Climate data: Exposure conditions in Europe

Hannu Viitanen, Tommi Toratti, Lasse Makkonen, Ruut Pehkuri, Tuomo Ojanen, Sven Thelandersson, Tord Isaksson, Eva Frühwald Hansson

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    Ambient microclimatic conditions, especially moisture conditions, are the most important factors for durability of wood. The classification of use conditions in WP1 (climate data) of the project Woodexter is based on the evaluation of the water exposure during the use. Decay is the more severe result of high moisture exposure of wooden structures when the materials are wet for long periods. For generating critical humidity and temperature conditions needed for start of decay, a model based on the previous studies at VTT was developed. For evaluation the climatic exposure conditions, the empirical wood decay model were first used for the ERA-40 data for air temperature, humidity and precipitation at 6 hour intervals. ERA-40 is a massive data archive produced by the European Centre of Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The ERA-40 domain covers all of Europe and has a grid spacing of approximately 270 km. The decay index mapping for Europe with respect to macro-climate was developed. The results will give inputs to WP 4 (service life) to evaluate the effect of macroclimate as classified factors to be used for service life evaluation and engineering model. The inputs to modelling were in first step general, and the local conditions have been more detailed. Different climatic exposure areas or zones could be detected: Northern European (north and south), Continental, Atlantic (north, middle and south), Mediterranean zone (wet and dry). The classifying will give a relative values for decay risks in different part of Europe. The exposure of horizontal exterior surfaces to solar radiation of Europe was simulated using the average solar radiation values (GW/m2s) of 30 years' period. The solar radiation is lowest in North Europe even the days during summer time are longer. The highest solar radiation was found in the Southern Europe. In the second stage, a dose response model was used to evaluate the climate conditions in selected places in Europe in the WP4 (Service life model).
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages47
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7523-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Working Papers


    • climate
    • exposure
    • wood
    • durability
    • service life
    • modelling


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