Sustainable Building Materials Lab: The Sustainable Building Materials Laboratory is used for the research of myriad building products and materials that make up, shape, impact and determine the physical/built environment. Research focuses on both existing materials — especially those with a sustainable and green focus — and collaborating with industry in the development of smart, emerging, and innovative building material technologies. Assessment, examination and testing of materials that affect the thermal, luminous, and acoustical conditions of the built environment provide the lab’s focus; materials appropriate to cold regions and climates are emphasized; Individual materials, as well as building components, products and assemblages are explored to improve the construction, operation, resiliency, maintenance and overall environmental quality of high-performance buildings.
This research facility features an environmental chamber in which green building materials ranging from individual components all the way up to full-scale assemblages can be tested in a controlled and accelerated setting, replicating both normal and extreme conditions. This can be used to gauge the efficacy of the assemblage or component. Rapid-aging capability allows assessment of life expectancy, maintenance, effect on air quality, and other important issues. Hand tools enable testing of materials and products both in the lab and in actual field/on site conditions.
A planned addition to the lab is a heliodon – a machine that can duplicate the angle of the sun’s rays at any latitude, time, and day of the year to enable examination of solar angles, geometries and solar access and shading on building surfaces. Students can put physical models of their building designs on it, and use it to take maximum advantage of the sun’s light, energy, and shade, in their designs.Equipment: