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York Landing Nursing Station

June 14, 2017

York Factory First Nation is collaborating with BETAC to perform an air leakage test on a nursing station built in 2000 that has since encountered some roof damage due to ice damming.

Background

Based on site visits performed by Tower Engineering Group, GW Architecture Inc., and QCA Building Envelope Ltd. in November, 2016, it was discovered that significant amounts of insulation had been missing, moved, or become detached in the attic space, causing substantial amounts of heat to travel into the attic and melt the snow on the roof – resulting in ice damming.

In order to rectify this issue, the nursing station will be undergoing an envelope upgrade that is projected to begin in July, 2017.

Services provided

The objective of this applied research project is to capitalize on BETAC’s abundance of knowledge and recent experiences in conducting air leakage tests on larger buildings, and conduct testing of the existing building prior to any renovations.

  • The pre-renovation test will use smoke machines and infrared thermography to identify the major leakage paths and air barrier deficiencies, particularly focusing on the leakage paths to the unconditioned attic space; however, diagnostic testing will identify other problem areas throughout the entire building as well.
  • While there, BETAC staff will provide one training session for any interested persons from York Factory on the basics of building science, with an emphasis on the impact of air leakage and its testing.
  • Afterwards, any training session attendees from York Factory are encouraged to witness and assist with the building test, with specific engagement during the diagnostic testing of the building.
  • A post-renovation test is recommended after the work has been completed, to ensure a reduction in air leakage has been realized, especially for major leak paths.

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

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

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.

Results

  • 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.

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.

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.