Red River College’s (RRC’s) Building Envelope Technology Access Centre (BETAC) is set to pick up where the Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group (SITRG) left off.
The new BETAC was born with a $1.75-million grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Technology Access Centre program, which is intended to enhance the ability of local companies, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to readily access college expertise, technology, and equipment.
SITRG was also an NSERC-funded initiative, but one that was more broadly focused on enhancing the energy performance of large commercial buildings.
“Through the SITRG initiative, our industry consultations and research partnerships led us to focus much of our research activities on building envelopes,” said Rob Spewak, the Centre’s manager. “This resulted in the development of a research and advisory team with deep technical and commercial understanding in this area, leading us to the creation of BETAC.”
The envelope of a building can significantly impact its construction cost, durability and appearance, maintenance and repair expenses, occupant comfort and health, as well as energy use.
And with Manitoba’s climatic extreme’s many of these challenges become amplified and more difficult to navigate.
“Increased building complexity, new standards and code requirements, and increased pressure to reduce energy use are just a few of the other challenges faced by Manitoba’s construction sector,” said Spewak. “With BETAC, our goal is to support the sector’s building envelope related productivity and innovation needs.”
More specifically, BETAC will support the needs of those involved in the design, construction, renovation, commissioning, and maintenance of a building’s envelope.
BETAC’s support will come in the form of the following:
- Technical Services, including facilities and related advisory services for testing performance of mock-ups and assemblies during the design phase and prior to their construction, as well as pre-certification testing of product prototypes.
- Applied Research, to accelerate innovation in new building materials, products and assemblies, and diagnostic tools, as well as monitoring and assessment of the performance of individual building envelope components and complete assemblies.
- Specialized Education and Training related to testing methods, protocols and standards to address building materials assemblies and whole building performance.
BETAC, like SITRG, will be based out of the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI), RRC’s first applied research lab established in 2007.
While still ramping up, BETAC is open for business and welcomes calls for interest, proposals, and partnerships.
Note: BETAC was formerly known as CBEP (the Centre for Building Envelope Performance). Check out the CBEP video to see what BETAC is all about.
For more information:
Rob Spewak, Centre Manager
Building Envelope Technology Access Centre
Red River College