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Research Partnerships and Innovation

Research Partnerships & Innovation


Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre

June 14, 2017

The Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was built in 1981. One of the Centre’s buildings recently underwent renovations in 2016, upgrading its building envelope and mechanical systems. This upgrade included installing insulated metal roof panels and insulated metal wall paneling as the new exterior shell to the building.

Services Provided

  • BETAC’s involvement with the project was to perform a whole building airtightness test so the owner could see how efficient the retrofit has been, to then document the results of the test, and to provide a comparison of the results to Red River College’s database of large building air leakage rates for reference.
  • BETAC will also offer a strategy for any future additional remedial work on the building to ensure it meets the requirements.

Thermal Testing of Polycarbonate Windows for Local Manufacturer

May 14, 2017

The objective of this project was to compare and evaluate the thermal performance of two samples of a polycarbonate glazing, which behave similarly to Insulated Glass Units (IGU), provided by a local window manufacturer to the Building Envelope Technology Access Centre (BETAC) at Red River College.

Research and Services Provided

  • BETAC used the Red River College’s dual environmental chambers in the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure lab (CARSI) to compare the thermal performance of the two samples using a benchmark from a material with a known thermal resistance.
  • The polycarbonate samples each had different thicknesses, and heat flux sensors were used to measure the thermal transfer across the samples under a set temperature differential, which followed a specific ASTM Standard.


Results of this test can be used for further research and development of the manufacturer’s products.

Three-day Large Building Airtightness Testing Training

January 13, 2017

airtightAlthough the concept was almost unknown in the design and construction industry 25 years ago, is now widely recognized as one of the most critical parameters affecting a building’s performance in terms of energy use, comfort, indoor air quality and durability.

Recognition of the importance of reducing air leakage first occurred in the low-rise housing sector and has since spread to the commercial building sector. The need for airtightness was initially seen only as an energy issue since uncontrolled air leakage can create a significant energy penalty. However, it was soon realized that there are additional benefits including building durability improved comfort, improved indoor air quality and reduced noise transmission.

The large building airtightness testing workshop will educate the students on the

differences between residential and commercial tests; building science and driving forces of air leakage; testing standards and code requirements; test considerations and planning; and required materials and equipment. The final part of the workshop will focus on the setup and use of blower door equipment. It will conclude with a full live test of the CARSI building at Red River College, which will incorporate diagnostic tools and analysis/reporting of the test data.

Course Date and Cost

Dates: February 22-24, 2017
Times: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (2 pm on Feb.24th to allow for travel)
Cost: $1,495 + GST
Course Code: TRAD-9017
Course cost includes: parking, lunch and morning coffee.

For more information, contact Rob Spewak at 204-632-2357 or

To register, contact Katrina Florendo at 204-632-2195 or

Cancellation Policy

Students who withdraw from a course seven or less days before the start of a course will be charged a $100 cancellation fee.

About the Instructors – Cory Carson, Kevin Knight, Gary Proskiw

Cory Carson, a Mechanical Engineering Technologist, has over 5 years’ experience in applied research related energy efficiency and has tested over 40 large buildings for airtightness. Kevin Knight, a building envelope authority, has over 30 years’ experience in field observation and testing, commissioning, research, education and training. Gary Proskiw is a mechanical engineer with 40 years’ experience; he has conducted hundreds of airtightness tests on houses and commercial buildings and has been active in code and standard development.

Download this form for registration: TechSolutionsRegistration

*Filling out the form: Please make sure that the course name and course code are indicated on the form.

Two-day WUFI Workshop

January 13, 2017

wufiWUFI® is an acronym for Wärme Und Feuchte Instationär—which, translated, means heat and moisture transiency.

Today’s residential and commercial building envelopes in North America are required to be energy efficient, which mainly means the envelope needs to meet R value and air tightness requirements. Practical experience in the last decades all over the world and physical principles show that a higher risk of moisture failures go along with these energy efficiency requirements.

The WUFI® Workshop will educate the students in the principles of building science, based on the latest research as well as train them how to do hygrothermal performance assessments using the WUFI® tool to eventually design a durable building envelope. Effects like material properties, climate regions, indoor moisture generation are shown and their impact on the durability discussed. ASHRAE Standard 160 will be introduced as a basic guideline on how to apply “Criteria for Moisture-Control Design Analysis in Buildings”.

Course Dates and Cost

Dates: February 14 and 15, 2017
Times: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Location: Red River College, Notre Dame Campus – 2055 Notre Dame Ave.
Cost: $850 + GST
Course Code: WRKS – 9121
Course cost includes: parking, lunch and morning coffee.

For more information, contact Tammy Harper at 204-632-2942 or

To register, contact Louise Wood at 204-632-3017 or

About the Instructor – Manfred Kehrer

Manfred has been active in the field and heat and moisture analysis in Building Science for more than 25 years. After many years of scientific work at Fraunhofer IBP, Germany, where he was leading the WUFI® software development as well as conducted laboratory measurements, he worked for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN, USA, for five years as a Sr. Researcher in Building Science. Since early 2016, he is president of the start-up company justSmart Solutions LLC in the field of building science consulting and acts as the Official WUFI® Collaboration Partner for USA and Canada. Mr. Kehrer is a voting member of several ASHRAE and ASTM committees and on the editorial board of the “Journal of Building Physics”.

Download this form to register: TechSolutionsRegistration

*Filling out the form: Please make sure that the course name and course code are indicated on the form.

École Heritage Immersion – Construction Airtightness Testing

October 14, 2016

In 2014/15 the École Heritage Immersion School in St Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba, underwent a major building envelope upgrade including complete removal and replacement of the west and north exterior walls plus the courtyard area.

