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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.

Results

  • 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.

Background

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.

Results

  • 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.

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

Roof Replacement – Gerdau

April 14, 2016

BETAC is working in conjunction with Hatch’s Structural Consultant in Winnipeg for Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation. Gerdau is undertaking a major renovation of one of its buildings, the Melt Shop Facility at its Manitoba Mill located in Selkirk, MB.

Background

The building in question houses an industrial process with extreme process conditions (heat, particulate matter, corrosive materials) and is subject to a planned roof replacement.

The current roof has reached its intended life service target of fifty years, however the interior and exterior has corroded substantially. This has resulted in increasing heat loss in the winter as well as water ingress into the building.

Our Services

The research undertaken by BETAC addressed the building and material science uncertainties created by the extreme conditions from the industrial process and Manitoba climate.

Results

The final project report addresses the mechanisms that led to the roof damage, as well as the various design and maintenance considerations for this particular building that is subject to such extreme internal and external conditions.

Ladco Lakepointe Apartment Investigation

April 14, 2016

BETAC worked with Synyshyn Architecture to support and further their evaluation of the building envelope system for The Ladco Lakepointe Apartments located in southeast Winnipeg.

Background

Air leakage and thermal bridging can significantly impact the efficiency, durability, and longevity of a building. Air leaks and thermal bridges affect the building’s energy costs, the comfort of the occupants, the efficiency of the HVAC system, and can even cause damage to the building’s structure and materials. Although air leakage can never be eliminated in a building, it can be managed and controlled to minimize a number of potential threats.

Services Provided

  • BETAC conducted thermal scans of the building envelope from the exterior of the apartments and limited scans from the interior due to access. We also pressurized one apartment to further enhance the identification of air leakage pathways by thermography.

Results

  • By identifying these deficiencies in the building envelope with respect to thermal bridging, heat loss and air leakage, this will assist Synyshyn Architecture with any future repairs and retro-fit programs.

Air, Water, Structural Chamber Commissioning

February 14, 2016

The installation of an air, water and structural test chamber for evaluating building components and wall systems at the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI) facility at Red River College’s main campus in Winnipeg will enhance the College’s capacity to conduct applied research and provide training in the area of building envelope performance.

RRC’s new test chamber will allow building envelope details, windows and doors to be evaluated for airtightness, water penetration and structural testing prior to their use in actual construction.

This will accelerate the adoption of new and innovative materials, products and assemblies for projects in Manitoba.

Training activities for building professionals and students enabled by RRC’s new test chamber will increase the use of best practices for design and construction.

Test walls that will be used for commissioning activities of the new chamber will be constructed in-house by RRC Construction Trades’ students.

Download informational PDF ›

Building Envelope Design – Medicinal Marijuana Grow Operation

February 14, 2016

The requirements to become a licenced to grow operation for medical marijuana in Canada are governed by the Federal Minister of Health Controlled Substances and Tobacco Directorate Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch.

A Guidance Document titled the Building and Production Security Requirements for Marijuana for Medical Purposes has been published.

The Regulatory Provisions are related to securing the site, monitoring and detection, access control, intrusion detection and air filtration. While the Guide addresses security and health issues, it offers no information or guidance on the design and construction of the building housing the growth operation.

Services Provided

This project entails the development of a best practices guide which addresses the requirements for the building envelope of medical marijuana production facilities in cold climates.

The nature of growing marijuana involves operating in conditions of high temperature and humidity. The building envelope must be capable of supporting the controlled interior environment during the winter months, meet the production facilities service life expectations and be compliant with all Government regulations.

Building Product Commercialization Roadmap

January 14, 2016

The development of new products for the construction industry can be a very long, expensive and daunting process. Adding to the complication, almost all products used in the construction industry have to comply with one or more technical standards which define the minimum requirements the product must meet. Entrepreneurs and businesses who are developing or considering developing new products need to understand this process.

For that reason, BETAC is developing a “Building Product Commercialization Roadmap” which explains the regulatory hurdles that must be met to bring a new construction product to market.

The roadmap will also provide insight into the product development process and how BETAC can provide contract services for new product development to assist with research, evaluation and testing.

Fort Whyte Alive – Air Leakage Testing

December 14, 2015

The objective of this applied research project is to conduct airtightness testing on the interpretive centre at Fort Whyte Alive, located in southwest Winnipeg.

Background

The interpretive centre will be undergoing a major envelope upgrade that is projected to take place in 2016.

Services Provided

  • The project will involve the testing of the existing building prior to the renovations as well as comparative testing after the work has been completed.
  • During the pre-renovation test, major leakage paths will be identified through the use of diagnostic tools such as smoke machines and infrared thermography.

Results

  • The results of the pre-renovation testing, which was completed in December 2015, will help guide the scope of work for the retrofits.

An article about the pre-renovation testing was published in the Globe and Mail.

Ecole Noel Ritchot – Air Leakage Testing

October 14, 2015

This objective of this applied research project is to conduct airtightness testing on Ecole Noel Ritchot, located in St. Norbert, Winnipeg.

Background

Ecole Noel Ritchot will be undergoing a major envelope upgrade in 2016. Also, a planned expansion of approximately 30,000 sq.ft. will be added to the school around the same time.

Services Provided

  • The project will involve the testing of the existing building prior to the renovations and expansion as well as comparative testing after the work has been completed.
  • The tests will be designed to enable the pre- and post-renovation air leakage rates of the existing portion of the school independent of the new addition.
  • Post-renovation testing will also provide air leakage rates for the new, larger building as a whole.

Result

Pre-renovation tests were completed during the summer of 2015.

  • The Public Schools Finance Board has expressed interest in collaborating with RRC to further the research activities on large building air leakage testing.