“Building science” is the discipline applied by engineers, architects, builders, and restoration experts looking at the building’s multiple systems and how it affects its functionality. It helps experts understand the physical behaviour of the systems to determine the building’s life cycle, comfort, energy efficiency, durability, etc., based on the characteristics, makeup, and design. Here we look at the role of building science in the restoration process and why it is so important.
Applications of Building Science
Here are some examples of how building science studies are applied:
Materials and Application
Materials and layering methods used in a typical restoration impact envelope performance. Through ongoing research, product manufacturers find new ways to improve their products. Applications of building science help answer essential questions to improve material development and application, such as:
- What materials are needed for each layer of the building envelope?
- How does climate impact the materials and layers?
- What construction techniques are required based on the material and climate?
- What mix of material layers works best?
- What unintended problems might materials have on things such as energy use, moisture, durability, fungal decay, etc.?
Building science tests materials to ensure their intended use and all possible configurations in the application are considered. The information is provided to builders, architects, sub-contractors, etc., so they can make informed decisions on their restoration projects.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is a critical study ensuring the materials used don’t contribute to poor air quality. Questions asked include:
- What contaminants impact health, productivity, sleep, and cognitive function?
- What ventilation strategies help remove contaminants?
- What materials are the most cost-effective to help improve indoor air quality?
Studies provide insights on things such as:
- Moisture proofing, reduction in condensation and humidity
- Proper application of envelope layers
- Potential issues created by different materials and application methods
Ongoing studies create well-insulated, air-tight envelopes to improve performance and prevent air quality contamination.
Energy use is a more obvious study:
- What materials and building methods save energy?
- How much do improved materials and applications reduce energy consumption?
- Which energy-saving measures yield the best results while remaining the most cost-effective?
These studies improve energy use, reduce costs and help building owners leverage local green initiative grants.
Why Is Building Science Important?
Building science is vital for the following reasons:
- Reduced energy use
- Positive environmental and economic impacts for building owners
- Reduced moisture in buildings to improve material durability, indoor air quality and interior comfort
- Helping reduce hidden issues in building envelopes that develop over time, such as tiny holes that increase energy use or moisture buildup that causes water damage and mould
- Discovering new concepts by studying materials, climate conditions, durability, test and usage results, etc.
- Considering more variables and scenarios to make improvements
- Developing more effective building techniques and materials based on climate
- Identifying ideal methods and materials by mixing different materials in varied layer applications to reduce issues such as energy waste, moisture buildup, etc.
- Understanding building lifecycles based on factors that reduce or improve longevity
Building science allows building restoration experts like WellDone Inc. to continuously improve how we approach building construction and restoration for improved outcomes.