In my opinion, it really is past the "two schools of thought" phase on this matter.
Encapsulation is recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Green Building Council.
Plus, encapsulation doesn't mean not providing any type of air to keep the crawl space dry.
The thousands of studies only show that this air should not come from the outside because of the mentioned problems.
What encapsulations does is: it includes the crawl space into the internal envelope of the building so that it benefits from the conditioned indoor air, which is everything but stagnant.
It also curbs energy loss through the crawl space making your whole house easier to cool and heat.
Due to the way the air moves in buildings, air is constantly being sucked from the lowest levels to the upper levels of the house. It is called the "stack effect".
So just by opening the vents and allowing that humid air into the crawl space, you are allowing it to enter the upstairs floors as well and you are also making both your a/c and heat work harder. You are paying to cool and heat all that air. Which is why crawl space encapsulation also makes homes and average of 18% more energy efficient.
If you research a bit more you will see that today's green building and green retrofitting practices all call for tightly sealed building envelopes, so opening up a huge gap in the envelope with vents makes very little sense.
I understand your argument, thanks.
To completely encapsulate and condition my crawlspace would entail many thousands of dollars that I do not have to invest (full foundation & concrete floor insulation and some heating/exchange). Our living area above is conditioned by an HRV system (with electric baseboard heat) and its manufacturer cautions me not to open the crawlspace area to the living area space thereby destroying the balance or cross-contaminating the airflow -- they must be separate, especially in our geographical area.
My thoughts were as a hybrid solution as outlined in the previous post -- you see, I don't wish to make this project into a 30 year old rancher with a mini-basement.
I suppose a humidifier could be used to mitigate any moisture buildup. That was in my original plans, but then I discovered the breach in the foundation footing (that allowed water to enter), and after temporarily covering it with poly, the cs is noticeably better. Also, running a humidifier can be a rather expensive proposition (?)
From what I have gathered many US studies were conducted in the high RH Mid-West, Eastern seaboard states or to the South, which is quite different to the very temporate climate here in Victoria, BC -- moderately low RH with prevailing breezes mostly present. In my particular case I suspect our perceived moist summer had more to due to our micro-sprinkler setup against the outside foundation walls (that is in the process of being corrected).
So gee, I don't see any other way of handling my cs dilema but by any other way than the one I have come up with