New Testing will lead to New Opportunities

New testing procedures can lead to new opportunities for innovative building products. With that in mind, I an eager to see what emerges from the new research facility being built by the Institute for Building and Home Safety. Their laboratory is large enough to test complete buildings to measure their performance under hurricane, tornado, fire storm, and other destructive forces.

Under typical testing conditions, individual materials or small assemblies are tested separately. This complicates the assignment of blame when a building failure occurs. More critically, designers, builders, and code officials often have to guess about the best details to use in construction, By instrumenting and testing entire buildings under controlled, repeatable conditions, the industry should be able to obtain more holistic data about design requirements and material performance.

Armed with this information, manufacturers will be able to develop better materials, and will have convincing performance documentation for suspicious customers.

The facility will also be able to capture high speed video of building failures. This will have a profound impact on consumers, presenting them with clear information about how better materials save lives and property.

An article on the project was published in ENR.