Physical Testing and Monitoring

Barrier Sciences Group uses a science-based approach to provide customers with a menu of quality services.  Everything we do is rooted in ethical business practices, and our primary focus is always on our customer’s specific challenges and attendant remedies.

The BSG team consists of a group of experienced engineers, architectural technologists, energy auditors, and thermographers - all of them highly trained (and certified) and with a passion for enhancing the operational performance and energy profile of the building.

The BSG approach is comprehensive and methodical.  Our 8-point building performance analysis - investigation, assessment, recommendation, initialization, management, inspection, confirmation and testing - is based on proven methodology and years of experience.

Barrier Sciences Group is always on the lookout for new technologies and approaches.  And when it comes to building envelope deep energy retrofit and weatherization, the BSG team is at the forefront - with a solution-oriented approach that addresses the challenges.

To round out the exhaustive 8-point performance analysis, BSG provides specialized testing services focused on the building envelope deep energy retrofit.  Testing is provided before, during, and after a retrofit, resulting in precise benchmarks that are used for comparison, evaluation and assessment.  For the BSG team, the bottom line is to demonstrate the impact and value of the retrofit work that was performed.

Primary testing regimes at BSG incorporate a number of procedures:  blower door testing; thermographic imaging; and indoor air quality investigation (certified auditing techniques endorsed by Natural Resources Canada).

Blower Door (Depressurization Testing)

Extreme weather (both summer and winter) can bring out the very worst in a building envelope’s performance.  Testing during this type of weather is impractical, with unreliable outcomes, and with little chance of providing before/after performance results.  To ensure accuracy and precision in testing, and to provide “real life” data, BSG utilizes a blower door pressurization system - complete with digital monitoring and Wi-Fi link - to evaluate the effect of airflow infiltration in the area under study.

The blower door test has the capacity to simulate extreme wind conditions, and therefore expose infiltration and/or exfiltration “weak points” in the building envelope.  Test results can be analyzed to determine the cause of, and reason for, a building envelope issue.  When blower door technology is coupled with thermographic imaging, a whole new world opens up, revealing otherwise hidden areas of concern.  Combining these two testing methods is a company standard for BSG, ensuring that investigation efforts are maximized.

Infrared Thermographic Imaging

Identifying air leaks in a building envelope, or finding areas of deficiency in a building’s insulation, can be difficult, especially since the human eye cannot see air movement or heat leakage.  A solution to this problem is infrared thermographic imaging, a cutting-edge technology that allows for quick and accurate identification of heat/air leaks in the building envelope.  BSG uses thermographic photography to detect infrared radiation (emitted by all objects) that is invisible to the human eye.

(Infrared) thermography shows temperature variations in a building's “skin”. Warm areas show up in lighter shades, while cooler areas show up in darker shades.  This technology allows BSG staff (experienced and trained in thermography) to quickly identify the source of an air leak, simply by examining light and dark areas.  Thermographic testing helps to determine the root cause of cold air infiltration: inadequate or wrongly installed insulation; poor construction; poor details; or deterioration of original weatherization components.

Environmental and Air Quality Testing

Statistics show that we spend almost 90% of our time indoors - and indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air.  In an office building or facility, poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) can be detrimental to occupant health, with a serious potential for increased absenteeism and associated productivity issues.

The big problem is that IAQ issues can be caused by many factors - poor building design; improper building materials; even inadequate air ventilation/filtration.  The consequences are detrimental to occupants, affecting both health and comfort.  When left unchecked over the long term, the building envelope suffers as well.  

The BSG investigation team follows procedures as outlined by CMHC for IAQ assessments. Indoor Air Quality testing is NOT a health inspection, rather a means of providing viable recommendations and measures that can be undertaken to improve IAQ.  The BSG team conducts methodical testing, in a cost-effective manner.

Contact BSG for your next blower door test, infrared thermographic imaging or air quality testing.

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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