Services

As a testing laboratory and a consultant with expertise in the building envelope field, our services are sought after by various members of the construction field: architects and other construction professionals, manufacturers of building envelope systems and components, general contractors, property managers and building owners. As providers of litigation support services, we also count lawyers, prosecutors and courts among our clients.

In addition, we are constantly involved in the development of codes and standards and preparation/delivery of training courses and research projects as well as participation as lecturers in many seminars on North-American and international levels.

New buildings
Design Assistance
Prototype Tests
Quality Control

Our staff collaborates closely with the project team during the design process. Our role consists of guiding and advising the client with the objective of integrating quality and durability principles into the design of the building envelope.

With the ambition of influencing the quality of an envelope and improving its in-service performance, prototype tests are carried out to determine whether the targeted component and/or assembly meets the performance levels stipulated by the specifications. Our laboratory simulations also allow us to evaluate the following parameters:

  • Airtightness performance;
  • Watertightness performance;
  • Structural performance: deflections and permanent deformations;
  • Thermal performance and resistance to condensation.

In order to check whether the planned components and assemblies are built in accordance with specifications and if their performance will match expectations or not, we undertake quality control visits during construction. Work progress and observed construction anomalies are monitored, documented and rapidly communicated to the client.

In-Situ Performance Tests and Evaluation

In-situ performance tests are carried out on typical building envelope assemblies in order to determine whether the components and/or assemblies such as «built and installed», meet the necessary performance requirements particularly regarding the airtightness as well as resistance to water penetration. Qualitative airtightness tests are also carried out with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness of seals at junctions within the envelope system. The selection of test specimens is made based on the work progress, accessibility to the specimen and with the aim of including as many elements as possible which are representative of the system

Evaluation of assemblies and components of a building envelope is also carried out with the help of various tools in order to validate such precise characteristics including:

  • Tempering of glass product;
  • Risk of fogging of insulating units;
  • Concentration of argon fill inside the insulating units;
  • Position of the low-emissivity coatings on glass products.

Thermographic evaluations are carried out in order to obtain an overall indication of conditions that can affect the building envelope’s performance. These conditions can include uncontrolled air leakage, missing insulation, thermal bridges and presence of moisture inside the materials.

Finally, airtightness evaluation by blower-door tests allows us to obtain an overall measurement of the airtightness of a whole building and/or adjacent volumes according to the defined performance requirements.

Thermal and Hygrothermal Simulations

Simulations using computer software can be very useful tools, whether at the design stage or as part of the process of evaluating various remedial options for existing construction. As they are theoretical tools for which real phenomena must be simplified, the simulations can neither quantify nor predict exactly the behavior of assemblies or elements. Nonetheless, simulations are still valuable in defining trends and allowing relative comparisons between considered options.

Existing buildings

In the field of inspection and investigation of existing buildings and assemblies, the members of CLEB have developed a unique expertise that goes well beyond the knowledge of existing conditions of the envelopes they are mandated to analyze.

Our involvement on hundreds of existing building studies over more than thirty years provides us with a comprehensive understanding of building characteristics for new construction as well as heritage buildings, all of which can be applied to the benefit of our clients. Our experience has been recognized by the construction industry, university communities and many organizations dedicated to the conservation and the maintenance of built heritage environment.

Our local and regional presence through our five offices of Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Truro and New York, allows a complete integration with organizations and property managers due to proximity and the close ties we maintain with our various industry partners.

Façade Inspection
Security/Deterioration
Assets Preservation, Prevention, Maintenance

Our experience enables us to develop an understanding of the existing building based on detailed records and complete documentation whose methodology is outlined by the ASTM-E2270 standard and is recognized by many organizations. This understanding is supported by a comprehensive approach which integrates the backgrounds of the processes and techniques used to construct the assemblies in place, and is based on hundreds of past studies, monitoring and simulation mandates on significant envelope systems. These envelopes are witnesses of the past, and evaluating their performance which is undoubtedly beneficial in a decision-making process following the inspection steps and other expertise of all kinds.

We are called upon to fulfill multiple façade inspection mandates in relation with law 122 on facade inspection of buildings with more than 5 floors.

