building science Archives - Page 10 of 10 - Morrison Hershfield

OBEC Roofing Seminar & AGM: ETFE Roofing & Understanding Thermal Bridging in Standing Seam Roofs


Lee Durston, Senior Building Science Consultant, and Steve Murray, Director, will be presenting two sessions at this year’s Ontario Building Envelope Council Roofing Seminar & Annual General Meeting.

Lee Durston will present ETFE Roofing: Current Case Studies. This session will review multiple case studies of ETFE roofing installations, presenting important lessons learned and discuss both the limitations and benefits of the material.

Steve Murray will present How Effective is Your Roof Insulation? Understanding Thermal Bridging in Standing Seam Roofs. This session will present how the thermal performance of standing seam roofs can be heavily impacted by the connection details, as well as explain how manufacturers are taking advantage of advanced modeling tools to develop new connection systems to improve performance and give designers new options to improve building energy efficiency.

RCI Building Envelope Technology Symposium: Presenting 3 Sessions


We are pleased to announce that Morrison Hershfield will be presenting three separate sessions at this year’s RCI Building Envelope Technology Symposium. Topics include: A Case History of ETFE on Today’s Projects, Upgrading the performance of Heritage Windows to suit Modern Design Considerations, and Design Considerations for Renewing Podium Waterproofing. All of the below sessions will be held on Tuesday, October 18th.

Lee Durston, Senior Building Science Consultant, and Shawn Robinson, Department Manager & Building Science Consultant, will be jointly presenting A Case History of ETFE on Today’s Projects.

The fluorocarbon-based polymer ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) is quickly gaining popularity in North America and is being used on some of the continent’s most prominent projects.  Through a review of multiple case studies of ETFE installations, the speakers will review important lessons learned and discuss the limitations and benefits of this material.

Key Points or Objectives:

  • Understand the basic anatomy of an ETFE system.
  • Understand the hygrothermal performance and condensation resistance of an ETFE system.
  • Understand the major questions to ask when including an ETFE system in design of a new project.
  • Understand the major milestones of the design/construction review of an ETFE system.

Scott Tomlinson, Building Science Specialist, will be presenting Upgrading the Performance of Heritage Windows to Suit Modern Design Conditions.

Heritage buildings provide important historical, cultural and social cornerstones for people. To continue these valuable functions, heritage buildings are often repurposed and modified to suit modern needs and requirements.  As building science practitioners, we are called upon to assist the design team in “making the envelope work” without compromising the building’s heritage-defining characteristics.  This presenter will discuss strategies and concepts for heritage window upgrades in cold-weather climates, and demonstrate how hygrothermal field monitoring can be used to validate the design concept. Specific case studies will be referenced.

Key Points or Objectives:

  • Discover how hygrothermal field monitoring can be used to evaluate and quantify the performance of heritage windows.
  • Understand key cold weather climate building envelope issues to consider when using heritage windows in modern interior design conditions.
  • Learn how hygrothermal field monitoring can be used to validate a design concept related to the performance of the upgraded heritage windows.
  • Know strategies and concepts for dealing with similar heritage window upgrades in a cold-weather climate.

Bereket Alazar, Building Science Consultant, and Stéphane Hoffman, Vice President Facade Engineering, will be jointly presenting Design Considerations for Renewing Podium Waterproofing.

Landscaping systems over suspended podium slabs are becoming more common as housing density intensifies and communities endeavor to increase their green spaces. These landscaped podiums often feature difficult-to-access spaces covered with heavy and complex landscaping elements. During this presentation, the speakers will discuss design decisions for landscaped and waterproofing assemblies installed over main building structures and the cost and complexities of future waterproofing renewal.  The authors will use specific examples to clearly illustrate the need to coordinate efforts between different disciplines to best meet municipality development requirements.

Key Points or Objectives:

  • Elaborate on the implications of design decisions for landscaped assemblies installed over building structures with emphasis on cost and complexity of future waterproofing renewal.
  • Convey lessons learned to illuminate podium waterproofing design decisions using case studies from ongoing or completed projects.
  • Address durable waterproofing assembly designs for plaza decks considering maintenance and repair access allowances in these designs.
  • Convey the importance of a coordinated approach between different consultants today in designing for waterproofing renewal projects for tomorrow.

Facade Tectonics: Energy Code Implications for Spandrel Design & Canadian Window Wall


Morrison Hershfield will be presenting two sessions at this year’s Facade Tectonics World Congress Conference in Los Angeles.

Stéphane Hoffman, Senior Building Science Specialist and Facade Engineering Practice Lead, will be presenting Energy Code Implications for Spandrel Design during Session 1 at 8:30 am on Monday, October 10th.

Recent energy codes have raised the bar in terms of performance expectations for the building envelope. These new codes can challenge the performance of traditional unitized glazing systems. Especially challenging is the opaque wall U-values based on the assumption of continuous insulation for metal framed assemblies. The implication of glazing ratios on glazing system U-values and in particular recent findings of spandrel performance will be summarized. A comparison of traditional parallel path (or area weighted approach) analysis and new approach to considering the effect of lateral path using 3D thermal modeling will be highlighted. The results of comparison of these two approaches in relation to guarded hotbox testing will be presented. Examples from the ASHRAE 1365-RP research report on the impact of 3D thermal bridging and the BC Hydro Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide will be used to illustrate the impact for traditional spandrel design when the effects on interface details are accounted for. Looking beyond “code compliance” examples using the latest 3D thermal modeling and innovative materials will demonstrate how the effect of thermal bridging can be mitigated. Proposed methodology to specifying spandrel performance in light of the shortcomings of current modeling techniques will be outlined.

