energy code Archives - Morrison Hershfield

IPCC 2018 Cities: Plan B for Rapid Adaptation

By Ami Case | | No Comments

Kalum Galle, Senior Sustainability Specialist, will be presenting Plan B for Rapid Adaptation, GHG Reductions and Resilience for the Built Environment at this year’s Cities and Climate Change Science Conference.

Presentation Overview:

This session is developed to provide a solid regional emphasis for Plan B for rapid adaptation, GHG reductions and resilience for the built environment position paper proposed as a session. As indicated in this document developed by sixteen members and associates of iiSBE (the International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment), extreme climate driven events localized in urban population centers may trigger governments and policy makers to take action to mitigate risks associated with the impact of climate change. Though the paper elaborates on various key actions to rapidly respond to extreme climate and weather conditions, identification of regional vulnerabilities and risks are regarded as a necessary preliminary step.

Having to endure various climate driven catastrophic events over the years such as floods, droughts, forest fires and intense hail storms, cities in Alberta have begun to build climate resiliency into their future planning. With the collaboration of policy makers in local municipalities and provincial government, this oral presentation intends to dissect the actions being taken and challenges being faced by various provincial and municipal government fronts such as the introduction of new minimum energy performance requirements in building codes, implementation of carbon tax, and greater emphasis on durability and urbanization strategies designed to limit urban sprawl.

Delegates attending the session Plan B for rapid adaptation, GHG reductions and resilience for the built environment will find this oral presentation to be grounded in local context and will provide them with a sense of urgency to take action at an individual level.


Please note that conference participation is by invitation only.

CaGBC Alberta: Exploring the City of Edmonton’s Sustainable Building Policy

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Yichao Chen, Building Energy Consultant, will be a panelist on the CaGBC Alberta Chapter’s session titled How much will it cost? Exploring the City of Edmonton’s Sustainable Building Policy.

The session will take place at 12-noon on Tuesday, January 30th. CaGBC Alberta requests that attendees arrive at 11:30 am.

Presentation Overview:

The City of Edmonton released a bold new Sustainable Building Policy in May 2017 to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from City buildings. Policy C532 calls for new construction for the City to be built 40% below the requirements of the NECB 2011. The policy establishes the City as a leader in Western Canada at the same time as it begs the question, “How much will it cost?” Morrison Hershfield partnered with municipal planning staff to determine the cost premium for diminishing CO2 emissions for a variety of building typologies.

Join moderator Andrée Iffrig of DIALOG and panelists Juan Monterrosa of the City of Edmonton, Yichao Chen of Morrison Hershfield and Tyler Dixon, a principal at DIALOG, for a discussion of the new policy’s benefits and challenges, and how other organizations and clients could adopt similar measures.

Net Positive Symposium: Thermal Bridges in Passive House Design

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Christian Cianfrone, Building Energy Specialist, will present Thermal Bridges in Passive House Design on day 2 of the symposium, October 31 at 1 p.m.

Session Overview:

As Passive House becomes increasingly popular in commercial, institutional, and high rise multi-unit residential construction, our understanding of thermal bridging needs to consider an expanding range of materials, assemblies and construction methods. Luckily, quantifying the impact of and mitigating thermal bridges has been the subject of research for the last several years, yielding a large amount of data that industry can benefit from. This presentation will introduce participants to an exciting project that is currently in development – an online Thermal Bridging Performance Database. Participants will get a sneak peek into the resource, including how the data can be leveraged to make better decisions on projects and ultimately reduce energy use on buildings.

Engineers & Geoscientists of BC Annual Conference: The BC Energy Step Code

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Christian Cianfrone, Building Energy Specialist, will be presenting a session titled The BC Energy Step Code: What Engineers and Geoscientists Need to Know Today at 3:45 p.m. on October 20.

Session Overview:

B.C.’s Climate Leadership Plan set a goal to ensure all new buildings will be net zero within 15 years and introduced the BC Energy Step Code as the policy path to get there. The panel discusses the BC Energy Step Code and brings engineers up to speed on the nuts and bolts, including barriers to adoption that have been identified to date and options to mitigate them. Learn what you need to know about this emerging standard.