Only in the province of Quebec, it is estimated that there are more than 400 000 buildings older than 75 years (official source). In Europe, more than 50% of construction sites integrate waste conversion and recycling. In response to he built environment sector and to the increasingly rigorous requirements for handling of construction materials, in recent years, CLEB had to develop a diagnostic approach for older envelopes in order to define their useful life expectancy and to develop rehabilitation or renovation protocols. This concerns many government buildings which has been constructed in1960s and now require major interventions.

We have developed programs for school or hospital buildings as well as for many industrial owners and condominiums that identify the interventions required in the short, middle and long-term in order to maintain a suitable performance of existing assemblies. Preventive maintenance programs have been developed whether for roofing or for the vertical envelope.

Building Systems Failure

Our professionals are regularly asked to provide reports on the nature of building envelope performance deficiencies whether old recent. The causes and extent of defects are found through the use of various investigation methods, and reports are produced to describe the conditions, often for the purposes of litigation support.

Litigation Support

As litigation support providers, our services include the preparation of technical evidence, either for one of the parties, for all parties or for the court. We also provide expert testimony as well as technical assistance for court, mediation or arbitration purposes.

Material Compatibility

The tremendous growth in the range of building envelope component products and manufacturers now requires care in selection and detailing. In the absence of appropriate caution, reactions can occur that will jeopardize assemblies or even result in complete deterioration. CLEB is able to utilize its laboratory and its partners in other specialized laboratories, to analyze and identify potential incompatibility problems.

Performance Tests and In-Situ Evaluation

Depending on the client’s needs and/or the problems encountered, in-situ performance tests are carried out on typical components and assemblies of building envelopes in order to identify the causes of encountered problems. These tests primarily relate to airtightness as well as resistance to water penetration. Qualitative airtightness tests are also carried out with the objective of evaluating the performance of various junctions and assemblies in the system and watering diagnostic tests are used to clarify any potential problem.

Thermal and Hygrothermal Simulations
Thermography
Data Acquisition

Simulations using computer software can be very useful tools, whether at the design stage or as part of the process of evaluating various remedial options for existing construction. As they are theoretical tools for which real phenomena must be simplified, the simulations can neither quantify nor predict exactly the behavior of assemblies or elements. Nonetheless, simulations are still valuable in defining trends and allowing relative comparisons between considered options.

Thermography is a valuable tool for identification of the general condition and performance characteristics of the envelope components controlling air and heat flow. Thermography is widely used in roof investigations to detect the presence of moisture in the systems. For the vertical envelope, thermography, in combination with pressurization/depressurization of the building, makes it possible to assess the presence of thermal bridges and air leaks through envelopes. It also facilitates the detection of moisture presence in assemblies. Thermography also allows to detect water infiltration paths and many other anomalies.

 

In conjunction with traditional exploratory openings which provide the opportunity to collect point measurements of climatic and ambient conditions, the longer-term acquisition of in-situ data enables the hygrothermal evaluation of the variations occuring in the assemblies and defines actual risks of degradation. This data acquisition is possible with the use of data loggers (capable of recording temperature, moisture and pressure differentials). Monitoring is widely used when problems related to the formation of condensation are noticed or when there are questions as to the rehabilitation potential of existing buildings. Data acquisition can also be used to calibrate and validate thermal and hygrothermal simulations.

Windows, curtain walls and skylights

In order to serve our manufacturer clients in the fenestration industry, we offer various services of performance tests to validate the performance of window elements in conformity with recognized North-American standards.

Laboratory Performance Tests

Laboratory tests are one of our core services. Window products manufacturers are served with the aim of evaluating their products in accordance with various performance criteria, in conformity with North-American standards or other recognized standards. The first objective of these tests is to define some product characteristics to extrapolate long term behavior. Some of the tests that can be carried out, are as follows:

  • Air permeability;
  • Resistance to water penetration;
  • Structural resistance;
  • Thermal resistance.

Tests can also be performed on systems or components of the building envelope, for example, elements of windows or wall assemblies, in order to evaluate their performance.

