The BSCE conducts research to characterize materials in terms of thermal and moisture transport, storage properties and their variations with temperature, moisture content, age, as well as the compatibility between interacting materials. High quality materials property data obtained at the BSCE is used in the development of products that are more suitable for the local weather conditions, and fed into building envelope and whole building hygrothermal models for the development of more durable building envelopes.
CSA Standard S478-95 Guideline for Durability in Buildings defines durability as “the ability of a building or any of its components to perform its required functions in its service environment over a period of time without unforeseen cost for maintenance or repair”. Proper materials characterization is at the core of designing building envelopes for durability by supporting the effective selection, use, and maintenance of materials to perform their functions within the envelope as intended. Materials characterization at the BSCE is conducted as follows:
1 ) Property measurement – Material properties are measured in the Hygrothermal Property Measurement Laboratory (HPML) including the following:
- Material density
- Moisture sorption isotherm
- Vapour permeability
- Water absorption coefficient
- Thermal conductivity
- Air permeability
2 ) Durability assessment – The BSCE is developing the expertise and capacity to assess materials performance/property deterioration using durability deterioration/damage models and short-term accelerated deterioration tests. These will be used to determine materials performance thresholds under expected environmental loads.
Green Material Research
Our green material research is devoted to select construction materials which bring indoor air quality, resource efficiency, water conservation, energy efficiency and affordability.
BSCE is involved in several Green construction materials research to support green material development and design practices for the purpose of resource efficient resource utilization, safety to human beings, environmentally clean and financial success.