Caractérisation du risque incendie de la paille compressée comme isolant d'une structure en bois

Authors: Blondin, Frédéric
Advisor: Blanchet, PierreDagenais, Christian; Bisby, Luke
Abstract: Many green building programs have emerged since the last decade to promote the construction of more sustainable buildings. Considering those biobased materials can help reduce the environmental footprint of buildings, it is wise to expand their use. A recent craze has emerged for cereal crop byproducts as a substitute for nonrenewable insulation fibers in wood structures. Many researchers have studied some of the alternative natural insulation materials used today. Compared to commercial insulation materials, these materials have a remarkably low environmental impact. In this context, the use of compressed straw as insulation offers a very low impact in the analysis of its life cycle. However, fire safety has always been a big concern for builders using natural combustible materials. The objective of this study is to document the fire hazard of compressed straw when it is used as an insulating material in wood frame assemblies. Three compressed straw densities (75, 125 and 175 kg/m3) were selected to evaluate their combustion properties and thermal conductivity, in attempt to determine which had the best combination of properties. The selected density straw was then compared to commercially available combustible insulation materials to compare their fire risk. Subsequently, this same density straw was tested in a medium-scale wood frame assembly to evaluate the impact of its fuel load comparatively to a non-combustible insulation material. The results showed that compressed straw with a density of 75 kg/m3 had the best properties of combustion and insulation. The results suggest that compressed straw would most likely have better fire performance compared to combustible insulation materials available on the market. Despite the combustible nature of the compressed straw, the impact of its fuel load in a wooden construction system was less than expected. Because the burning properties of compressed straw are less hazardous than commercially available combustible insulation materials and the impact of its heat load in a wood frame structure, the use of this material as an insulator in a building is, by design, manageable without increasing risks.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 16 April 2019
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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