Unique Building Envelope Test Facility Opens at BCIT
The first building envelope test hut (BETH) facility in B.C. officially opened in March at the Burnaby campus of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
Developed by the BCIT School of Construction and the Environment, the two-storey facility is the first of its kind located in the coastal climate zone.
The research conducted at the 44’ x 28’ test facility will be used to advance building technologies and to improve building performance.
“With our focus on partnering with others to research building science issues to bring about improvements in the quality of residential construction, the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO) was pleased to join the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and FP Innovations-Forintek in providing seed funding for this unique facility,” said Ken Cameron, CEO.
The building science research conducted at BETH will benefit both students and industry. The facility will allow manufacturers, associations and organizations to gauge the performance of building products or systems in a real-world environment.
With flexibility to accommodate up to 62 wall panels at one time, and with the aid of a 600-channel data acquisition system, researchers will be able to conduct state-of-the-art research in building envelope performance.
The data acquisition equipment at the facility can monitor conditions within wall assemblies, including temperature, relative humidity, moisture content, heat flux, air velocity, wind-induced pressure, and incidence of condensation and rain penetration. In addition, the equipment will generate data on microclimate conditions, including wind speed and direction, solar radiation, and driving rain on wall surfaces.
Researchers will be able to test a broad range of building envelope wall assemblies, from wood frame construction to steel, concrete, and masonry assemblies, including window walls and curtain walls. The facility is designed to have the flexibility to test various roof assemblies, balconies and floor/wall junctions.
For more information, please contact:
Hua Ge, Director
BCIT’s Building Science Center of Excellence
School of Construction and the Environment
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Tel: 604-432-8402, Email: email@example.com
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