George Torok, Building Science Specialist, will be presenting Canadian Window Wall: Design Challenges and Opportunities during Session 1 at 8:30 am on Tuesday, October 11th.

One of the defining characteristics of new high-rise residential apartment building design in Canada today is the thermally broken, open-back aluminum frame ‘window wall’ building envelope system.  Until recently, Canadian building codes and Canadian and North American fenestration standards have not recognized window wall as a distinct cladding system.  Canadian window wall systems have evolved on a largely trial and error basis.  This changed earlier this year with the release of the most recent edition of the model National Building Code of Canada that includes, for the first time, a category of ‘other fenestration assemblies’ to address window wall and other glazing systems, setting out required and recommended performance and testing requirements.  Work is also in progress on an installation standard under the aegis of the Canadian Standards Association.  While performance requirements are being sorted out at home, Canadian window wall manufacturers are promoting their systems in the United States (USA) to compete with similar systems in that market.  However, there are significant technical and aesthetic differences between Canadian and USA window wall systems that should be taken into consideration by architects, builders and developers.

George’s presentation will provide a brief overview of the development of Canadian Window Wall, design in the context of upcoming requirements, assembly and installation details that could affect design, construction and performance of the building envelope when used for high-rise residential construction in the US.

BEC Houston: Building Envelope Commissioning


Stevan Vinci, Senior Sustainability/Building Science Consultant and Building Envelope Commissioning Practice lead, will be presenting Building Envelope Commissioning at this month’s BEC Houston meeting.

With the current and upcoming release of new local and state energy codes across the US, new aggressive energy efficiency targets are being included. These inclusions require designers and contractors to deliver higher performance of their buildings, especially from the building envelope. Building Envelope Commissioning (BECx) is a topic that will enable architects to be prepared for not only the new changes being implemented in LEED v4, but also to stay current on how efficiently certain building envelope assemblies perform, as well as provide them with the tools necessary when considering new building technologies and envelope assemblies effects on energy performance for future designs/projects. Commissioning the building envelope is progressively recognized as an important element in achieving optimal building performance.
Learning Objectives

  • Understand what Building Envelope Commissioning entails.
  • Understand the importance of documenting the Building Envelope performance requirements in the Owner’s Project Requirements.
  • Understand the impact that Building Envelope Commissioning can have on the energy performance of a building.
  • Discuss BECx Case Study Project: OUS/OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building, Portland, OR.

Deep Energy Retrofit Forum: Thermal Bridges


Mark Lawton, Senior Building Science Specialist, will be presenting on Thermal Bridges at the Deep Energy Retrofit of Buildings Forum. The Forum will focus on Technical and Business Strategies.

When buildings are renovated the energetic targets are usually kept to the minimum requirements resulting in a reduction of energy use in typical retrofit projects between 10 and 20%. Considered from the perspective of a life- cycle of a typical building this approach is a “lost opportunity.” Recent research from actual executed energy projects around the globe shows that energy reduction can exceed 50%, and that renovated buildings can cost effectively achieve the passive house standard or even approach a net zero energy status.

Formal presentations by international experts will be complemented by moderated formal and informal discussions, networking and technical exhibits demonstrating the state-of-the-art technologies and best practices used in Deep Energy Retrofit projects. This forum is designed for decision makers, public building owners, energy managers, planners, engineers, architects, energy performance companies and industry partners involved in major renovation of buildings.

This Forum is presented by the Federal Facilities Council of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in partnership with the International Energy Agency EBC Program Annex 61, US Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. General Services Administration, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the U.S. Department of Energy.

BC Building Envelope Council Conference & AGM: Drainage Capabilities & Heat Loss of Different Roof Assemblies


Matthew Pel, Building Science Consultant, will be presenting Drainage Capabilities and Heat Loss of Different Inverted Roof Assemblies at this year’s BC Building Envelope Council Conference & Annual General Meeting.

Energy use in buildings throughout BC and Canada has attracted significant attention over the past decade. In BC, rainwater management is a critical aspect of designing a durable and energy efficient building envelope. This HPO funded presentation will provide an overview of the research completed by Morrison Hershfield relating to different drainage scenarios for inverted roofs and the associated heat loss for the different drainage. Items evaluated during this project include:

  • Testing instruments and equipment
  • Heat flux through the different inverted roof assemblies
  • Leakage rates in terms of water drainage a the surface of the insulation and the membrane level

AANB 2016 Industry Trade Show: National Energy Code for Buildings 2011 – How it Works with the Envelope


David Kayll, Building Science Specialist, and Dave Noel, Building Science Engineer

The National Energy Code for Buildings 2011 (NECB) is being adopted across the country as a standard approach for designing buildings to meet minimum energy targets. The use of the Code and how it integrates with Building Code and jurisdictional regulations will be discussed.  Examples showing how compliance to this Code differs from compliance with LEED and other rating systems will be used to explain how this Code is being adopted.  Methods for demonstrating compliance, coupled with reasonable building envelope practice, will be discussed.

Facades+AM: Combined Modeling Efforts for the Optimized Facade: Models, Methods and Materials

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Stéphane Hoffman, Vice President, Facade Engineering and Senior Building Science Specialist, will be presenting as part of the Combined Modeling Efforts for the Optimized Facade: Models, Methods, and Materials. For this presentation, he will give an overview of Morrison Hershfield’s Building Energy Performance Map, an interactive visualization tool for comparing multiple energy models to assist design teams in making informed early stage design decision for high-performance buildings.

Facades+ is a leading conference on high performance and high design building skins. This session of Facades+ AM is a summation of the best of the Facades+ 2-day conference, condensed into a morning seminar and tailor-made for Seattle.