Construction Material Evaluation and Durability Assessment Lab

The Construction Material Evaluation and Durability Assessment Lab at the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) Construction Research Centre provides research and testing for a wide range of construction products and building envelope materials. These activities include durability and performance assessments of polymeric and other materials used in the construction or retrofit of buildings and infrastructure. Product and material performance is assessed relative to codes, standards, and market requirements for durability, climate resilience, and life-cycle carbon.

Our capabilities

Our team of experts will work closely with you to evaluate and de-risk innovative and standardized products to help ensure they can meet their designed service life while also meeting your company's budget and other requirements.

We conduct:

  • Durability assessments, condition monitoring, accelerated laboratory aging and service-life predictions of construction materials
  • Product performance evaluations
  • Product development and formulation
  • Failure analysis and forensic engineering of polymer products
  • Physico-chemical characterization and analysis of materials to establish structure–property relationships

Why work with us

Working with the NRC's Construction Material Evaluation and Durability Assessment team, you will benefit from our extensive knowledge and network of industry and academic experts. You will also benefit from access to research support and our unique facilities. This includes testing to assess the durability and service life of your products to help you develop solutions to prevent premature and costly repairs, and to demonstrate benefits for resilience and life-cycle carbon.

Some of our recent successes:

  • Performance assessment of innovative liquid-applied air barrier systems
  • Durability assessment of polymeric building envelope materials
  • Effects of hydrolytic aging on the long-term performance of spruce wood treated with silicone dioxide (SiO2)
  • Development of durable and weather-resistant organic photovoltaics
  • Outdoor natural aging of construction sealants to validate a crack growth model
  • Nano-engineered films for low emissivity applications
  • Assessment of alkali resistance of construction sealants
  • Performance evaluation of coatings for potable water tanks in icebreaker ships

Areas of expertise

  • Material science and engineering with a focus on:
    • sustainable polymer-based building envelope materials
    • evaluating construction product performance
    • assessing aging and durability of polymeric materials used in the construction industry
  • Spectroscopy, rheology, thermal analysis and accelerated aging of materials, products and systems used in the construction industry, with a focus on performance and durability
  • Material characterization and analysis with a focus on investigating the chemical processes that lead to the physical and mechanical degradation of polymer-based building materials
  • Supporting the development and application of construction codes and standards, guidelines for climate loads and resilience, as well as low-carbon and life-cycle carbon accounting and management for the built environment


  • Thermal analysis
    • Differential scanning calorimeter
    • Modulated differential scanning calorimeter
    • High-resolution thermogravimetric analyzer  
    • Differential thermal analyzer
    • Thermal mechanical analyzer
  • Surface analysis
    • Contact angle goniometer
    • Force tensiometer
    • Micro-indenter
  • Rheological analysis
    • Viscometer
    • Dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA)
    • Dynamic shear rheometer (DSR)
  • Microscopy
    • Optical microscope
    • Ultraviolet, infrared and Raman microscopes
  • Spectroscopy
    • Fourier transform infrared spectrometer
    • Ultraviolet-visible-near infrared spectrometer
    • Raman spectrometer
    • Single-sided nuclear magnetic resonance (SS-NMR) spectrometer
  • Weathering, conditioning and accelerated aging facilities
    • Ovens for thermal aging
    • Environmental chambers for thermal and hydrolytic aging
    • Xenon arc weatherometers for thermal, hydrolytic and ultraviolet aging
    • Pressure aging vessel

Image gallery

Contact us

Chris Pezoulas
Director, Business Development
Telephoe: 613-993-9502


  • 1200 Montreal Road
    Ottawa ON  K1A 0R6

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