Testing setup of structural insulated panel racking

Laboratory Facilities

PHRC Research and Testing Services

Among other activities, the PHRC provides Research and Development services to the home building industry in order to improve the quality and affordability of housing and to promote sustainability and energy efficiency in residential construction. The PHRC conducts various types of applied research to support housing-related building product manufacturers in their efforts to improve product performance to today’s standards.


The BCERL Lab features state of the art, full-scale test facilities to advance research on earthquake loading, wind/pressure loading, windborne debris impact resistance, and weathering of building components and enclosure systems.


The Building Enclosure Test Laboratory is a facility developed to conduct building science serviceability performance tests on building enclosure systems. Specimens include but are not limited to complete wall or roof assemblies (or sub-assemblies), windows, and joints. In this laboratory, tests are performed to examine the performance of existing residential building enclosures and to experiment with new systems.


The Building Environment Simulation and Testing Facility (BEST) is a state of the art installation designed for full scale thermal and air quality research. It consists of an environmental and a climatic chamber each with its own HVAC system. The facilities’ 32 foot by 16 foot chamber with 8 foot high ceilings can be flexibly partitioned. Sophisticated controls and data acquisition systems enable the facility to run a wide range of environmental conditions, including chemical exposure conditions, and to ascertain the energy consumption, air quality, and thermal comfort of different HVAC systems both in the facility and on the site.


The Indoor Environment Center (IEC) conducts interdisciplinary research, knowledge transfer and outreach activities to support the development of indoor environments that are more safe, more thermally, visually and acoustically comfortable, and that minimize the use of energy and other resources.

Other Labs and Facilities

In addition to the facilities available for research and testing in the PHRC and Architectural Engineering labs, there are facilities in many other labs and centers on the Penn State University Park campus that can be used for PHRC research and testing.

Headshot of Ali Memari

ALI M. MEMARI, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, Professor

Bernard and Henrietta Hankin Chair in Residential Building Construction

Director, Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC)


The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing.

We conduct applied research, foster the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfer appropriate technologies to the housing community.

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

219 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2341

Fax: 814-863-7304

E-mail: phrc@psu.edu