SeaBEC Monthly Meeting: Building Envelope Commissioning and LEEDv4

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Learn how the updates to LEEDv4 affect Building Envelope Commissioning at the April SeaBEC (Building Enclosure Council) monthly meeting.

Steve Vinci, Senior Sustainability Consultant and Building Envelope Commissioning Practice Lead, will present on how the changes affect building performance going forward.

Course Overview:

The Commissioning process has historically attached itself to the active systems, leaving the primarily passive envelope systems undefined and unchecked.

However, due to the significant changes in City and State Energy Codes across the US addressing envelope design requirements to meet air leakage control and thermal performance targets, a new light has been directed at the importance of commissioning the passive systems.

The code changes are requiring 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 designers to be prepared for the new changes being implemented in LEED v4, as well as stay current on how certain building envelope assemblies perform related to energy performance while ensuring long-term durability.

Commissioning the building envelope is quickly receiving greater recognition as a critical element in achieving optimal building performance.


5:00-5:30 PM: Networking/Refreshments
5:30-5:45 PM: SeaBEC Business & Announcements
5:45-7:00 PM: Speaker presentation

Attendance for monthly SeaBEC meetings is free to members. Non-members may attend for a $10 entrance fee.

2017 ABAA Conference & Tradeshow: Air Barrier – New Energy Code Impacts

By Ami Case | | No Comments

Air Barrier: New Energy Code Impacts is presented by J. Lee Durston, Principal and Sr. Building Science Consultant, and Jack Pearson, Building Science Consultant, at this year’s annual Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) Conference & Tradeshow.

The session will take place on Thursday, April 20, at 8 a.m.

Presentation Overview:

Over the past decade, energy codes have brought a number of changes with respect to improving the performance of the building envelope both in design and construction. Most notable is the increasing importance on air-leakage through the enclosure and how this often unknown value affects many energy efficiency metrics that define the performance of the building.

Currently, there are multiple codes and standards requiring varying levels of air tightness, as well as varying performance levels and methods of verification.

As the requirements and performance implications are understood, common design and construction practices will shift toward better performance, as was experienced in the early years of the USACE requirements on which the private sector codes are based.

This presentation will provide a critical review of these codes and standards for validity, impact, and relevance through a review of multiple case studies of current enclosure consulting and whole building air leakage testing.

These case studies will include high-rise, multi-family, and other commercial new and renovation construction.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the theory and historical progression of air tightness requirements and understand the metrics that provide the baseline for levels of air tightness.
  2. Understand the basic phases of holistic enclosure consulting related to air barriers and performance verification of air barriers.
  3. Familiarize participants with specific building envelope requirements related to air leakage testing in the recent and upcoming energy codes and how those codes and standards are enforced.
  4. Understand validity, impact, and relevance of the wide range of air tightness codes and standards.

BUILDEX Edmonton: NECB 2011 and Building Envelope Systems

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Christian Cianfrone, Building Energy Practice Lead, and Amir Hassan, Facade Engineering Specialist, will be presenting NECB 2011 and Building Envelope Systems.  The session will take place at 11 a.m on Wednesday, March 22.

Session Overview:

The NECB 2011 Energy Code is now a requirement in Alberta, with all projects required to comply since November 2016. This sessions will help you understand the new code by addressing which compliance path is appropriate, what the prescriptive or performance requirements are, and how they may impact your projects.

The presentation will discuss Alberta case studies that have navigated the NECB code requirements and lessons learnt from the experience, ranging from prescriptive compliance to energy modeling. Examples of how the trade-off path can be applied will also be presented. When a project pursues the performance path (energy modelling), there is synergy with other sustainability certifications such as LEED or BuiltGreen.

Early design decisions informed through energy modelling and parametric analysis may help design teams achieve NECB compliance or other sustainability targets in a cost effective manner, and allow more freedom in meeting other project requirements aside from energy. We will also review the challenges of new stringent energy standards on building envelope systems and consequential effects such as energy efficiency, air quality and condensation.

