Building Science

The Building Science program focuses on the unique challenges of building in Alaska’s extreme and diverse climates. Researchers study the performance and economics of various building techniques and products in the lab and in the field. Specific research focus areas include thermal performance and moisture control in the building envelope and the thermal interactions between foundations and frozen ground.

The Building Science team is staffed with mechanical engineers and physical scientists that collectively have broad backgrounds in heat and mass transfer, arctic engineering, data acquisition and management, material science, research design, and project management. We have experience using WUFI and TEMPW software. 

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Projects

Slab-on-Grade Foundation Best Practices An evaluation of best practices for insulating under slab-on-grade foundations
Vacuum Insulated Panel Test CCHRC is testing how Vacuum Insulated Panels can be assembled to achieve extremely high R-values in cold climate homes.
Designs for Rural Alaska Walls Monitoring CCHRC demonstration homes for efficiency and moisture infiltration several years after construction.
Structural Insulated Panels Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are prefabricated building materials used in residential construction in Alaska. This project prepared resources for homeowners who want to learn about SIPs, where they are used in cold climates, and considerations for Alaska.
Safe Effective Affordable Retrofits Testing a new batch of wall systems that can provide affordable retrofit options.