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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Samuel V. Glass

Samuel V. Glass

Research Physical Scientist
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison
Wisconsin
United States
53726-2398

Phone: 608-231-9401
Fax: 608-231-9303
Contact Samuel V. Glass


Current Research

Wood structures can endure for centuries if they remain sufficiently dry. As the construction industry evolves, research is needed to protect wood buildings from the potential effects of moisture. Proper design, operation, and maintenance of wood buildings are critical to prevent moisture-induced damage, such as mold growth, wood decay, and corrosion of metal fasteners.

Dr. Glass conducts research within the Building and Fire Sciences Research Work Unit at the Forest Products Laboratory. His research focuses on the building envelope, the collective elements that separate the interior and exterior environments, including the foundation, exterior walls, and roof. Dr. Glass investigates the relationships between moisture, energy efficiency, and durability in residential and non-residential wood buildings. Primary research objectives include

  • Advancing the fundamental understanding of wood–moisture interactions;
  • Quantifying moisture transfer in the building envelope;
  • Developing tools for predicting moisture-induced damage in buildings; and
  • Developing moisture control strategies for cross-laminated timber, a relatively new engineered wood product with vast potential for use in mid-rise and high-rise buildings.

Research Interests

  • Wood−moisture interactions
  • Water vapor sorption in wood
  • Moisture-related properties of wood and wood products
  • Cross-laminated timber (CLT)
  • Moisture control in buildings
  • Heat, air, and moisture transfer in the building envelope
  • Interior and exterior moisture loads on the building envelope
  • Tools for predicting mold growth, wood decay, and corrosion of metal fasteners
  • Hygrothermal modeling
  • Instrumentation for monitoring moisture levels in building assemblies

Past Research

Dr. Glass conducted his doctoral research in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He investigated how surfactant films at the gas-liquid interface control gas uptake and evaporation of water. These studies contributed to understanding chemical reactions that occur in sulfuric acid droplets in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, which affect ozone levels.

Why This Research is Important

Moisture control in wood buildings is important for human health, building sustainability, and conservation of the forest resource. Excessive moisture levels in buildings can lead to mold growth and respiratory health problems for occupants. Preventing moisture problems contributes to building sustainability by extending the service life. The sustainability and health of America's forests depend on sound conservation practices, including utilization. Efficient wood utilization reduces the risk and impacts of wildfire, provides incentives for private landowners to maintain forest land, and provides a critical source of jobs in rural America. Use of wood as a green building material is important for climate change mitigation because wood products store carbon for as long as the building exists. Wood products require less energy to process than other building materials such as steel or concrete, and use of wood produces less air pollution, solid wastes, and greenhouse gases. These benefits hinge on efficient and proper use of wood in construction.

Education

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry 2005
  • Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, B.A. Chemistry/Classical Civilization/Archaeology 1998

Professional Experience

  • Research Physical Scientist, USDA Forest Products Laboratory
    2005 - Current
  • Research Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Chemistry
    2001 - 2005
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Chemistry
    1999 - 2001

Professional Organizations

  • Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST), Member (2008 - Current)
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Member (2005 - Current)
    Standing Standard Project Committee 160, Criteria for Moisture-Control Design Analysis in Buildings; Technical Committee 1.12, Moisture Management in Buildings; Technical Committee 4.4, Building Materials and Building Envelope Performance

Featured Publications & Products

Publications

Research Highlights

HighlightTitleYear


FPL-2010-005
A percolation model for water and electrical conduction in wood with implications for durability

Recently, researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory and University of Wisconsin have developed a new model of electrical conduction in wood ...

2010


FPL-2010-001
Centennial Edition, Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material

The Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material serves as a primary reference document for a wide variety of users-from the general publ ...

2010


FPL-2019-71
Development of New Kinetics Models for Water Vapor Sorption in Wood

Wood is constantly exchanging water with its environment and these exchanges control nearly all of wood's amazing properties. USDA Forest Servic ...

2019


FPL-2017-120
Improving experimental techniques that probe wood-moisture interactions

Prior methods using dynamic vapor sorption instruments mischaracterized the equilibrium moisture content of wood. Equilibrium is reached after m ...

2017


FPL-2018-23
Improving the Accuracy of Automated Instruments for Moisture in Wood

Automated instruments are increasingly used for measuring the equilibrium moisture content of wood. Research finds that common methods have much ...

2018


FPL-2020-108
Improving the Tools and Practice for Designing Moisture-Safe Wood Buildings

FPL researchers predict the future! Will this new wood structure be safe and durable in the climate for which it is designed?

2020


FPL-2020-106
Investigating the Role of Moisture in Durability of Acetylated Wood

FPL researchers join international effort to investigate fungal decay resistance of acetylated wood.

2020


FPL-2019-76
Keeping Wood-Frame Housing Safe and Warm

Is it okay to add exterior insulation and cover the wood sheathing to make your home even more energy-efficient? USDA Forest Service researchers ...

2019


FPL-2015-199
Managing Moisture in Energy-efficient Wall Systems

Moisture durability is critical for design and construction of energy-efficient buildings. Field measurements of moisture characteristics for hi ...

2015


FPL-2010-004
Modeling indoor humidity in homes

Indoor humidity levels in a home influence not only occupant comfort and indoor air quality but also the durability of the building, especially ...

2010


FPL-2011-11
Moisture Control in Crawl Spaces in Louisiana

Builders and homeowners in the Gulf Region often ask how to insulate a crawl space to avoid moisture problems. The Forest Products Laboratory (F ...

2011


FPL-2019-80
Monitoring Moisture Levels in Mass Timber Buildings

Detailed measurements on moisture levels in mass timber buildings in the United States are scarce. USDA Forest Service researchers are working w ...

2019


FPL-2014-175
Possibilities and Pitfalls of Computer Simulation for Building Moisture Analysis

Moisture problems are much less expensive to correct in the building design phase than after the building is constructed. Computer-based simulat ...

2014


FPL-2017-114
Scientists study how water changes wood

Water causes a host of wood damage mechanisms such as mold, decay, fastener corrosion, and splitting. This research elucidates how water chan ...

2017


FPL-2018-22
Updating a Building Design Standard with Improved Criteria for Preventing Mold Growth

A consensus standard for building design that addresses moisture control analysis was recently revised to improve the criteria for preventing mo ...

2018


FPL-2013-143
Wood Construction Goes Beyond Its Traditional Roots

As interest in sustainable building options continues to grow. Wood construction is going beyond its traditional roots in housing and expanding ...

2013


Last updated on : 03/25/2021