building envelope Archives - Morrison Hershfield

BC Housing Building Smart Webinar: Key Considerations for High Performance Walls

By |
Our very own Patrick Roppel (Principal / Building Science Specialist), will be co-presenting this 3-hour online webinar for BC Housing, titled Building Smart: Key Considerations for High Performance Walls. It will take place on Thursday, April 4, 2019 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. PST. More information and registration here.

Session Overview:

This session will help broaden the common understanding of how high-rise residential buildings can meet the next generation of net-zero or net-zero ready standards that are applicable to all climate zones in Canada and build upon current design requirements and construction practice. It will illustrate solutions for higher levels of performance in Part 3 buildings, as required by Passive House, BC Energy Step Code, and the City of Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Plan.

Half of the session will be dedicated to the review of typical wall assemblies and will explore practical solutions for designing and building to the effective R-values required for higher levels of the BC Energy Step Code. Parapet, clear wall, window, slab and door full size mock-up details will be reviewed step-by-step to emphasize constructability, durability, moisture control and fire protection.

The session will also outline useful guides and tools available to the design and construction community to help meet multiple objectives, including reducing energy consumption, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing resiliency and passive survivability.

This event is presented in collaboration with ZEBx, BCIT and other industry stakeholders.

WABO Annual Education Institute: Air & Moisture Barriers

By |

The Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO) annual Education Institute training sessions will take place March 25-28, 2019 in Lynnwood, Washington. Our team is excited to take part in training the state’s Building Code Officials on the building envelope!

More information and registration can be found here.

Medgar Marceau, Principal / Senior Building Science Engineer, will present Air & Moisture Barriers: What to Look for in Drawings and On Site.

Presentation Overview:

The presentation will review the purpose of the building envelope and describe the concept of continuous control layers to protect the building envelope. The presentation will describe the building envelope control layers for controlling water penetration, air leakage, heat flow, and water vapor diffusion. The presentation will emphasize “continuity” of the control layer and what to look for in the drawing and in the field to verify that continuity of the control layers has been maintained. Numerous construction details, material samples, and construction photos, will be used to show examples of the concepts. This presentation will explain the difference between air barriers, water barriers, and vapor barriers and show how the design of the envelope can incorporate some or all of these functions into a single material. The presentation will also discuss implication of improper placement of control layers or consequences of improper material selection.

This session will take place during the afternoon session on Tuesday, March 26.

About our Presenter:

Medgar Marceau, P.E., CDT
Principal / Senior Building Science Engineer

Medgar has a unique mix of building envelope, energy modeling and life-cycle assessment (LCA) experience. In addition to Medgar’s building science expertise, he has extensive knowledge in whole building energy simulation and material science including infrared thermographic analysis, modeling of air and moisture transfer through envelope systems, air leakage, and mass transfer. Medgar’s sustainability goal is to help designers increase building durability and reduce building energy consumption.

CSC Building Expo: The Building Envelope as a System – A Balanced Approach

By |

We’re excited to be presenting at this year’s CSC Building Expo in Toronto! This year’s conference will take place on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building.

More information on the conference and registration can be found here.

Presentation Overview: The Building Envelope as a System – A Balanced Approach

One fundamental method to achieve deep green buildings is to optimize the envelope’s mechanical and electrical systems. The envelope should be considered as a system where heat, light and air flow in both directions, not viewed simply as a barrier between the interior and exterior. The envelope can be designed to reduce energy loads and impact health and productivity through natural light and control of indoor environment. This can help achieve credits across multiple LEED categories.

This presentation will review the impacts and opportunities associated with the building envelope when pursuing a deep green building. The presentation is based on our experience with multiple large Canadian commercial buildings, each targeting net zero carbon. We will present a methodology to use parametric analysis with whole building energy modelling to explore and understand the energy and carbon impacts of envelope options. The methodology and tools are straightforward and easily understood by architects and owners, and can enable designers to invest more wisely in their envelope. Our presenter will provide attendees with a better understanding of how the envelope can contribute to energy reductions.

