Building Enclosure Archives - Page 2 of 9 - Morrison Hershfield

Facade Tectonics Forum Seattle: Digits, Data and Beyond – Integrated Parametric Workflows in Advanced Facade Design and Execution


The Facade Tectonics FORUM series is coming to Seattle! This full-day seminar features four sessions focusing on advancements in performance and trends within the facade industry, as well as the facade effect on buildings and urban habitat. The FORUM will take place on Tuesday, July 16 at the University of Washington.

More information here.

Session Overview – Digits, Data and Beyond: Integrated Parametric Workflows in Advanced Facade Design and Execution

Digital tools and processes are playing a disruptive role in the AEC industry, as they have in many markets. Yet the seamless integration of parametric workflows throughout the building process remains a challenge. Where are the gaps and what can be done to bridge them? Unanswered questions of ownership, responsibility, risk and liability (who owns the data/model, etc.) throttle progress and the promise of data analysis and optimization on the building process. Practice leaders in this session explore the current state of the art of digital workflows, the integration of the facade system in those workflows, what is working and not, where lie the opportunities and threats, and finally, pull out the crystal ball to discuss where it is all heading.

Stéphane Hoffman, Principal / VP, and Maurya McClintock (McClintock Facade Consulting) will join this session. It will begin at 8:45 am.

ASHRAE 2019 Annual Conference: BECx – Modern Unitized Curtain Wall and Fenestration Systems


The ASHRAE Annual Conference brings together engineering professionals for five days of education sessions and technical presentations, aimed at addressing challenges of adapting design to constantly changing criteria, offer best practices, lessons learned, and innovative strategies. This year’s conference will be held in Kansas City, Missouri on June 22 to 26, 2016.

More information here.

Session Overview: BECx – Modern Unitized Curtain Wall and Fenestration Systems

Building Envelope (or Enclosure) Commissioning (BECx) is a quality focus process gaining popularity in the North American construction industry. It borrows considerably from the more traditional electrical and mechanical commissioning, but with a few distinct differences. Much of the activities required for a successful Building Envelope Commissioning are directly tied to aspects of envelope construction such as pre-construction activities & decisions such as system selection, certified and experience teams of contractors and workers, design review & shop drawing review, performance mock-up construction and laboratory testing, execution in the field, and compliance testing to confirm project requirements are met.

Panelized or prefabricated construction offers some unique benefits and challenges to building construction. To many people, the idea of prefabricated or panelized construction sparks visions of “cookie cutter” buildings that lack architectural interest or sophistication. This no longer defines prefabricated or panelized construction. Unitized fenestration, such as curtain wall systems, are a type of panelized construction that have been used for many years, and are often not looked upon as being prefabricated. In reality unitized curtain wall systems and other panelized fenestration can form the entire building envelope system and share many of the same challenges and benefits as any panelized wall system.

A properly executed Quality Assurance program, including review by third party consultants during production of the unitized curtain wall panels, can be an important tool to provide transparency and traceability of many of the requirements necessary for a successful BECx outcome. This presentation will demonstrate how the process for design, production and installation of unitized curtain wall systems falls within the scope of the BECx process and will include examples of shop drawing review, lab and field mock-ups with testing, and plant review.

This session will be presented by Peter Adams, Senior Building Science Consultant.

ZEBx+BCIT Communities of Practice: High-Rise & Commercial High-Performance Walls


The Vancouver Zero Emissions Building Centre of Excellence (ZEBx) and British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) are launching a new program series, Communities of Practice, and we’re excited to be part of it!

Communities of Practice provides a forum for industry professionals to meet experts, discuss net-zero energy products, systems and details, and get answers to pressing questions.

This month’s Communities of Practice event will be held at BCIT’s High Performance Building Lab. Get an up-close look at the next generation of net-zero or net-zero ready high rise wall assemblies through full size mock-ups. Details include parapet, clear wall, window, slab and door systems that are applicable to all climate zones in Canada. This event builds off the overwhelming enthusiasm expressed from over 300 viewers during last month’s BC Housing Webinar, presented in partnership with ZEBx, BCIT, Flynn Canada, Morrison Hershfield, and Passive House Canada.

Patrick Roppel, Principal/Building Science Specialist, will highlight various design details and systems used to achieve a high-performance level.

CaGBC Building Lasting Change 2019: 4 Presentations


CaGBC’s annual conference brings together three days of opportunities, education and networking with the leaders, change makers and innovators of Canada’s green building industry – and our team is presenting three sessions!  This year’s conference will take place May 28-30 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

More information and registration here.