Services Provided

  • As part of this work, BETAC conducted a pre-retrofit test on the building in 2013 to quantify its air leakage characteristics and to identify significant air leakage sources on the building envelope.
  • Following the retrofit, a second test was performed in 2016, allowing the impact of the test to be assessed.


  • The retrofit was able to reduce the measured air leakage of the building by over one-third, depending on the metric.
  • The Equivalent Leakage Area (ELA10) was reduced by 34%, or 0.39 m2(4.2 ft2).

The Public Schools Finance Board has expressed interest in collaborating with BETAC to further these research activities as they apply to schools around the province.

Townview Manor – Airtightness Testing

October 14, 2016

The Townview Manor in Minnedosa, Manitoba is a mid-rise, multi-unit residential building (MURB) that is undergoing a major building envelope upgrade, focused primarily on the exterior wall system and installation of a new wall system, new windows and a new high performance ventilation system.

Services Provided

  • BETAC conducted a pre-retrofit airtightness test on June 30, 2016 and construction on the retrofit began in late 2016.
  • The post-retrofit airtightness testing will be carried out once the retrofit is completed.  This is anticipated to occur in 2017 or 2018.


  • BETAC will be using the results of this testing to further expand their growing data base on airtightness characteristics of large commercial-style buildings which began in 2013 with the testing of 26 buildings in Manitoba.
  • Manitoba Housing has expressed interest in collaborating with BETAC to further these research activities as they apply to their portfolio of buildings, located around the province.

Bluebird Lodge – Airtightness Testing

October 14, 2016

The objective of this applied research project is to conduct air tightness testing on the Bluebird Lodge, a mid-rise, multi-unit residential building (MURB) located in northwest Winnipeg.


  • The Bluebird Lodge is currently undergoing a major building envelope upgrade, which got underway in late 2016. The upgrade is focused primarily on the exterior wall system.

Services Provided

  • Air tightness testing measuring the pre-and-post retrofit airtightness of the building.


  • Test results will be used to further expand BETAC’s growing database on airtightness characteristics of large commercial-style buildings which began in 2013 with the testing of 26 buildings in Manitoba.
  • Post-retrofit airtightness testing will be carried out once the retrofit is completed. This is anticipated to occur in 2017 or 2018.
  • Manitoba Housing has expressed interest in collaborating with RRC to further these research activities as they apply to their portfolio of buildings, located around the province.

Building Envelope Technology Access Centre Open House

September 20, 2016

You are invited to an Open House at Red River College’s Building Envelope Technology Access Centre (BETAC), to be held on:

  • Date: Wed., Sept. 28, 2016
  • Time: 2:30-4-30pm
  • Location: Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI), 2055 Notre Dame Ave.

BETAC was developed to help the province’s building industry address the challenges in designing and constructing a durable, energy-efficient building envelope in Manitoba’s unique climate. Its purpose is to support the needs of those involved in the design, construction, renovation, commissioning and maintenance of a building envelope.

We’ll be providing demonstrations of our testing capabilities within both the CARSI facility and our mobile equipment for on-site field tests, including:

  • Recently commissioned air/water/structural test chamber
  • Dual environmental chambers
  • Large building blower door equipment
  • Other building envelope diagnostic tools

BETAC staff will be available to answer any question and to discuss how they may be able to help you and your organization.

Refreshments will be served; please RSVP to Katrina Florendo at or 204-632-2195.

* Please note if you are a BEMM (Building Energy Management Manitoba) member, BEMM will be holding a separate luncheon event in conjunction with BETAC one day earlier on Sept. 27, 2016. For more information, please visit

Innovation Agenda

June 27, 2016

BETAC is a proud member of Tech-Access Canada, a formal network that has been created to harmonize and promote college applied research through the 30 Technology Access Centres (TACs) in Canada. The TACs have been meeting regularly since 2013 to share best practices regarding establishing and operating this type of applied research centre. This will help ensure that industry partners, college stakeholders, and government funders have a shared understanding of the value of TACs as representative of college applied research and their collective value to enhancing Canadian economic development.

Learn about Tech-Access Canada and the federal government’s Innovation Agenda

Collaboration: Red River College and ft3 Architects

June 14, 2016

As more research is being performed and more knowledge is being shared about the importance of managing and controlling air leakage within the building envelope, leaders in the building design industry are stepping forward to collaborate with BETAC to ensure their structures are performing as they are meant to.

One of these leaders is ft3 Architects, who partnered with us on two projects.

Cornerstone Life Lease Estates

A seniors housing facility in northeast Winnipeg, consisting of 52 units for both independent and assisted living. The facility was designed by ft3 Architects, who are interested in monitoring the performance of the building and using the results to inform future designs and specifications for future projects.

Our Research

  • BETAC, through its Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) funding, installed sensors within the buildings’ heating, cooling, and ventilation systems.
  • The data is gathered on an ongoing basis, allowing them to monitor the energy performance characteristics of the building.

St. Matthews Church

The church was newly renovated in 2014 and now serves a different purpose to the community. The worship and office spaces were transformed into 26 new housing units for families in the inner city neighborhood. They also created smaller worship areas for numerous congregations and a drop-in centre. The building is now referred to as the WestEnd Commons. During the renovation, the building envelope was modified with the addition of interior insulation to the brick structure.

Our Research

  • BETAC installed moisture and temperature sensors within the wall sections (through NSERC funding), to monitor and compare the moisture and temperature levels against the performance levels generated from the computer model, and to ensure excess moisture is not accumulating over time within the brick façade.

Data will be provided to ft3 on an ongoing basis, as this information may serve to better inform design