This session will take place on Wednesday, February 27 at 3 p.m.

About our Presenter:

Mark Lucuik, Director of Sustainability
Mark is a practicing engineer who has been involved in the field of sustainability since the early 1990’s. Mark is a past long serving member of the Board of Directors of the Canada Green Building Council (past Vice-Chair), sits on the Board of the Athena Institute, and was a founding board member of the Ottawa Chapter of the CaGBC. Mark was past co-chair of the LEED Canada Steering Committee for the Canada Green Building Council, and was a past member of several CaGBC committees and task groups. Mark’s expertise in LEED, Building Envelopes, and the embodied material effects of building materials have allowed him to work on over one hundred green buildings in Canada and the United States. Mark helps design and construction teams achieve their green goals, including LEED, efficiently. Mark is a firm believer in the benefits of green construction, and the necessity of change to reflect our changing climate. Mark demonstrates these beliefs by considering environmental effects in all professional and personal decisions. Mark lives in a LEED Platinum house.

AEE Canada East Full-Day Seminar: Envelope and Heritage Restorations

By |

Trane Eastern Canada and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Canada East are partnering to host the full-day seminar, focusing on Carbon Neutrality for Existing Buildings.

Registration and additional information can be found here.

Session Overview:

Envelope is more than windows and doors. How can we improve the performance of envelope systems while respecting building science and preservation guidelines?

Join David Kayll as he explores how to improve the insulation of heritage building restorations while respecting the historic nature of the facility and helping to meet carbon neutral targets.

This session is the third of the day and will begin at 10:15 a.m.

About our Presenter:

David Kayll, Director / Building Science Specialist
David is a senior engineering specialist delivering engineering consulting to public and private organizations, specialist support to building designers, and design on renovation and new construction. He has completed projects across Canada, including Canada’s North. David is a senior project manager for Eastern North America Building Specialty Services and is involved in energy and building science/envelope projects from Texas to Manitoba to Easter Canada.  Trained and experienced in the theories and practices of energy systems, building science and the building envelope/enclosure, David has worked in the various aspects of the industry from R&D to practical application of technical solutions to problems.

CaGBC Ontario Awards Night

By |

The CaGBC Ontario Awards Night Gala brings together more than 250 industry leaders and supporters in Toronto. The Gala features an opening networking reception, keynote speaker, gala dinner and presentation of the Green Building Excellence and Leadership Awards at the elegant Arcadian Court.

Join Morrison Hershfield’s Sustainability Disruptor, Eric Corey Freed, as he delivers the evening’s keynote and acts as MC for the Awards Night Gala.

Registration and additional information can be found here.

Morrison Hershfield also has TWO projects nominated for awards of excellence:

ONE60 Elgin has been selected as a finalist for Excellence in Green Building – Existing Buildings (for our client H&R REIT)
Seneca College has been selected as a finalist for Excellence in New Construction (Commercial and Institutional) – (for our client EllisDon & Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology)

More information about awards finalists can be found here.

CONSTRUCT: Two Presentations and a Panel

By |

Advance your techniques in developing and evaluating architectural detailing concepts while understanding lessons learned from recent developments in net zero energy, carbon pricing and financial risk models. We’re pleased to announce that our Building Science team will be presenting two sessions and participating in a panel at this year’s CONSTRUCT Conference! This 3-day conference will take place from October 3-5, 2018 in Long Beach, California.

Conference and registration information can be found here.

Presentation Overview – Performance Anxiety: Confessions from the Building Envelope

How does the design of the building envelope actually perform? This program will explore this question and show a comprehensive depiction of building performance as it relates to the building envelope. The innovative strategies presented will analyze the relationship between building envelope assembly, materials, and detailing and the actual performance of the envelope assemblies observed from in-field observations and performance testing. The performance aspects related to the building envelope will address water penetration, condensation, thermal performance, and air leakage. This will help designers make informed decisions as well as identify and assess areas of high priority earlier in the design process when it comes to meeting project performance goals. With experience working on hundreds of Building Envelope Commissioning (BECx) and envelope testing projects over the last decade, we have seen what works and what doesn’t. Our in-depth discussion of recent architectural concepts will compare design/details versus actual field performance.

Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Outline advanced techniques to develop and evaluate architectural detailing concepts related to air, moisture, and thermal performance
  • Identify effective and progressive methods to accomplish building envelope mock-up and field performance testing
  • Specify performance testing to effectively verify the OPR
  • Describe how products and architectural details actually perform when tested through review of case studies

This session will be presented by Stevan Vinci, Building Envelope Commissioning Specialist, and Rick Ziegler, Senior Building Science Consultant. It will take place on Wednesday, October 3 at 9:20 a.m.

Panel Overview – A Look Ahead at 2019: Trends and Challenges in the AEC Industry

Get together with your peers and a group of thought leaders to discuss the hot topics, emerging trends, challenges and opportunities facing the AEC industry. What lessons, new wisdom, and better tools should we take with us to help us face the challenges in 2019?  The topics will vary depending upon the audience and could range from materials and construction processes to women in architecture, augmented reality to offsite/modular construction trends and everything in between.  This is an open forum where the exchange of ideas, opinions and information is encouraged.  Ask questions of the panel of thought leaders or share your own insights.  We will crowdsource the topics of interest to the audience just prior to the event, so the content will be fresh and timely.

Stevan Vinci, Building Envelope Commissioning Specialist, will act as a panelist for this session. It will take place on Thursday, October 4 at 7:30 a.m.

Presentation Overview – An Optimistic Report from the Dystopian, Apocalyptic World of 2030: Innovations in Net Zero Building

In the last decade, carbon levels increased 20 parts per million (from 380 to 403), the population grew by one billion, global temperature increased by half a degree Celsius, and 25 percent more people moved into our cities. The world is rapidly changing and will be a very different place by 2030. In this talk, we’ll explore dozens of disparate trends in technology, sustainability and the construction industry and connect the dots to get a glimpse into how we can save the world AND save our businesses at the same time. You’ll learn how to stack emerging trends to forecast opportunities in the green building space. Climate change is redefining the design parameters and project demands for building design. Uncertainty in the future will require solutions that measure and manage energy, water and health outcomes in innovative ways. During this energetic and entertaining session, participants will engage in a collaborative process to better address systemic barriers to healthy, high-performing, sustainable, resilient buildings. Together, we’ll acknowledge the challenges and complexities facing project teams pursuing net zero / zero carbon projects and how to identify the risks amplified over and above a conventional development. Hear from an award winning architect in a lively discussion that will change how you look at the future, regardless of how bleak it may be!

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the lessons learned from recent developments in net zero energy, carbon pricing and financial risk models, and how to apply them to their upcoming projects
  • Identify the key financial barriers facing these projects, and how to find creative ways to communicate these opportunities to the owners
  • Discover how advances in automation, energy storage, biophilia and climate planning will change how building owners set requirements for their projects
  • Describe innovative strategies being used on current projects to design and build low carbon communities

This session will be presented by Eric Corey Freed, Sustainability Disruptor. It will take place on Friday, October 5 at 8:45 a.m.

GlassCon Global: Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Quality Fade

By |

GlassCon Global is North America’s premier Technical Conference, bringing together global innovations in glass technology to further the development of the glass and glazing industry. Our team is pleased to have two papers accepted at this year’s GlassCon Global Conference in Chicago, September 5-7, 2018.

Further information and registration can be found here.

Session Overview: Silicone Spandrel Glass Coatings: Mitigating Glass Breakage Risk from Thermal and Other Stresses

Curtain wall design commonly uses insulating glass units for vision and spandrel glazing to provide better visual harmonization of building façade glass. Risks with this design approach include higher thermal stresses, especially when low-emissivity coatings are used on insulating glass units in spandrel areas. Ceramic enamel frit – commonly used to opacify spandrel glass – is known to induce a bending strength reduction of up to 50%. The ability of ceramic enamel frit coated glass to resist thermal stress is similarly reduced. Multiple incidences of thermal stress related fracture have occurred with heat-strengthened, ceramic enamel frit opacified spandrel glass. An increased chance of spontaneous breakage, by nickel sulfide inclusions, may occur if ceramic enamel frit opacified spandrel glass is fully-tempered to withstand the thermal stresses that it is exposed to.

