7 - Building Materials Investigations Page

Microscope slides with building materials including asbestos in a slide holding tray

Analysis of Building Materials

Analysing building materials can shed light on questions such as has the correct grade of timber treatment been used? What is this adhesive and is it compatible with the substrate? Has the correct grade of material been supplied?

At Forensic & Industrial Science Ltd, we have the knowledge and the in-house resources to conduct a wide range of analyses applicable to building and construction materials.  We can analyse treated timber, waterproofing membranes, sealants, paints, and corrosion products.

We can also take on custom experimental work and if necessary can prepare expert evidence and present it in Court.

Concrete Analysis

Analysis of concrete can shed light on why concrete is showing signs of distress or has failed prematurely in service. Petrographic analysis can confirm the presence of alkali-aggregate reaction (also referred to as alkali silica reaction) and may be able to establish whether the reaction is ongoing or has run its course. 

We can conduct a range of analyses applicable to concrete, including testing residual expansion, measuring chloride ingress, determining carbonation depth, and special analyses for historical concrete.

Three concrete core samples next to a ruler
Person putting a piece of a window sill on a saw to cut to test for moisture

Moisture Management

New Zealand’s rainy climate causes problems for buildings and their owners.  Our scientists understand moisture management in buildings and can non-destructively investigate any building elements with moisture management problems.

We specialise in analysing materials implicated in leaky buildings and can assess the mode of failure. Our experts can provide evidence on water infiltration mechanisms and other topics in Court.


There is a wide range of options for building materials for a particular application. Every designer and builder has to make decisions about what type of material to use. For instance, should a wall assembly be insulated with wool? Polyester? Or glass fibre? What are the pros and cons?

Our experts can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of every choice to help you as a builder make a better informed decision.

Multiple circular samples of geological samples ready for analysis