New computer programs are introduced so frequently, it often can
be difficult to determine which ones are worth your time and money.
In the roofing industry, there is no shortage of programs promising
to make things easier for contractors and designers. One program
that has recently been introduced to the design community is known
WUFI stands for the German words Wärme-und Feuchtetransport
instationär. The English translation is "transient heat and
moisture transport." WUFI is a sophisticated computer program that
calculates heat and moisture transport through roof and wall
assemblies. It was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for
Building Physics (IBP), Stuttgart, Germany, and introduced in
Europe in 1994. A few years later, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
(ORNL), Oak Ridge, Tenn., partnered with IBP to modify and improve
WUFI for use in North America. The North American version was
released in 2001.
I heard about WUFI a few years ago but did not look into it
until I was retained by a client to investigate a problematic roof
system. A consultant representing another party included a WUFI
analysis in his report on the problem. At the time, I didn't have
enough knowledge of WUFI to evaluate the analysis, so I retained
the services of another roof consultant familiar with WUFI to
assist me. I came to the conclusion that it was important for me to
gain a better understanding of WUFI and decided to attend a two-day
training workshop conducted by ORNL.
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