Testing the Vapor Permeability of Building Materials with Dr. John Straube

Did you know that vapor permeance and vapor permeability mean two different things?

That slight change in wording makes all the difference. Thankfully, in this video, Dr. John Straube takes the confusion out of vapor permeance, a common topic amongst building science professionals. He explains how vapor permeance is different from vapor permeability, and how the vapor permeability of materials affects what builders may choose for their next project.

In the short demonstration video, you’ll see Dr. Straube walk us through the RDH Building Science Lab in Waterloo ON, where a variety of vapor permeance tests are regularly conducted. He provides an in-depth look at different types of vapor permeance testing, including the different types of materials and specimens. He also explains the range of permeance through a simple wet cup and dry cup test, and why permeance range is an important factor when considering your wall, roof, or basement design.

About Dr. John Straube

Dr. John Straube

John Straube, Ph.D., P.Eng., is a principal at RDH Building Science Inc., where he heads forensic investigations and leads research projects in the areas of low-energy building design, building enclosure performance, hygrothermal analysis, and field monitoring of wall assemblies. He is also a prolific writer and a noted public speaker.

In addition to his work with RDH, Dr. Straube is a cross-appointed faculty member in the School of Architecture and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Straube’s leadership as a building scientist and an educator has been recognized with multiple awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in Building Science Education from the National Consortium of Housing Research Centers (NCHRC) and the Professional Leadership Award from the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA). Get the full scope of Dr. Straube’s work, awards, and contributions to the industry over at RDH.


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