BUILDEX Vancouver: The Importance of Structural Thermal Breaks in Meeting Future Energy Building Codes and Improving Building Envelope Efficiency

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Christian Cianfrone, Principal and Building Energy Specialist, will be presenting The Importance of Structural Thermal Breaks in Meeting Future Energy Building Codes and Improving Building Envelope Efficiency at this year’s BUILDEX Vancouver conference. This session will take place on Thursday, February 16 at 8:30 a.m.

Session Overview:

Recent evolutions in building energy codes, such as the City of Vancouver’s newly adopted rezoning policy and the upcoming BC Stretch Code, focus much more on the efficiency of building envelopes. Not only is there an emphasis on reducing heat loss from building envelope assemblies, there is also scrutiny on interface details where significant thermal bridging occurs.

Balconies and other cantilever construction elements, which project through the building envelope, break the insulation layer, and create thermal bridges. Incorporating a thermal break within structural elements can significantly improve the thermal performance of building envelopes.

This session will discuss solutions to thermally break the external structural components from the building envelope, minimizing thermal bridging, energy loss, and thereby mitigating moisture and mold issues.

Attendees will get a brief overview of the City of Vancouver’s new rezoning policy with a focus on the new “TEDI – Thermal Energy Demand Intensity” metric. Speakers will also discuss innovative technologies for structural thermal breaks at balconies and their impact relative to meeting new building energy requirements.

RCI SoCal 17th Hawaii Winter Workshop: Insulated Metal Panels – Design and Construction Challenges

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Harold Louwerse, Building Science Consultant, will be presenting Insulated Metal Panels – Design and Construction Challenges: Tales from the field and how to improve your next design using IMP at this year’s annual RCI SoCal chapter Hawaii Winter Workshop in Honolulu.

Exterior insulated assemblies are growing in popularity and Insulated Metal Panels (IMP) are chosen by Owners, Architects and Engineers as an attractive, cost effective, all-in-one envelope solution (moisture barrier, air barrier, cladding and insulation) or simply as a cladding and insulation over a separate moisture barrier. Designing buildings with IMP’s pose many challenges. This includes how IMP’s interface with other building envelope assemblies as well as the installation challenges to achieve the desired airtight and thermally efficient building envelope. What is easily drawn on paper can pose some serious challenges in the field

The presentation will cover and provide the following:

  • An explanation behind the basic building science principles behind IMP systems on the market today.
  • The presenter will explore various types of projects these systems have been used on and a review of typical building envelope and architectural detailing for these IMP systems. A review of several details showing typical construction of IMP systems and installation methods including cut joints, interlocking shaped joints, and termination details.
  • A review of several common challenges of the system including structural backup tolerances and structural material selection (Steel Frame vs. Concrete vs. Steel Stud)
  • Explore the challenges of maintaining the system’s thermal performance at openings, base of wall and penetrations and we will explore what can be done to minimize the effects of thermal bridging through this assembly.
  • A review of several case studies and project challenges of using an IMP system. Attendees will gain valuable first-hand knowledge from the presenter on dealing with challenges and offer up solutions that can be implemented in the design stage so you do not have to deal with them in the field.
  • A review of common post construction problems, including impact damage and repair options and methods.

AIA Seattle CAP Series: Energy Efficient Design of Building Envelopes to Comply with the New Energy Code

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Medgar Marceau, Senior Building Science Engineer, and Emile Wang, Building Science Consultant, will be jointly presenting Implications for the Energy Efficient Design of Building Envelopes to Comply with the New Energy Code as part of AIA Seattle’s 2016 Corporate Allied Partners (CAP) Collaboration Classes Series.

As Seattle continues to strive to become a net-zero energy city, the Seattle Energy Code requirements are becoming more stringent with each edition. While there is no denying there are benefits of stricter requirements, building designers are faced with challenges in constructing a more air-tight, energy-efficient building. In this presentation Morrison Hershfield will highlight specific changes in the 2015 Seattle Energy Codes, as well as review design considerations that would benefit the energy efficiency of the building envelope and mitigate risk of condensation.