A picture on bio-based building materials as thermal insulation for sustainable buildings
The movement of heat, air, and moisture through the buildings are related to the energy consumption for heating and cooling in order to achieve the satisfaction of the building occupants. The differences in temperature and relative humidity between the inside and the outside of a building induce transfers of heat and moisture through the envelope which exhibit different behaviors according to materials composing it. A wise choice of wall component allows a better energy and environmental performances limiting condensation and mold development. The Bio-based hygroscopic materials have been developed for a wide range of applications, and it is a good solution to enhance building performances. They have a low environmental impact, and are used for different purposes. They can be selected as structural components, thermal insulations or finishing materials with their good moisture buffering properties. The objective of this paper is to present a review of bio-based building materials focusing on their hygrothermal properties, and specific experimental methods for their characterization, use in building and finally, their life cycle analysis. A comparative study was also achieved based on several considerations; Thermal conductivity, Buffering capacity, Heat storage, Condensation and Mold growth risk. Explored methods use both experiments and computational models for simulation.