Durability of ETICS with Rendering in Norway—Experimental and Field Investigations
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS) with Rendering are widely used in both rehabilitation and new building projects, even in areas with harsh climates such as the western regions of Norway. However, we have seen extensive cases of defects involving such systems. This paper presents a comprehensive review of Norwegian experiences regarding the durability of ETICS on walls. The presented results are based on building research conducted by SINTEF 61 as well as 30 accelerated climatic laboratory experiments over the last 25 years on similar façade systems. These systems generally perform satisfactorily if thoroughly designed and carefully erected. However, according to the survey, the systems are not very robust. Even minor errors in design techniques and/or craftsmanship can lead to rendering defects. The investigations clearly show that ETICS is particularly vulnerable when exposed to severe driving rain conditions. ETICS provides only a single-stage protection against wind and precipitation and do not dry effectively after being wetted. Hence, the resultant cracks and other rendering weaknesses could be disastrous, enabling moisture to penetrate into the thermal insulation and the wall behind. In areas with heavy driving rain, we recommend façade solutions erected in accordance with the principle of two-stage tightening rather than ETICS.