I was planning on building with wood, using cardboard in the frame cavities and sealing the inside and the outside of the frame with plastic sheeting before applying the interior and exterior siding. Do you think that would work well?
If its cold enough for condensation to occur, cardboard will be soak in water in no time. BUT you have one option. That is to seal the cardboard from outside air completely. a pinhole will render it useless. Once cardboard is wet it losses its insulating property. Condensation occurs when hot air in the house meets cool surface or cooled air.
The issue with cardboard is that it is a great substrate for mould to grow on. If you sandwich it between two layers of plastic, you'll create a sealed, moist environment that will cause rot and mould, so you would want Tyvek on the outside as Thomas says. Cellulose insulation is treated with an anti-mould solution.
If you're in a warm environment, you could leave off the vapour barrier on the inside and use a dehumidifier to keep it dry, but that'll use a lot of energy. Failing that, use tyvek on the outside, plastic on the inside, make sure all corrugated cardboard runs horizontal and keep it dry.
I love the idea, but it's a lot of work to build even a small building, so I'm not sure I'd want to take the chance that the use of cardboard for insulation would cause problems down the road. If it does, you'd need to rip it all out and you'll probably have rot and mould at that point.
Personally, I wouldn't use it. I'm a civil engineer with a background in building, building science and mould and I'm not sure I could make it work with any certainty.
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julian Gerona wrote:If its cold enough for condensation to occur, cardboard will be soak in water in no time. BUT you have one option. That is to seal the cardboard from outside air completely. a pinhole will render it useless. Once cardboard is wet it losses its insulating property. Condensation occurs when hot air in the house meets cool surface or cooled air.
Sorry need to correct this one. Outside should be inside. That is as long as no air from inside the house comes in contact with cardboard you will fine. You can use breathable outer barrier but a completely sealed cardboard space is better in insulating as you can create a partial vacuum although more difficult to construct.
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