Building Enclosure Lab | Off-site Construction Research Centre | UNB

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Off-site Construction Research Centre

Building Enclosure Lab (BEL)

The University of New Brunswick’s Building Enclosure Lab (BEL) will offer cutting-edge building science and engineering testing services.

The state-of-the-art facility is designed to help industry professionals, researchers, and product developers test and validate building enclosure components and assemblies under various conditions.

Lab services

  • Mock-up testing: Evaluate prototypes and mock-ups of building enclosure components.
  • Hurricane resistance testing: Test for resilience against extreme weather conditions.
  • Code compliance testing: Ensure your products meet the required building codes and standards.
  • Performance testing: Assess products nearing the market for durability and performance.

Testing capabilities

The testing capabilities of the lab focus on how building enclosure components respond to air pressure, water spray and missile impacts.

The lab will be able to test a wide range of items, including: windows, curtain walls, skylights, doors, roofs, siding, cladding systems, glass blocks, garage doors, storm shutters and safe rooms.

Our testing equipment includes:

  • Test wall system: Our 30 ft x 14 ft test wall system consists of modular construction with four sub-walls, providing flexibility during testing. The steel frame with polycarbonate panels allows for easy monitoring through the transparent back, and test specimens can be clamped anywhere on the wall’s surface.

  • Spray racks: We have four spray racks designed to uniformly distribute water at up to 3.4 L/m²/min, meeting North American fenestration test standards. These mobile racks can be stacked together to cover larger surfaces.

  • High-capacity blower system: Our two 30 HP blowers with 6-inch diameter air lines deliver air at variable speeds, facilitating complex cyclic and fatigue testing in accordance with ASTM and AAMA standards. Multiple blowers enable testing of two assemblies simultaneously.

  • Missile impact system: Our missile impact system can conduct both small (2 g steel ball) and large (2x4 inch lumber) missile impact tests. It includes a mounting frame, speed monitoring device, and propulsion devices capable of launching missiles at speeds up to 55 km/h.

  • Crane and high bay: A 5-tonne capacity crane and rigging equipment assist in moving and placing large specimens. Our large high bay area is used for storage and specimen construction.

Tests and standards

The equipment in the BEL will permit for air/wind pressure (cyclic and uniform), missile impact (small and large), water penetration (cyclic and uniform), air leakage, and drainage efficiency tests.

Cyclic Air/Wind Pressure Test

ASTM E1233, AAMA 508, TAS 203

Uniform Air/Wind Pressure Test

ASTM E330, ASTM D5206, AAMA 508, AAMA 509, AAMA 1701.2, TAS 202

Impact Loading Test

ASTM E1996, TAS 201, FEMA 361

Air Leakage Test

ASTM E283, ASTM E2357, AAMA 508, AAMA 509, AAMA 1701.2, TAS 202

Cyclic Water Penetration Test

ASTM E547, AAMA 1701.2

Uniform Water Penetration Test

ASTM E2268, ASTM E331, AAMA 508, AAMA 509

Drainage Efficiency

ASTM E2273

Supplementary equipment

The OCRC team and the Civil Engineering lab are equipped with the following capacities:

  • Structures lab with a strong floor
  • Materials durability tests such as accelerated freeze-thaw chambers
  • Concrete mixers
  • Universal high capacity lateral and compressive load testing machines
  • Finite element analysis software
  • Digital image correlation


Industry, academia, government, and other entities are invited to partner with the BEL facility through various means such as research partnerships, product development research and product validation tests.

Connect with us at to learn more about how the BEL can help meet your project’s goals.