Research and improve the testing capacity for evaluation of hygrothermal resistance and durability of building materials in climate of Vietnam

Date 21/09/2022 05:11
Today’s construction practice in Vietnam is implementing effective building standards and sustainable, energy- saving and efficient use of resources. However, many areas lack the fundamentals, knowledge and infrastructure to develop sustainable solutions, especially in extreme climatic conditions.

Chưa có ảnh

This is one of the main causes hindering the implementation of sustainable and energy efficient building practices in the construction sector. In fact, determining the hygrothermal properties and durability of building materials plays a very important role in energy efficient buildings in the world, including Vietnam. Following the trend of using smart materials and energy-saving materials, along with the mandatory implementation of QCVN 09:2017/BXD in the near future, the need to research and test hygrothermal properties as well as the durability of the building materials for suitable weather conditions will increase. Therefore, it is necessary to research and improve testing capacity in this field, which will bring long-term effects because this research area is a completely new in Vietnam.

Since 2019, Vietnam Institute for Building Materials (VIBM) has participated in the research cooperation project between Vietnam and Germany named “Climate-Adapted Material Research for the Socio-Economic Context of Vietnam – CAMaRSEC)”.

The aim of this project is to implement and develop an energy-efficient, resource-efficient and generally sustainable construction practice in the Vietnamese construction industry through the strategic and coordinated development of basic infrastructures for research, characterization, training, education and the transfer of scientific results into construction and planning practice to support on the basis of interdisciplinary problem analysis and fundamental research.

The project will address issues that will require effective application of the necessary tools for energy- and resource-efficient construction in Vietnam and, in particular, as an application to connect the project work to the existing regulatory framework, hindering the successful application of the National Energy Code for Building Energy Efficiency (QCVN 09: 2017/BXD) for the construction of residential high- rise buildings. This theme is holistically considered from five perspectives, which together form the lifecycle context of new residential buildings: living context, integrated design, technical fundamentals, execution quality and resource utilization. All these topics are geared towards an effective system for the promotion of sustainable construction (governance framework) to build.

This project includes 5 main work packages and VIBM takes the main part of WP3 - Investigations of building material properties, systems and room conditions. Accordingly, VIBM has completely set-up a new laboratory for testing of energy-saving building materials under the support from German experts. In this VIBM rooms, the measuring and testing equipment were installed to determine the basic material properties required for the application of the Vietnamese energy efficiency standard and are relevant for the performance-oriented design such as simulation studies. In order to validate the new measuring equipment in Vietnam, comparative tests will be carried out on reference materials as well as on the developed bricks. The results show that the new laboratory in VIBM has equivalent capacity with the laboratory in IBP – German. 

Training on measurement of thermal conductivity and moisture properties in VIBM

Table 1. Results of comparative study between Vietnam – Germany using same materials

In addition, an outdoor weathering test benches was set-up to evaluate the hygrothermal resistance and durability of wall systems where both new–and traditional materials were installed. In fact, VIBM is the first unit to successfully build an outdoor test stand to evaluate the moisture-thermal performance and durability of building materials in realistic climate conditions.

The test stand is designed in a 40-feet, consist of 8 wall compartments which used 8 typical types of structures including traditional materials such as clay bricks, foam concrete bricks, AAC bricks,…In order to collect data on any sensors including heat flow sensor, temperature sensor, humidity sensor… were installed in both inside and outside of each system. In the chamber, the room climate is controlled in a realistic comfort area. The test stand was located in Halong city, Quang Ninh province where the climate is quite harsh with a high rainfall compared to other region of Vietnam. Meteorological data are collected by an automated weather station that continuously records all necessary weather data, providing a very detailed set of long-term weather data at the test site. The test stand has been completed and the data have been collected since May, 2022. It is expected that the data will be collected until the end of the project in June, 2023. The collected data will be used for computer simulations of hygrothermal simulations to evaluate further components and room scenarios for different Vietnamese climatic zones. This results support for material selection for exterior walls taking into account the Vietnamese climatic conditions as well as for new or further development of existing stones.

Image of the location model of sensor and equipment inside  (left) and outside (right) of test stand

The data will be collected until the end of the project in June, 2023

The collected data will be used for computer simulations of hygrothermal simulations to evaluate further components and room scenarios for different Vietnamese climatic zones.

The extreme climatic conditions in Vietnam pose enormous structural and physical challenges to energy-efficient and sustainable construction practices. These laboratory and outdoor test stand play a role as the basis for product optimization to suit the intended use and ensure durability. In addition, the development of new solutions for energy-saving materials can also be done based on the analysis of building basis parameters and, on the other, specific hygrothermal characteristics.

To realize the goal of energy saving in construction, the building envelope including walls, roof, door… greatly determines the overall efficiency of a building over the lifetime of the building. Highly energy-efficient building enclosures are a core measure of energy efficiency programs not only for new buildings but also for renovation building. Therefore, in order to implementation the National Technical Regulation on Energy Efficiency Buildings and easy-use buildings, it is necessary to invest in high capacity in testing and certifying thermal characteristics for building materials, developing declare and apply energy-saving and efficient labelling. Therefore, in parallel with the investment in laboratory equipment and facilities, it is also necessary to complete the legal bases of national standards and guide documents to train human resources for laboratories, laboratories and laboratories. production unit, application unit.

Some images for construction of outdoor test stand:

Preparation of test stand

Wall structure set-up

Sensor installation in both side of system

Connection of data collection systems

Checking data by German expert 

Center for Equipment, Environment and Labour Safety-VIBM is one of the leading research units in the research and testing of hygrothermal properties of materials; climate simulations and fieldwork; new product testing in both outdoors and in laboratory conditions; Testing and evaluating high-class properties of products and building materials such as antibacterial, anti-mildew, and energy-saving properties applied in energy-efficient constructions and green buildings in Vietnam.


Center for Equipment, Environment and Labour Safety-VIBM
Address: No. 235 Nguyen Trai Street, Thanh Xuan, Hanoi
Phone: 024 3.558.5928; 0915.502.834; 0912.181.479; Fax: 024 3.858.1112;