Session #1: Healthy Buildings for Everyone

The way buildings are built today has remained relatively unchanged for nearly 200 years. The $9 trillion a year global construction industry is responsible for nearly 60% of climate change emissions, a third of landfill waste and a shocking array of negative health effects. In 2016, the XPRIZE Foundation set out to establish a “moonshot” for construction by creating the XPRIZE for Healthy Buildings.  Learn how one team approached this unique opportunity to develop a way to (literally) grow buildings by fusing synthetic biology, genomics, parametric modeling and 3D printing to create a disruption and paradigm shift that could switch us from a PETRO-chemical world, to a BIO-chemical one.

This session will be presented by Eric Corey Freed, Sustainability Disruptor, and will take place on Wednesday, May 29 at 9:45 am.

Session #2: Walking the Walk – A roadmap for low carbon neutrality in existing buildings 

In response to The Greening Government Strategy and their commitment to achieving a carbon neutral portfolio by 2050, with a stretch goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC) have developed guidelines for the evaluation and recommendation of projects which have an impact on the GHG emissions associated with their real-estate portfolio. Through this guideline, PSPC have established that carbon neutrality will be measured and reported at the portfolio level. The intention of this engaging panel discussion is to capture the broad process laid out by BGIS on behalf of PSPC and the challenges and risks inherent to an aggressive carbon reduction target. Furthermore, the aim of this panel is to lay out the competing priorities faced by Morrison Hershfield’s consulting team such as energy/GHG reduction targets, capital and maintenance cost plans, operations and replacement cycles, technical feasibility, impact on schedule as well as short/long-term federal priorities. With the input from various stakeholders in the Carbon Neutral Study (CNS) process, the panel intends to dissect the integrated design process (IDP) implemented by the multi-disciplinary consultant team of specialists in the areas of building envelope design, mechanical, electrical, controls, calibration energy simulation, broader sustainability and resiliency, lifecycle cost assessment (LCCA), and a broad stakeholder engagement process via workshop facilitation. The panel will introduce specific project examples from various geographical regions to facilitation discussion and engage the audience in analyzing various energy efficiency and carbon mitigation measures already implemented through this CNS process.

This session will be co-presented by Kalum Galle, Sustainability Specialist, and will take place on Wednesday, May 29 at 9:45 am.

Session #3: Retrofit to the max – Elite performance is not just for new builds

Achieving certification to Zero Carbon Building Standard or Passive House can seem like a daunting task, particularly on a retrofit project. The relative impact of thermal bridging and envelope transitions is amplified in low energy buildings and particularly challenging to resolve in retrofit conditions. Humber College’s Deep Energy Retrofit Project for the Nx Building surmounted these challenges through careful integration across architectural design, energy modelling, envelope design, and mechanical design. Construction phase challenges were also met by implementing a robust testing protocol to facilitate EnerPhit and Zero Carbon Building certification.

This session will be co-presented by Steve Murray, Senior Building Science Consultant, and will take place on Thursday, May 30 at 9 am.

Session #4: TEDI

TEDI is a new metric that is gaining traction throughout codes and standards across Canada.  However, some argue that a low TEDI design can be in conflict with low-carbon energy supply solutions and/or cost-effective zero-carbon buildings. This presentation will challenge participants to rethink building design in a low-TEDI world using case studies.  The notion that high load buildings are justified by of the availability of large quantities of waste heat or low carbon energy supply is contrary to the foundational principles of low-energy design.  Transformational design opportunities emerge when buildings are designed for low TEDI, which can support and enhance cost-effective and resilient low carbon supply solutions.

This session will be co-presented by Alex Blue, Building Energy Practice Lead, and MH-alum Christian Cianfrone, current Executive Director of Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Exchange (ZEBx). The time for this session has not yet been determined.

OAA Conference 2019: 4 Presentations


The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) Annual Conference is making it’s way to Quebec! This year’s OAA Conference theme is “Empowering Change,” sessions will explore how architecture can help to solve problems from climate change to housing affordability to social cohesion.

Our team will be presenting four sessions at this year’s conference!

More information and registration here.

Session #1: QA, QC, and QF – An Alphabet Soup of Standards is not Enough

Global procurement is often relied upon for curtain wall, window wall and other fenestration systems and components. Global procurement has its opportunities and risks. Opportunities include reduced product cost and fabrication capabilities that are not available, or have only limited availability in North America such as jumbo-size low-emissivity coated glass and insulating glass units. Risks include language and cultural differences and long distance communication across many time zones causing confusion in design, ordering, delays in delivery, and problems with product quality. Nevertheless, the fiscal advantages can be considerable.

