Building Envelope TAC


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


  • 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.

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