Review our completed Service-based projects in the drop-down menu below.
Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre (May-June, 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.
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. The College 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, 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 the College.
BETAC used the 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.
York Landing Nursing Station (June, 2017)
BETAC staff will be going to York Landing, Manitoba. There is a nursing station that was constructed in 2000 that has since encountered some roof damage due to ice damming. 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.
York Factory First Nation had expressed interest to collaborate with RRC to perform an air leakage test on the building. The objective of this applied research project is to capitalize on RRC’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, RRC 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.
Bluebird Lodge – Airtightness Testing (October, 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, through measuring the pre-and-post retrofit airtightness of the building. Additionally, these results will be used to further expand Red River College’s growing database 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 RRC to further these research activities as they apply to their portfolio of buildings, located around the province.
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.
Post-retrofit airtightness testing will be carried out once the retrofit is completed. This is anticipated to occur in 2017 or 2018.
Townview Manor – Airtightness Testing (October, 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. RRC conducted the 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.
RRC 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 RRC to further these research activities as they apply to their portfolio of buildings, located around the province.
École Heritage Immersion – Construction Airtightness Testing (October, 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. As part of this work, RRC 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 RRC to further these research activities as they apply to schools around the province.
Ladco Lakepointe Apartment Investigation (April, 2016)
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.
Red River College (RRC) worked with Synyshyn Architecture to support and further their evaluation of the building envelope system for The Ladco Lakepointe Apartments located in southeast Winnipeg.
RRC 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.
Roof Replacement – Gerdau (April, 2016)
Red River College, through its new Building Envelope Performance Technology Access Centre, 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 research undertaken by RRC was to address the building and material science uncertainties created by the extreme conditions from the industrial process and Manitoba climate.
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. 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.
Building Envelope Design – Medicinal Marijuana Grow Operation (April, 2016)
The requirements to become a licenced to grow operation for medical marijuana in Canada is 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. Whilst the Guide addresses the security and health issues it offers no information or guidance on the design and construction of the building housing the growth operation.
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.
Air, Water, Structural Chamber Commissioning (August, 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 RRC’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.
Ecole Noel Ritchot – Air Leakage Testing (October, 2015)
This objective of this applied research project is to conduct airtightness testing on Ecole Noel Ritchot, located in St. Norbert, Winnipeg. The Public Schools Finance Board has expressed interest in collaborating with RRC to further the research activities on large building air leakage testing.
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. 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. Pre-renovation tests were completed during the summer of 2015.
Fort Whyte Alive – Air Leakage Testing (January, 2016)
The objective of this applied research project is to conduct airtightness testing on the interpretive centre at Fort Whyte Alive, located in southwest Winnipeg. The interpretive centre will be undergoing a major envelope upgrade that is projected to take place in 2016. 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.
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.