Ensuring acceptable quality off-shore products is not just a matter of writing into a specification a requirement to comply with applicable building codes, standards and industry practice documents. These technical documents contain surprising limitations and omissions so that despite best efforts, a Quality Assurance (QA) plan and Quality Control (QC) program may not achieve the desired quality outcome. Even if initial product quality samples and production are correct, quality may diminish over time, an effect known as Quality Fade (QF). Whether or not fenestration systems are globally or locally procured, the building owners, the design team and the construction team should be aware of omissions and limitations of industry practices and standards to avoid unexpected surprises too late in the construction process to make changes.

This session will be presented by George Torok, Senior Facade Specialist, and will take place on Wednesday, May 22 at 2 pm and on Thursday, May 23 at 10:30 am.

Session #2: Change of Use – Application of the Ontario Building Code

This session walks attendees through the fundamentals and requirements of the Ontario Building Code for changes of use to existing buildings. It focuses on three key areas: application (i.e. when is the Code applicable?), requirements (i.e. the process of determining what requirements apply to a change of use) and working through examples and applying tips and tricks to make the process easier.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand what constitutes a change of use per the OBC.
  2. Know the basis of Code requirements from the Building Code Act.
  3. Be able to assess hazard index and construction index of existing and proposed construction.
  4. Apply the requirements for analyzing early warning and evacuation systems.

This session will be presented by Judy Jeske, Senior Code Specialist, and will take place on Wednesday, May 22 at 2 pm.

Session #3: Building Envelope Commissioning – Plan for Success

This presentation focuses on the importance of the building envelope for new and retrofit projects, and its ability to satisfy not only the expectations of an owner, but also meet the performance requirements for efficiency, resiliency and durability. The session includes discussion on the critical and various stages of the Building Envelope Commissioning (BECx) Process, starting with the overarching Owner’s Project Requirements (OPRs) and finishing with the Building Envelope Retro-Commissioning Plan. Components of the process will be illustrated with examples from various case studies across Ontario and Canada.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the importance of the building envelope in new construction and retrofit applications.
  2. Understand Owner’s Project Requirements and Performance Criteria.
  3. Become familiar with the various stages of the BECx process and be able to identify the critical steps for its implementation.
  4. Be able to connect the BECx process to real work applications through case studies, and see first-hand how the process relates to a modern construction process.

This session will be presented by Peter Adams, Senior Building Science Specialist, and will take place on Wednesday, May 22 at 4 pm.

Session #4: Net Zero Carbon and Passive House – Easier Than You Think

Stringent overall performance requirements are compounded by component-specific or assembly-specific criteria. In addition,  design solutions often require careful integration between the architectural design, energy modelling, envelope design and mechanical design.

The relative impact of thermal bridging and envelope transitions is amplified in low energy buildings. Accurately quantifying thermal bridging effects and finding innovative design improvements to key details is an essential part of Passive House certification.

The presentation will discuss the counter-intuitive mechanical design challenges arising from very low heating and cooling loads and the year-round challenge of simultaneous heating and cooling needs within a floor plate. The different control logic and operating schedules of low energy systems must be carefully coordinated with energy modellers to ensure an accurate model.

This session will be co-presented by Steve Murray, Senior Building Science Consultant, and Alejandro Ortega, Senior Mechanical Engineer, and will take place on Friday, May 24 at 8:30 am.

2019 SPLC Summit: From Living Products to Living Buildings


The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council’s (SPLC) annual Summit brings together 500 purchasing and sustainability professionals, suppliers, and NGO experts from diverse sectors and regions to share and promote sustainable purchasing best practices for organizations! This year’s three-day event will take place May 20-22nd at the Hilton Portland Downtown.

More information and registration here.

Eric Corey Freed, Sustainability Disruptor, will participate in the panel From Living Products to Living Buildings: Transforming the Health & Sustainability of Our Built Environment. This session will begin at 11:35 on Tuesday, May 21st (conference day #2).

