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RCI Canadian Building Envelope Technology Symposium to discuss topics relevant to glass industry

July 18, 2018  By Patrick Flannery

RCI’s Canadian Building Envelope Technology Symposium is a two-day educational program happening Sept. 13 and 14 in Misssauga, Ont., offering cutting-edge information regarding design and repair of modern and/or older building envelopes. Among the many topics being addressed, several will be relevant to glass building envelope fabricators and glazing contractors. The event’s inclusive environment encourages attendees to ask questions and get answers to questions. Speakers offer relevant solutions by referencing real-world examples and case histories.

Some topics of interest to the architectural glass community include:

Thermal Performance of Building Enclosures: Where, What, When, Who, How and Why
Thursday, September 13, 11:00 – 12:00 Noon

Recent evolution of building codes across Canada has certainly raised awareness of effective thermal value for building enclosures, and accurately determining this value for various assemblies is becoming a hot topic. Thermal performance requirements in building codes are generally well defined, but the industry is still learning how best to incorporate these requirements into the design process. Ever-changing and increasingly stringent code requirements also mean the goal posts are not set: regular adaptation is required. This presentation will provide clarity on these issues by answering the following questions:

  • WHERE in Canada are there established enclosure thermal performance requirements?
  • WHAT standards and codes have been adopted in different Canadian jurisdictions?
  • WHEN should effective thermal performance be introduced in the design process?
  • WHO is responsible for confirming that the thermal design is code-compliant?
  • HOW is compliance confirmed and documented? This will include discussion surrounding the available methods of determining effective thermal performance (i.e., 1-D calculations, 2-D and 3-D computer modelling, and physical testing) and their comparable levels of accuracy.
  • WHY does all this even matter?

Presenter: Nicole Parsons, PEng, BSSO, WSP Canada, Hamilton, Ont. Nicole Parsons is a project manager and technical lead in WSP’s Building Sciences group. She is based in WSP’s Hamilton office. Parsons is also the manager of WSP Canada’s National Façade Centre of Excellence.

Liquid-Applied Air Barrier Systems for High-Rise Buildings: Code Requirements and Performance Testing
Thursday, September 13, 2:30 – 3:30 PM

Air barrier systems (ABS) are specified in Canadian codes to minimize the infiltration and exfiltration of air through the building envelope in order to control the risk of condensation. However, since the publication of the Energy Code of Canada in 2014, more attention has been drawn to the importance of an air barrier system to control the loss of energy. Recently, the Canadian Construction Material Centre (CCMC) developed performance criteria for liquid-applied ABS, including installation, barrier, and durability criteria. The CCMC is a recognized body that provides guidance to building officials with respect to the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) and the evaluation and testing of innovative products as alternative solutions meeting the requirements of the NBC. The performance criteria for an ABS will be of interest to air barrier material and air barrier system providers, architects, industry consultants, and contractors.

Presenter: Dr. Marzieh Riahinezhad, Centre for Construction Research, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. Dr. Riahinezhad is a Research Associate with the Centre for Construction Research at the National Research Council of Canada.

Whole-Building Airtightness Testing of Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Buildings
Friday, September 14, 8:15 – 9:15 AM

This paper will address whole-building airtightness research carried out by the Building Envelope Technology Access Centre (BETAC) of Red River College, Winnipeg, Canada. Over the last five years, BETAC has tested over 50 large, commercial-style buildings ranging from 100-year-old churches to new schools. The goal of this work has been to establish baseline air leakage rates, and to compare pre- and post-retrofit airtightness rates to better understand the effectiveness of air leakage sealing in these types of buildings.

The results of this research were also used in the development of a new test procedure developed by the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA). This led to the creation of ASTM WK35913 “Standard Test Method for Determining the Air Leakage Rate of Large or Multi-zone Buildings,” which introduced improvements from existing test methods to overcome restrictions on building height and climate conditions, and led to the creation of two distinct test procedures which focused on building durability and energy performance, respectively.

In Canada, building officials are starting to incorporate airtightness requirements into regional codes in locations such as Vancouver, Toronto and Manitoba. Also, the introduction of the National Master Specification on Building Enclosure Performance Testing and Commissioning now includes Whole-Building Airtightness Testing. This paper will conclude with a discussion of what the leakage rates should be for Canadian buildings.

Presenter: Kevin Knight, Red River College, Building Envelope Technology Access Centre, Winnipeg, Man. Kevin Knight is a research professional at Red River College, Manitoba, and a building envelope authority with over 35 years’ experience in testing, commissioning, research, education, and training.

Strategies for Effective Building Retrofits: Façade and Core
Friday, September 14, 10:45 – 11:45 PM

As buildings age, and standards for energy efficiency and carbon reduction increase, retrofit solutions must address both the skin and core of buildings. Façade retrofits (recladding or over-cladding) are often responses to deteriorating cladding elements, inefficient envelopes (thermal, moisture, etc.), aged materials, and/or aesthetic concerns. Recladding a building can increase thermal performance while increasing airtightness. Likewise, building core retrofits are responses to demands for more energy-efficient buildings with a lower carbon footprint.

The Roadmap to Retrofits in Canada (by CaGBC) provides recommended actions to achieve Canada’s net energy-reduction targets by 2030, two of which include recommissioning and deep retrofits. As consultants, we have the opportunity and responsibility to approach emission reduction and envelope performance as one.

The Hudson’s Bay Tower (401 Bay St.) and 120 & 130 Adelaide St. W. (Richmond Adelaide Centre) are examples of tower retrofit projects underway to improve building performance in conjunction with improvements to the buildings’ mechanical systems. Future recommissioning will give owners an opportunity to consider re-cladding along with core retrofits to achieve energy reduction targets.

Advanced planning, research, design, and coordination with all teams will achieve a well-performing whole building system – façade and core.

Presenter: Eric Chisholm, PEng, CEM, LEED AP, Toronto. Eric Chisholm provides strategic direction and technical solutions for sustainability and energy management.Chisholm is the practice leader for WSP’s national Existing Building Energy Management team.

Hannah Thevapalan, WSP Canada, Toronto. Hannah Thevapalan has over seven years of experience in building science consulting in New York City and Toronto, with exposure to a variety of commercial, institutional, and residential projects.

The Future of Building Envelope Inspections
Friday, September 14, 1:15 – 2:15 PM

The presentation will cover the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for building envelope applications and will focus on rotary vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircrafts. By gaining an appreciation of the benefits of deploying UAVs, stakeholders in the building envelope sector will have a better understanding of how this technology can be used to save time and money, and mitigate risk when executing visual inspections. The discussion will then move to cover common regulatory hurdles faced when implementing the technology for building envelope inspections and will be supported with case study examples. The current state of regulations governing the use of UAVs for commercial operations will be addressed, outlining the process for receiving the necessary Transport Canada approvals. There will be a brief examination of how regulations are expected to change by comparing the proposed Canadian framework to that which has recently been instituted in the United States. Next, the use of UAV data sets for reporting on the status of assets and structures will be conveyed by examining the different levels of processing. Finally, the presentation will shift to cover advancements in UAV hardware and software developments and how this will impact stakeholders in building envelope technologies and practices.

Presenters: Alex Healy, RH Precision Unmanned Inc., Ottawa. Alex Healy is the president and cofounder of RH Precision Unmanned Inc.

Matthew Ryan, RH Precision Unmanned Inc., Ottawa. Matthew Ryan is the vice-president, cofounder, and chief operations officer of RH Precision Unmanned Inc.

For more information
RCI Canadian Building Envelope Technology Symposium

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