The Environmental Chamber

Understanding how heat, air and moisture move across and through building components is crucial in developing long term durability improving energy efficiency and verifying environmental claims in construction products.

The Sustainable Building Futures Environmental Chamber has been designed to test the hygrothermal performance of real life samples in a wide range of simulated climate conditions.

This enables laboratory quality testing of assembled components to ascertain in-situ performance which takes into account thermal bridging and interaction with other products.

The Environmental Chamber measures 2.5m wide by 3m long by 2.1m high. It comprises two rooms, one to represent conditions outside and the other conditions inside. The smaller room moves away from the larger one on castors set on floor mounted rails. This enables a sample of the product on test to be mounted in between them before they are pushed together again and clamped shut. Each room therefore simulates external or internal conditions and has independent plant, controls and air conditioning so that it can create the following different weather environments.

  • Rainfall: adjustable water spray nozzles are mounted on a free-standing stainless steel frame able to allow different directions and rates to simulate a range of rainfall intensities;
  • Sunshine: the lighting frame includes a full range of lamp types to simulate the heat, UV and the long wavelength effect  of solar radiation at controllable intensities up to 1000W/m2.

Most sample sizes can be accommodated in the chamber. However the ideal size for our mounting frame is a 1200mm x 1200mm section up to 200mm thick. The maximum permissible section size is 2100mm x 2500mm up to 1000mm thick.

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