It is well known the traditional rural houses of Portugal are constructed using traditional materials such as timber and masonry. The use of these materials results in poor thermal isolation as well as low resistance to water penetration.
As a result, these houses are often found in a deteriorated state. Thus it is necessary to find solutions to rehabilitate the structure, specifically the roof, masonry walls and timber floors.
Those solutions are necessary to improve living conditions particularly hydrothermal comfort, but must maintain their architectural/construction characteristics and the use of traditional materials.
Having this in mind, the main object of research was to study several different construction solutions for thermal rehabilitation of masonry walls.
During the first phase of the work, an analysis of the risk of condensation was carried out using the Glasser method for a number of current thermal rehabilitation construction solutions.
Later, having taken into account these results, a laboratory study was carried out in a climatic chamber in which variations of temperature and relative humidity occurred in a thermal rehabilitated masonry wall using some of solutions in the first phase were measured.
It is believed, the results of this work can contribute to a better understanding of hydrothermal behaviour of inside thermal rehabilitated masonry walls using construction solutions that reduce condensation risk.
Master Dissertation in Civil Engineering-Construction of Paulo Alexandre Martins Moradias, July 2008.