Vapor-permeable building envelopes have received renewed interest because they can moderate indoor humidity levels and improve the drying of the envelope during summer condensation conditions. In this paper, the moisture performance of a vapor-permeable building envelope is presented with field measurements and numerical simulations. The results show that the diffusion resistance of the internal surface should be greater than that of the external surface (typically recommended ratio of 3: 1 or 5: 1), but that the vapor resistance of the vapor retarder can be significantly below that provided by polyethylene and still result in a safe structure, even in a cold climate.
Simonson, C. J., Ojanen, T., & Salonvaara, M. (2005). Moisture performance of an airtight, vapor-permeable building envelope in a cold climate. Journal of Thermal Envelope and Building Science, 28(3), 205 - 226. https://doi.org/10.1177/1097196305048628