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What is Building Science?

Learn more about building science and how considering the entire home as a system yields the positive results for your home and wallet.
Building Science

With all of the craziness in the past few years, we see many resulting effects. These effects range from your child’s classroom to the used car parking lot down the street. A lot of people are feeling their wallets getting a little thinner as money doesn’t seem to stretch quite as far as it did pre-2020. If you feel these effects, you might be interested to learn about a field of study called “Building Science” and the positive results it could have on your home, family, and wallet.

What is building science, and why is it important?

Building science is a field of study that popped up during the 20th century and looked at how buildings perform as a whole. Rather than looking at a building as individual pieces and parts put together to create a home or workspace, building science looks at all of the components of a building as working together as a system. Building experts take what they know about “physics, chemistry, engineering, architecture, and the life sciences” and apply that knowledge to the construction of buildings. As science, technology, and building materials have advanced, so have the possibilities for creating an efficient home. You might be wondering why this is so important. Let me tell you.

I’m sure you already know that buildings use a lot of energy to ensure that the air is conditioned to a comfortable temperature. Using energy has not only economic but also environmental impacts. It is a fact that the majority of homes in the United States are not energy efficient. This means that air is moving freely in and out of the home. It could move through walls, floors, doors, windows, and roofs. Not only is this inefficient, but it is also expensive, and it can lead to having an uncomfortable home. 

Have You Ever Heard of Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick building syndrome is when people develop health issues caused by a building they spend a lot of time in. With that free-moving air comes free-moving moisture. Not only can moisture affect the building integrity of your home, but when you get a buildup of moisture in your walls, you create the perfect breeding grounds for mold. Mold can cause a plethora of health issues. All of this free-moving air also brings the allergens of the outdoors to the indoors of your home to wreak havoc on your allergies.

What is an example of building science?

Now that you know what building science is and why it is important, let’s talk about an example. Have you ever tried to open the door to a building, and it seemed heavier than it should have? Or when the door opened, a huge gust of wind entered? This is called the stack effect, and it’s one of the reasons that the revolving door was invented.

The stack effect happens when hot air rises. If the upper parts of a building are not sealed properly, the hot air will move up and out of your house. This causes a vacuum effect because the pressure in the building will lower. Since nature loves an equilibrium, the cooler air outside is sucked into your home through any nooks, crannies, cracks, or crevices. During warmer months, the stack effect will reverse. The warm air outside will push through to the cooler air of your home, and cooler air will be pushed out the lower floors. This leads to higher bills and lower comfort levels for you.

This is why you need to think of all of the parts of a building as a system. To create an airtight home envelope, you must consider windows, doors, insulation, roofing, attics, and crawl spaces. Having proper ventilation is also important as this will ensure that the air in your home is being circulated properly and allows you to control where the air is entering.

How can RetroFoam of the Carolinas help with the building science of my home?

RetroFoam of the Carolinas offers both injection and spray foam insulation that will help you seal up all of the nooks and crannies that would otherwise allow air to flow freely to and from your home. By updating your home’s insulation, you can cut costs on energy bills, ensure that you have healthier air to breathe and improve the comfort of your home. Contact one of our foam specialists to find out how we can help increase the efficiency of your home.

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