Building Science Resources Online
Building science refers to the scientific know how that centers on both the control and analysis of physical phenomena that tends to affect buildings. Normally, building science involves both a specific analysis of building envelope systems together with building materials. The purpose of building science is to offer predictive ability in understanding or stopping building failures, as well as to optimize the performance of buildings in general. In North America, building science is more focused on moisture and heat concerns, but in Europe, it also includes other factors like daylighting, sound control, and fire protection.
What is Building Science?
Building science is a technology discipline that incorporates aspects of construction, architecture, and engineering. It concerns itself with the details of the designs of buildings in reaction to physical phenomena that is naturally occurring. These phenomena are things such as the weather, conditions of a subterranean nature, characteristics of materials, human physiology, characteristics of chemistry and physics, and environmental control-ability. Each phenomena impacts a building distinctly, which is why it has to be factored into building design.
Weather-related phenomena involves such factors as the sun, rain, wind, humidity, and temperature, and also such considerations as lightning patterns, thaw and freeze cycles, and the frost or dew point. Subterranean conditions involve things like frost penetration, seismic activity, and water-ground activity. Analyzing the characteristics of materials includes looking at factors like the longevity issues regarding certain materials, the impact of water and water vapor’s permeability on materials, and even galvanic corrosion between materials that are not constructed out of the same substances. The characteristics of chemistry and physics involve aspects like gravity, condensation, absorption, capillary-action, elasticity, ductility, friction, cohesion and adhesion, water pressure dynamics, and thermal transfer and migration. Human physiology relates to chemical sensitivity, sweat function, sensory reaction, and personal comfort. Finally, environmental control-ability relates to environmental factors of a building that also relate to aspects like energy consumption, the physical comfort of the occupants and inhabitants, a building’s sustainability and longevity, and maintenance considerations of the structure.
Explanation of Building Science: A comprehensive primer on just what building science is.
FEMA Building Science Branch: Exploration of what is involved in the profession of building science.
Resource Page for Building Science: A resource that lists numerous links that offer more applicable information on building science.
Collection of Building Science Information: Website that provides objective information about structural design concepts and other aspects of building science.
Building Science News Center: A list of newly updated articles on building science matters.
The Basics of Building: Web page that collects articles and podcasts on building science issues.
Online Training in Building Science: A series of videos from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce that talk about building science.
Durable building designs are based on, at the beginning of the planning, the considerations regarding two strain conditions that affect all buildings. These are dynamic and static strain conditions, both of which are the subject of projections of a building’s design. Static strain conditions relate to the dead loads that are added to a building that also has to factor in live loads, which are defined as furniture and people. Dynamic strain conditions are related to abnormal, artificial, and natural motions of buildings during their entire lifespans. The criteria that define building structure dynamics are associated with the mechanic and physical properties of the building in addition to its geometry. The criteria for durable design buildings are: the vibration frequency of the building and its ensuing oscillation period, the building’s equivalent dumping coefficient, and its mode shape.
One area where durable designs in buildings can be significantly displayed is in preparing buildings for earthquake readiness. Engineers are better able to construct buildings with durable designs in earthquakes by observing the reaction of buildings that have been in them; then, they develop new technologies relating to repair work, which leaves them better able to control the effects of an earthquake on a building. The main strategy that engineers use to guard both newer as well as older buildings against the effects of earthquakes is the use of seismic adjustment techniques. Seismic adjustment techniques exist to lessen the strain effects that earthquakes inflict on buildings.
Such seismic adjustment techniques can be generally placed into two categories: Base isolation and dissipation systems. Base isolation involves making the structuring almost float above the ground by untying a building’s ground-foundation dynamic, which lessens the effect of strain. Dissipation systems refers to putting in special equipment into the base of a building’s foundation with the aim of providing a high threshold of stiffness for vertical loads. This increased stiffness reduces the tendency of a building to sink, while also giving horizontal buildings a lower stiffness. Through this durable building design, the building’s equipment absorbs the seismic activity, and it is already subject to low strains from low oscillations. The dissipation system consists of dissipators that are placed into the inside of a building’s frame.
Police Station Durable Design: Examination of a campus police station that improved its durable design.
Information on Building Durable Structures: The details of building a more durable building.
Factors of Durablity: A walkthrough of what is needed in building a durable structure.
Military Durable Building: Article that looks at how military technology is now being used to build some low-cost and durable buildings.
Durable Design in Disaster Preparations: Website that looks at materials necessary for building durable structures for disasters.
Durable Building Plans: Information and chart that attempts to show durable building as it relates to earthquakes and other factors like weather resistance.
Earthquake Resistant Building Design: Article on durable building approach that can withstand some earthquake magnitudes.
Protection in Seismic Activity: The details on how even wood construction can be made a durable building structure in earthquakes.
Healthy and Energy Efficient
The creation of energy efficient buildings begins when constructing them by paying careful attention to their location as well as surroundings. For example, builders who have a preoccupation with energy efficiency will take care to make windows face southwards, which has the effect of increasing the amount of sun entering the building and, thus, reducing energy use for heating. Another energy efficiency plan is to use Passive Infra Reds, which work to automatically turn off lighting in places that are unoccupied for a time, such as bathrooms when no one is using the toilet. Builders who are preoccupied with energy efficiency may also introduce smart meters into buildings; they measure harmonic distortion, usage, peaks, interruptions, and energy swells to help builders design more energy efficient structures.
Government Website on Energy Efficiency: A collection of resources for energy efficiency that includes tips.
Energy Efficiency Advice: Repository of links and resources to energy efficiency in homes and buildings.
Tips on Being Energy Efficient: Web page with many links that go to energy efficiency resource pages.
Energy Efficiency Barriers in Buildings: Article that discusses what stands in the way of buildings being energy efficient.
What it Takes to Build a More Energy Efficient Building: Article exploring what buildings should do to become energy efficient.
The Facts on Energy Efficient Buildings: A look at what buildings should feature to be energy efficient.
Energy Efficiency in Building Shells: An analysis into what a building’s shell should have to be energy efficient.
Building science is becoming more popular as an area of specialized knowledge, which is why more organizations as well as college courses that teach the subject are emerging. Today, organizations like non-profits seek to bring together different experts from sectors like the government, the labor industry, and the private sector to collaborate on building safer and more affordable housing. In addition, many colleges and universities are now providing degree programs for budding engineers and builders who want to learn about building science. The degrees in building science range from basic four-year degrees to graduate degrees.
Building Sciences Non-Profit: Website for an organization that works to promote advances in building science.
Alliance for Smart Building: Website for a council that aims to improve all factors of infrastructure lifecycle.
Building Condition Institute: Website for an institute that employs infrared inspection technology to diagnose a building’s condition.
Portal for a Whole Building Design Approach: Website for a group that promotes sustainable and alternative ways in building design.
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