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Building Science

We realize that building failure happens due to water over 95% of the time. There is no other climate zone that has more exposure to the element of water in different forms than the one that Belize is in. Belize is in Climate Zone 1 -Hot Humid Climate is exposed to coastal storms, also borders a mountain range, and sees over 150 inches of rainfall yearly. This area gets exposed to every type of water / moisture possible that in not frozen. That increases the risk of mold, mildew, leaks, and overall building failure. There is no other place that would require a higher knowledge of building science than the Stann Creek District of Belize. Due to this and the risk of natural disasters, we also build our homes to Safer, Stronger Home Standards and Fortified for Safer Living

In order to mitigate these risks we pay close attention to flashing details, drainage plains, weather resistant barriers and roofing.

Building science is defined by Wikipedia as the collection of scientific knowledge that focuses on the analysis and control of the physical phenomena affecting buildings. It traditionally includes the detailed analysis of building materials and building envelope systems. In Europe, building physics is a term used for the knowledge domain that overlaps heavily with building science, and includes fire protection, sound control, and daylighting as well as the heat and moisture concerns that tend to dominate North American building science. The practical purpose of building science is to provide predictive capability to optimize building performance and understand or prevent building failures.

This is the architectural-engineering-construction technology discipline that concerns itself with the 'mainly detail-design' of buildings in response to naturally occurring physical phenomenon such as:

  • the weather (sun, wind, rain, temperature, humidity), and related issues: e.g. dew point, interstitial (inner wall) condensations, lightning patterns etc.
  • subterranean conditions including (potential for seismic or other soil + ground-water activity, frost penetration etc.).
  • characteristics of materials,(e.g. Galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals, permeability of materials to water and water vapor, construct-ability, compatibility, material-adjacency and longevity issues).
  • characteristics of physics, chemistry and biology such as capillary-action, absorption, condensation ("will the dew point occur at a good or bad place within the wall?"), gravity, thermal migration/transfer (conductivity, radiation and convection), vapor pressure dynamics, chemical reactions (incl. combustion process), adhesion/cohesion, friction, ductility, elasticity, and also the physiology of fungus/mold.
  • human physiology (comfort, sensory reaction e.g.radiance perception, sweat function, chemical sensitivity etc.).
  • energy consumption, environmental control-ability, building maintenance considerations, longevity/sustainability, and occupant (physical) comfort/health.

The building science of a project refers to strategies implemented in the general and specific arrangement of building materials and component-assemblies.

Following a green building paradigm, such as LEED for Homes, is the only way to ensure and have a 3rd party certify a home as a quality home. We are currently working with the USGBC to bring LEED for Homes to Belize.