Silicone spandrel glass coatings have been examined as a solution to prevent the strength reduction in heat-treated glass when ceramic enamel frit is applied as an opacifier. Four-point bending tests were used to investigate the flexural strength of coated heat-strengthened and fully-tempered glass. Ball drop testing was used to investigate the impact resistance of coated fully-tempered glass.

Co-Author: Stéphane Hoffman, Vice President, co-authored the paper Silicone Spandrel Glass Coatings: Mitigating Glass Breakage Risk from Thermal and Other Stresses. This paper will be presented by Chris Fronsoe.

Date & Time: Thursday, September 6 at 2:45 p.m.

Session Overview: Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Quality Fade

The need to demonstrate fiscal responsibility for public and private sector building projects typically drives owners, construction managers and general contractors in North America to consider cost savings available through the global supply chain. 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).
To be fair, QA, QC and QF can be an issue with domestic producers also. The same latitude in industry practices and standards available to off-shore suppliers is, of course, available to domestic suppliers. So 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.

Presenter: George Torok, Building Science Specialist, will be presenting his paper Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Quality Fade: An Alphabet Soup of Compliance Standards is not Enough. This paper was co-authored by Yvon Chiasson, Building Science Specialist.

Date & Time: Friday, September 7 at 1:30 p.m.

About our Speaker:

George Torok, Building Science Specialist
George brings a unique breadth and depth of experience to every project, with over 30 years of experience in building enclosure design, construction, performance assessment, failure investigation and rehabilitation for public and private sector buildings of all types across North America.  George is a member of Morrison Hershfield’s Façade Engineering Team, working with building owners and design teams to achieve balanced, practical and innovative solutions, and providing peer support and mentoring internally.  His focus is fenestration technology, including low-rise residential windows, doors and skylights, high-rise residential window wall, commercial curtain wall and custom, one-of-a-kind glazed architectural structures.

Facade Tectonics Forum VANCOUVER: Beyond Glazing + Big Glazing

By |

Join us at façade Tectonics Forum in Vancouver! We’ll have two team members participating in panel discussions titled Big Glazing: The Escalating Challenge of a Centuries-long Trend and Beyond Glazing: Trends, Drivers and What Lies Beyond the Horizon. This Forum is a full-day symposium, providing several educational sessions focused on the evolving considerations and practices of building façade glazing.

Registration information for Façade Tectonics Forum: VANCOUVER can be found here.

Big Glazing – Presentation Overview:

The trend of ever larger lites of glass in the building envelope extends back to the Roman Empire and the first use of window glass in architecture. Increasing complexity accompanies this trend: larger glazing units are more challenging to produce, handle, transport, support and install. This ongoing amplification of complexity is itself a trend in architectural glass development, which now involves extensive post-processing of raw flat glass by heat treating, coating, laminating, and printing, and the use of glass in an increasing array of complex assemblies including insulating, laminated, photovoltaic, electrochromic, spectrally-selective and decorative products. Where are these trajectories headed? What are the considerations that practitioners must account for in using “big glass?”

Yvon Chiasson, Senior Building Science Consultant, will participate in this panel discussion at 8:15 a.m.

Beyond Glazing – Presentation Overview:

Architectural glass presents multiple trajectories into the future, all with potential contribution to a transformative change in the built environment. These trajectories involve the development of glass as a material and as part of a façade assembly, and the evolution of expression of glass in buildings and their façades—both as a vehicle for transparency, translucency and reflection, and as a performative material facilitating daylight and view. In addition, despite the long-running trends of ever more and ever larger lites of glass in the building skin, escalating performance requirements are driving the consideration and use of alternative façade materials.

Stéphane Hoffman, Principal/VP of Façade Engineering, will participate in this panel discussion at 4:15 p.m.

