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Testing helps assure that building systems perform as expected. Laboratory tests can be performed on a representative sample of a building product, validating that system. Actual construction can be tested in the field, too, confirming that the ystem was installed correctly on your project and there are no oversights or surprises.

Such tests, whether in a laboratory or field setting, adhere to very specific, uniform procedures developed by testing standard organizations, such as American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). This enables architects and owners to compare products, apples to apples.

There are many tests that can be performed, many testing the same attributes. When stipulating testing for a product, it is important to balance thoroughness against cost.

WSD Translucent Wall Assemblies Lab Test Results

Wisconsin Solar Design’s standard translucent wall assembly system shares some details with our skylight and sloped glazing system and has also been laboratory tested.

(Please note that our thermal testing is with a representative structured polycarbonate panel. A wide array of structured polycarbonate panels is available, and affects the thermal performance, light transmittance, solar heat gain, appearance, etc. of the translucent wall assembly. Please contact WSD to select or verify the glazing for your project.)

Field Testing

Field testing is a way to verify that finished construction is installed properly, per the design documents and the manufacturer’s requirements. It can be especially beneficial on projects with a complicated installation or that use the building system(s) in novel ways. Testing allows any problems to be identified and fixed while crews are still on site, rather than months or years later.

Some of the most common field tests performed on glazed structures are water tests and sealant tests. The single most common test WSD sees specified is the AAMA 501.2 field water test. In this test, water is sprayed from a special nozzle, at a specific pressure, from a specified height, and slowly moved across a single joint for a period of 5 minutes. This is either repeated for all representative joints on an installation, or can be performed for the entire installation.

In Wisconsin Solar Design’s opinion, AAMA 501.2 testing provides excellent simulated inclement weather (equal to a torrential downpour with driving wind) at a very reasonable cost.

ASTM E1105 field water testing is more often specified for large expanses of curtain wall or store front. It requires much more equipment plus project-specific sealed enclosures to be built. This test will add a significant cost to any but the largest of glazed installations. WSD recommends the AAMA 501.2 test.

Sealant field testing is sometimes specified to confirm that a project’s sealant is compatible with its materials, that joints are thoroughly prepared, and that the sealant is properly applied.

WSD Skylight / Sloped Glazing Lab Test Results

Wisconsin Solar Design’s overhead systems share a common set of details and have been laboratory tested for water penetration, air infiltration, and thermal performance - U-factor and Condensation Resistance Factor (CRF).

(Please note that our thermal testing is with a representative insulated glass unit. Glass makeups vary widely, and affect the thermal performance, light transmittance, solar heat gain, appearance, etc. of a glazed structure. Please contact WSD to select or verify the glazing for your project.)