Building safer homes
It may take its name from a children’s fairy tale but the Three Little Pigs Project in Western Engineering is addressing a critical global issue: the safety of our homes.
“One’s home usually represents one’s single most significant personal investment, not just in North America, but all over the world,” says Michael Bartlett, co-principal investigator and structural engineering professor.
The Three Little Pigs Project is the first in the world to test homes and light-frame buildings to the point of destruction using realistic, extreme environmental loads such as wind, snow and rain. Within Western’s controlled testing facility, funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Innovation Trust and private donations, researchers will also study problems such as mould development, moisture penetration of walls and construction error.
The project’s objectives are to establish new building codes for safer, yet less expensive houses and to improve construction practices for safer buildings in the future.
“Like all research, the Three Little Pigs Project will also make important contributions to graduate and undergraduate education,” says Greg Kopp, co-principal investigator and wind engineering professor. “It will provide grad students with hands-on research opportunities and findings will make their way into undergrad lectures and labs.