J PINNELLI COMPANY LLC
Building science is a field of knowledge that draws upon physics, chemistry, engineering, architecture, and the life sciences. Understanding the physical behavior of the building as a system and how this impacts energy efficiency, durability, comfort and indoor air quality is essential to innovating high-performance buildings. Modern building science attempts to work with models of the building as a system, and to apply empirical techniques to the effective solution of design problems.
—National Institute of Building Science—
Why? So buildings are not guesswork experiments, but exercises in proven techniques based on independent scientific performance research.
Beginning in the 1980’s, the construction industry began seeing more and more defects and failures in construction. Chief among the problems were moisture and mold accumulations in walls.
There was a rapidly evolving parade of materials and practices with exaggerated manufacturers’ claims. These materials came with no independent testing, without which we had no way of knowing how the products were to be incorporated or assembled into the structure. We were literally left guessing about which product to use and how. We had no way of knowing if our guesswork and common sense approach was making the moisture and mold issues better or worse.
Manufacturers just expected everyone to trust them without establishing how the materials and assemblies performed. Performance was a term usually relegated to discussion of how to address soaring utility bills.
What we soon realized was that guesswork and common sense had to be removed from the equation. Independent testing of the performance of products and the assembly of the products was the only way we were going to know if what we were doing was going to make the structure better or worse.
The national and international building science community moved to a systems approach to the entire building. Through testing, the building science community established for the first time accurate data on whether buildings and their components would perform well or fail.
Today we have construction assembly protocols based on scientific research and testing. The time-honored protocols of yesteryear and trial and error methods are gone, replaced by construction protocols dictated by building science and the holistic performance of all components. As a result, we are able, with confidence, to construct durable, comfortable and efficient structures for the ages.
National Institute of Building Science
Building Science Corporation of America
Building Science Labs Inc.
Copyright 2014 • J Pinnelli Company LLC