Robert Platts, B.Sc. Civil Eng. (UNB), M.Sc. (SM) MIT; P. Eng.

Housing engineering R&D has been Bob’s single road, followed from UNB / MIT studies and theses all the way to the inventions that underpin Building Performance Americas. His R&D road has led through North America including the high Arctic, Northern and Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and Japan. From 1957-1968 he helped build and conduct a housing R&D program at National Research Council Canada, and then pushed ahead in the work as founder/ president of Scanada Consultants Limited, 1968-1996 -considered the pioneer engineering firm in this field.

His research encompasses housing production systems, low-rise and high, including new materials and components; housing structure including stressed skin/structural sandwich and high-polymer composite design; housing performance; and retrofit-upgrading of the existing stock. “Performance” R&D has addressed structure, energy conservation, and control of heat, air and moisture flows in the building envelope.

Award-winning Arctic work helped prove that air exfiltration, not diffusion, is critical to depositing excessive condensation in the building envelope. Building practices and codes changed accordingly -from this and other R&D. His inventions included lab and in-situ bond testing devices for composites; breakthroughs in heat and moisture flow meters and trackers, waste-fibre-composite building blocks, pioneer thermal analytical modeling of the housing stock and moisture-avoidance modeling programs. Cayman Islands work (following on Arctic and Jamaican work decades ago) has sparked his inventions of hurricane resistance technologies for retrofitting housing and other buildings.