A common problem faced by the construction industry is the wetting of exposed materials during construction. In our Canadian climate it is not uncommon for buildings to be closed-in during the rainy fall season as winter approaches. If these materials are not dried out before they are covered, or insulated over, trapped moisture can lead to damage or degradation.
When Elastochem Specialty Chemicals developed Wrapsulate® Foam Jacket, a permeable, moisture-resistant insulation that would allow exposed walls to dry to the outside, they turned to The Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) to help get their product to building officials across the country.
Canada's trusted evaluation service for building officials and industry
To determine whether a new product, material or service is fit for market, the construction industry relies on the CCMC to devise the necessary tests and procedures. Created in 1988 to provide a centralized, national validation process for innovative products, the Centre is trusted from coast to coast to coast. The CCMC provides a technical opinion that a product or system complies with the requirements of Canada's Building Codes as an 'alternative solution' and verifies that it conforms to a recognized standard.
Operating out of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) the CCMC works closely with Codes Canada and research experts from across the country. Through CCMC accreditation, Canadian manufacturers like Elastochem are able to differentiate their product, access a national market and demonstrate compliance to performance standards required by building officials.
Leveraging the expertise of NRC's researchers, engineers, and industry consultants
In response to Elastochem's need to test their new product's suitability as an insulating sheathing membrane, the CCMC initiated a rigorous research project in consultation with the client. "Working with the experts at CCMC is a collaborative, positive experience" describes John Volk, General Manager for Elastochem. "We've been working with CCMC on research projects for over 10 years."
To evaluate Wrapsulate's thermal and water resistance, and its water vapour permeability, CCMC leveraged NRC researchers, engineers, and industry consultants with broad experience including: analytical and physical chemistry, building engineering and building physics. These researchers provide expertise on all CCMC evaluations, and evaluated Wrapsulate® against the performance required by the National Building Codes of Canada.
Unique NRC facilities
Through the NRC's Construction Research Centre, the CCMC utilizes highly specialized laboratories to characterize the performance of building materials, components and assemblies. The facilities provide an estimate of the long-term performance of materials such as Wrapsulate using accelerated aging methods.
The analytical laboratory provides measurements on the chemical, thermal and physical characteristics of plastics and polymers and enables the researchers at the CCMC to determine the patterns of aging and degradation of materials. Materials are subjected to the effects of heat aging, high-humidity conditions and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
The NRC is unique in their capabilities, with access to hygrothermal performance research facilities that conduct tests on building assemblies. The NRC houses the largest flat-roof (low-sloped) test facility in the world and is able to test thermal resistance and watertightness performance of full-scale wall and roof systems.
In addition, the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology on the NRC's campus comprises entire housing units where the performance of window components, roof and wall assemblies can be evaluated in Ontario climate conditions.
These world-class facilities enable the CCMC to provide unparalleled testing to the benefit of manufacturers, industry and Canadians.
Through CCMC evaluation Wrapsulate accesses the Canadian market
The CCMC evaluation is invaluable to Canadian manufacturers. It has enabled Elastochem to bring Wrapsulate to the Canadian market and differentiate their innovation as a one-product solution. "Prior to the CCMC evaluation, we couldn't put our products on buildings. Regardless of the specifications we met, industry required the product to be evaluated by the CCMC in order to use our products" offers Mr. Volk.
Building officials nationwide look to the CCMC to base their decisions on using new products. As a part of the NRC, the CCMC's due diligence on all evaluations is impartial, evidence-based and intended to protect the health and safety of Canadians first and foremost. The CCMC applies the same rigorous process on all evaluations and provides an expert, unbiased opinion on code and standard compliance without commercial interest in the products evaluated.