performance rating. Fab Trads will identify the hygrothermal performance of a large sample set of traditional building materials and fabrics, outputting high quality data for use in the National Calculation Methodology. It will identify the range of hygrothermal performance of these materials in practice, thereby providing key data for further modelling and guidance for future retrofit of traditional buildings. The research project will be undertaken by a small, core team with a strong track record in the analysis of traditional buildings and with extensive experience in the testing of building materials in the laboratory and in-situ. Fab Trads will monitor a robust sample size of traditional building materials and assemblies, including all those listed in the Topic 8 call. The testing will be carried out both in the laboratories of UCD and in-situ in traditional buildings. A sample set of buildings have already been identified for in-situ u-value testing, and materials will be sourced from buildings under conservation through the team’s network of contacts in the field. The project builds on an established and effective collaboration of these academics with conservationists, councils and the OPW. This collaboration will develop guidance documents and compliant datasets for use in the National Calculation Methodology, as well as disseminating the research widely through national and international industry and scientific academic publication.