About our Panelists:

Yvon Chiasson, Senior Building Science Consultant
Yvon has over 18 years of consulting experience and works with Morrison Hershfield’s FaçadeEngineering team. He has experience with a number of different envelope materials, years of involvement with R&D, and technical sales of building envelope systems. Utilizing his years of background in the glazing industry, Yvon’s work often brings him to the table with glazing manufacturers to evaluate different systems, as well as to witness manufacturing and testing for enhanced Quality Assurance. Yvon has managed projects for various commercial, high-rise, and institutional buildings, both private and public sector clients.


Stéphane Hoffman, Principal / VP Facade Engineering
As Professional Engineer with a Master’s degree level education that combines structural engineering, building science and architecture, Stéphane brings a well-balanced consulting approach to the building envelope; blending scientific analysis with an understanding of aesthetics considerations.  Stéphane leads Morrison Hershfield’s Façade Engineering and Building Performance Analytics Teams focusing on conceptual design of cladding and glazing systems on projects throughout North America.

Utah Energy Code & Advanced Building Science Training

By |

Learn Strategies for Improving the Building Envelope while Meeting Commercial Utah Energy Codes at the upcoming Utah Energy Code & Advanced Building Science Training. Morrison Hershfield’s Building Envelope experts Chamonix Larsen and Rick Ziegler, along with Salt Lake County Building Official Brent Ursenbach will provide a detailed overview of commercial energy code requirements related to the building envelope and discuss strategies to reduce thermal bridging and improve wall performance. Onsite training includes a tour with the building envelope contractor NOORDA at their facility and an in-depth analysis of how they have helped their clients avoid high-risk details that lead to leaks and moisture problems.

This training will include two half-day sessions on June 26 and a half-day of on-site training on June 27.

Register and view the complete schedule here.

About Our Speakers:

Chamonix Larsen, AIA, LEED AP, Building Science Consultant
Chamonix is licensed architect with 13 years of industry experience. Her technical experience includes project management, design consultation and building envelope commissioning.  She has served as an owner’s representative for energy efficiency, LEED certification, whole building commissioning, and the development and implementation of the State of Utah High Performance Building Standard.  Chamonix has worked for clients in both private and public sectors, on renovation and new construction design. She is well versed in energy efficiency programs and high performance building project strategies used by state and municipal government entities.

Rick Ziegler, PE, Building Science Regional Manager
Rick has over 10 years of experience as a building envelope consultant.  His wide-ranging experience covers new and existing buildings in numerous regions of North America, Europe, and Asia.  His work includes building envelope assessments and investigations, envelope design and specifications, shop drawing and submittal reviews, field testing, mockups, and construction review.

ASHRAE 2018: Modeling of HVAC Systems Interactions with the Building Envelope

By |

Learn about the ways HVAC and the Building Envelope systems are interconnected and how to efficiently collaborate during the design process in our session Modeling of HVAC Systems Interactions with the Building Envelope at the 2018 ASHRAE Annual Conference June 23–27, 2018.

Presentation Overview:

A building’s HVAC system and building envelope are intimately linked. Many envelope systems used for new construction and retrofit have poor thermal performance characteristics which can impose unexpected limitations on interior environmental set points and thermal comfort. Climate and indoor air moisture conditions can create high risks for building systems. Early collaboration between HVAC and envelope designers will enable the selection of systems and operational requirements that can mitigate problems, improve durability and ultimately result in a better performing new or retrofitted building.

Peter Adams will be presenting at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 25 as part of Seminar 25 in room 371AB.

Learn more about the conference and register here.

About the Presenter:

Peter Adams, P.Eng, Principal, Senior Building Envelope Engineer
Peter has specialized in the field of building science since 1992. Peter has conducted work on hundreds of properties involving many aspects of building performance.

Peter has made numerous presentations on building envelope, Building Envelope Commissioning (BECx), indoor air quality, and mold related topics, and currently teaches Building Science and related topics at the University of Toronto and at the University of Wisconsin. Peter has authored many articles for publication in various trade magazines and journals.