In-Situ Performance Tests and Evaluation
Prototype Tests
Thermal Hygrothermal Simulations

In-situ performance tests are carried out on typical window, curtain-wall and skylight assemblies in order to determine whether the components and/or assemblies such as «built and installed», meet the necessary performance requirements particularly regarding the airtightness as well as resistance to water penetration.

With the aim of influencing the quality of an envelope and improving its in-service performance, prototype tests are carried out to determine whether the targeted components and/or assemblies meet the performance levels stipulated by the specifications. Tests can be undertaken on full-size prototypes, which include both window elements and opaque portions of an outside wall, in order to evaluate assembly performance before construction and implementation.

Our laboratory simulations allow us to evaluate the following parameters:

  • Airtightness performance;
  • Watertightness performance;
  • Structural performance : deflections and permanent deformations;
  • Thermal performance and resistance to condensation;
  • Resistance to breaking and entering.

Simulations using computer software can be very useful tools, whether at the design stage or as part of the process of evaluating various remedial options for existing construction. As they are theoretical tools for which real phenomena must be simplified, the simulations can neither quantify nor predict, in an exact manner, the behaviour of assemblies or elements. Nonetheless, simulations are still valuable in defining trends and allowing relative comparisons between considered options.

Building materials and systems

In order to ascertain that the performance and life of a building envelope will match expectations, the chosen systems must be properly matched to the climatic conditions outside and inside the building. This requires a good understanding of the water management and hygrothermal behaviours of assemblies, and requires assessments that are adapted that to the conditions to which the assembly will be exposed.

Laboratory Performance Tests

Laboratory tests can be carried out to measure some material properties or system performances in accordance with the standards referred by the industry or by various North-American codes. The primary objective of these tests is to evaluate the performance of a material or assembly to know its limitations and to anticipate its performance in the long term. The tests that can be carried on any envelope system include:

  • Air permeability;
  • Resistance to water penetration;
  • Resistance to wind loads;
  • Resistance to condensation;
  • Impact and pressure-cycling tests;
  • Thermal-cycling and physical-cycling tests;
  • Thermal resistance;
  • Structural resistance;
  • Water-vapour permeability.
In-Situ Performance Tests and Evaluation
Prototype Tests
Thermal and Hygrothermal Simulations

Our experts carry out in-situ tests on typical windows, curtain-walls, glazing, masonry and coating assemblies with the aim of determining whether the components and/or assemblies meet the required performance levels, particularly regarding resistance to water penetration and air infiltration.

With the aim of influencing the quality of an envelope and improving its in-service performance, prototype tests are carried out to determine whether the targeted components and/or assemblies meet the performance levels stipulated by the specifications. The test can be undertaken on full-size prototypes, which include both window elements and opaque portions of an outside wall, in order to evaluate assembly performance before construction and implementation

Our laboratory simulations allows us to evaluate the following parameters:

  • Airtightness performance;
  • Watertightness performance;
  • Structural performance : deflections and permanent deformations;
  • Thermal performance and resistance to condensation.

Simulations using computer software can be very useful tools, whether at the design stage or as part of the evaluation process of various remedial options for existing construction. As they are theoretical tools for which real phenomena must be simplified, the simulations can neither quantify nor predict exactly the behavior of assemblies or elements. Nonetheless, simulations are still valuable in defining trends and allowing relative comparisons between considered options

Training research and development

Since its founding, CLEB’s professional members have been actively involved in the fields of research, development and knowledge transfer related to building envelope science all over North-America.

Whether by way of:

  • National and international conferences;
  • Case study presentations;
  • Technical training offered to architects and other professionals as well as property managers and building owners;
  • Courses regularly offered regularly through various government agencies or professional orders;

We constantly contribute to transfer our acquired knowledge and experience in order to improve the building industry.

In addition, our involvement in the development of codes and standards for various codes and standard committees allows us to be at the forefront of new requirements and good practices related to building envelope.

CLEB has a complete resource base providing all the personnel, equipment, expertise and technical knowledge necessary to participate in major research and development projects and to efficiently transmit our knowledge to the young generations to follow that will one day become our successors.