NSERC Industrial Research Chair in the Industrialization of Building Construction

Multi-Functional Panels

Multi-Functional Wood Composite Panel Products for Next Generation Building Systems: Hygrothermal Testing of Full-Size Panels in Two Testing Houses

Post Doc: Dr. Yang Li

PhD Student: Tanzia Sharmin

Research Engineer: Ahmad Alrifai

Time Period: Aug. 2014 onwards

Summary: In the context of sustainable development, the objective aims to evaluate the hygro-thermal performance of a proposed multi-functional wood-based panel system that is expected to meet higher requirements for energy savings as mandated by construction energy codes in Canada, U.S and other jurisdictions while being cost-effective. The project involves evaluating a long term (around 2 years) thermal and hygric performance of proposed panel systems by conducting field tests. Since climate zone affects moisture conditions of the wall system, two different climatic zones in terms of humidity condition has been chosen for this research. One of the climate selected zones is Edmonton for its extremely dry and cold climatic condition and the other selected zone is Vancouver for its high humidity characteristics

Experimental Testing House Design Setup
The testing house will be assembled using two types of 4` (W) x 8` (H) multi-functional panel constructions in a typical wood frame wall. A typical wood frame wall without any multi-functional panel is also added to compare the results. The two types of multi-functional panels and a traditional wood frame wall panel will be placed side by side along two sides of the test house; north orientation (to avoid direct solar exposure) and south orientation (to investigate the impact of solar radiation). The dimensions of the test house is 20’2” x 8’0” x 8’0”.

Multifunctional Panels

Layout in testing house

Types & Location of Sensors

The measurements within the test house will include temperature, moisture content, heat flux, and relative humidity measurements. Each of the test panels (both in north and south orientation) will be equipped with temperature, moisture content (MC) sensors and heat flux sensors. Temperature and relative humidity sensors will be installed to measure indoor ambient condition. Then, the test house, equipped with a heater, and humidifier installed inside the testing house will be exposed to natural outdoor climatic condition. In order to measure outdoor weather condition, a weather station will be installed. Throughout the testing period, data from these sensors will be continuously collected using a data acquisition system.

Multifunctional Panels

Instrumentation plan for test house

Multifunctional Panels

Sensors types and locations

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