Session Overview:

Building products are often made with toxic chemicals, exposure to which has significant occupant health impacts in buildings, as well as throughout the entire building product supply chain. The Living Product Challenge offers a comprehensive framework for the reduction and elimination of the human and environmental impacts of building products. Specifically, the framework offers a clear methodology for reducing the health impact of products through the Living Building Challenge Red List, comprised of 22 of the worst-in-class toxic chemical and material classes pervasive in the building product industry. Today, Red List Free purchasing is possible at scales unimaginable previously. As health and wellness become increasingly critical concerns for building owners, companies are now leveraging the Living Building Framework to protect occupant health and wellbeing. To change the industry at the pace required, we need solutions that can be scaled up from product, to building, to entire purchasing policies. Companies like Google and Salesforce are leading the way by incorporating the Living Building Challenge approach into a comprehensive healthy materials sourcing strategy that can be applied to a real estate portfolio at scale.

Attendees will also get a glimpse into the future with Eric Corey Freed’s inspiring presentation about the XPRIZE for Healthy Buildings. Learn how teams are developing ways to (literally) grow buildings by fusing synthetic biology, genomics, parametric modeling and 3D printing to create a disruption and paradigm shift that could switch us from a PETRO-chemical world, to a BIO-chemical one.

ABECN Luncheon: Building Envelope & NECB


This month’s Alberta Building Envelope Council North (ABECN) monthly Luncheon will focus on updates to the NECB Energy Code and it’s impacts on the Building Envelope. The session will be held at Highlands Golf Club in Edmonton on Thursday, May 16.

Registration here.

Session Overview:

Alberta will soon be moving to an updated version of the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) for energy code requirements. In order to prepare for this next phase in energy codes, the session will bring the knowledge from the City of Edmonton past learning and what need to be addressed in the new energy code.

Julien St. Pierre, Building Science Consultant, will join the program and outline changes of the code with respect to building envelope, and provide insight into methods of compliance with the code.

AGC Utah: Building Envelope Failures & How to Avoid Them


Our team is excited to present this Lunch and Learn session to the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Utah! This session will take place on Wednesday, May 15 from 11:30 am to 1 pm at AGC Utah in Salt Lake City.

More information and registration here.

Session Overview: Building Envelope Failures & How to Avoid Them

The building envelope is the highest risk element of construction. Often, the contractors are taking on a large portion of this risk. With increased building complexity, stringent owner requirements, vague design documents, and diminishing labor pool, these risks are higher than ever. This presentation will review 3 case studies and identify the cause of the failure. Morrison Hershfield will provide tools for contractors to help improve quality and decrease risk of performance problems in this one-hour presentation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review 3 building envelope failures through 3 case studies
  • Identify ways to work with the architect to improve clarity of the design intent
  • Understand construction practices to help build quality into the construction
  • Identify useful and cost effective test methods to verify performance during construction

This session will be presented by Rick Ziegler, Department Manager / Sr. Building Science Consultant, and Chris Ball, Building Science Consultant.

Facade Tectonics Forum Toronto: Building Material


Façade Tectonics is in Toronto and our team can’t wait to join! This full-day event will include sessions based on four themes central to façade technology, design, sustainability and resilience. It will take place on Friday, May 3, at the Faculty Club at the University of Toronto.

Registration and more information can be found here.

Yvon Chiasson, Senior Building Science Specialist, will be participating as a panelist for the session Building Material: Performance and Geometry Driving Expansion of the Facade Materials Palette. This panel will take place at 10:45 am.

Session Overview:

Aesthetic, experiential and performative behaviors of building skins are deeply influenced by decisions regarding materials, products and systems. The critical importance of the building skin is gradually being recognized as reflected in the new energy step codes, which increase the demands on materials and products and the integration of the facade and building systems. Façade designs are becoming increasingly complex, partially driven by these enhanced performance demands but even more so by the aesthetically driven amplification of formal diversity in the building skin—the pursuit of the iconic—pushing the limits of tradition materials and products and forcing an expansion of the facade materials palette. This session explores developments ranging from new glazing assemblies to advanced material technologies with the potential to extend the current limits of facade and building design and construction.

Minnesota BEC Annual Meeting: Air Barrier Performance & Pitfalls


We’re excited to join this year’s Minnesota Building Envelope Council’s (BEC) Annual meeting! It will take place on Tuesday, April 23rd at Jax Cafe in Minneapolis.


Morrison Hershfield’s Lee Durston, Principal / Senior Building Science Consultant, will co-present this year’s session Air Barrier Performance & Pitfalls.

This presentation will cover:


  1. Attributes of the building envelope.
  2. What is required for a successful air barrier installation
  3. What energy can be saved and HVAC equipment downsizing realized on a given project


  1. Things that could go that actually do go wrong on a given project.
    1. Connections
    2. Weather
    3. Compatibility
    4. Etc.
  2. Case studies on the good, bad and the ugly.

More information can be found here.