engineering Archives - Morrison Hershfield

Building Partnerships: The Future for Renewable Energy Growth in Yukon


The next phase of renewable energy is the topic of an upcoming conference organized by the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce and Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce, along with NextEra.  Morrison Hershfield will contribute with other experts from across the North to share knowledge and build relationships that will grow the future of renewable energy in Yukon.

Presentation: Overview of Energy in the Yukon- Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 2:40 pm

In order to determine the future of renewable energy, we must understand the current energy system and usage. Morrison Hershfield’s Forest Pearson will share an overview of the Yukon’s electrical infrastructure, usage and trends, capacity, users and on-grid system loads. Find out about the total energy opportunity and the territory’s lofty goals for clean energy in the future.

Presented by: Forest Pearson, P.Eng., Senior Geological Engineer

Roundtable: What could a Yukon sustainable energy system look like?- Wednesday, Jan 29 at 3:45

Forest Pearson will participate in this provocative discussion alongside other professionals from the energy industry.

Panel: “Project Experience” – Partnerships from a First Nation’s perspective – Thursday, January 30 at 9:10 am

Don McCallum, Vice President of Environmental at Morrison Hershfield will moderate this panel of experts who will discuss energy projects in First Nations communities.



Facades+ Seattle: Optimizing Residential Design – Pursuing a Housing Model for the Seattle Area


The Facades+ series is back in Seattle! This year’s Seattle program includes three morning sessions covering issues unique to the Puget Sound, as well as in-depth afternoon workshops. The event will take place on Friday, December 6 at the Motif in downtown Seattle.

More information and registration here.

Session Overview: Optimizing Residential Design – Pursuing a Housing Model for the Seattle Area

Over the last decade, Su Development and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson have collaborated on a series of residential towers in Bellevue, Washington. What renders the projects so unique is the vertically integrated approach established by Su Development; the development firm, founded by engineer John Su, designs and fabricates its own custom facade systems. This panel will explore both the relationship between the stakeholders of the projects, and present a dive into the customized window wall modules of the towers.

Stéphane Hoffman, Vice President & Senior Building Science Specialist, will participate in this panel session at 10:10 am.

IIBEC Building Enclosure Symposium: Architectural Sheet Metal


The IIBEC (formerly RCI, Inc.) Building Enclosure Symposium is a two-day educational program offering cutting-edge information regarding design, construction, maintenance and repair of modern and/or older building envelopes. This year’s event is headed to Kentucky, and we’re excited to join the program! The Symposium will take place on November 11-12, 2019 in Louisville.

Registration and more information here.

Session Overview: Architectural Sheet Metal – Lessons Learned by a Third-Generation Tradesman

Prior to becoming a building enclosure consultant, Russell Raymond spent 17 years working as an architectural sheet metal worker in Louisville, KY. During this time, significant detailed information was derived from other industry professionals, time at the bench, as well as significant field experience with snips and soldering irons in hand. This experience—coupled with the last ten years as a building enclosure consultant—have given the presenter unique and well-rounded architectural sheet metal experience. While many in the industry proclaim elevated levels of sheet metal expertise, it is apparent during design peer review of these assemblies and numerous sheet metal installations that the skills needed for proper design and installation are lacking. The purpose of this presentation is to share the presenter’s experience and pass on both time-tested design nuances and installation techniques that will enlighten the intermediate and advanced consultant.

This session will be presented by Russell Raymond, Senior Building Science Consultant, on Monday, November 11 at 8:30 am.

Facades+ Toronto: Building Envelope Design on the Path to Net Zero


The Facades+ conference series is crossing the border! The first Facades+ conference in Canada will be held on Ocotber 11 in Toronto, and we’re excited for our local team to join the program! This full-day symposium will showcase presentations and panels focused on the evolution of facade technology and innovative, sustainable design practices.

More information and registration here.

Workshop Overview: Implications for Building Envelope Design on the path toward Net Zero Performance

The building envelope (cladding, glazing and roofing assemblies) is an integral part of the architectural expression of any buildings. In recent years the advent of computer simulations to assist in the structural design and manufacturing of building envelope assemblies has allowed for increasingly complex designs. However, in the past ten years, energy codes have significantly increased the energy performance as part of a trend towards high performance buildings. This has put increased emphasis on the role building envelope design plays in minimizing the energy required to operate buildings while still achieving the desired architectural design. At the same time, research and progress in the ability of computer simulations to analyze the performance of envelope assemblies have led to significant breakthroughs in the understanding of how these assemblies perform especially how thermal bringing affect their effectiveness. On the path towards net zero performance, the implications of the envelope performance is increasingly harder to ignore as the traditional trade off of efficiencies from the MEP systems can no longer account for the poor performance of the building envelope. Early design considerations of the effective performance of the building envelope is becoming crucial to the success of projects. This has led to the development of new design guides, tools and metrics to inform designers and assist them in making educated decisions on the design of the building envelope early in the design process to ensure performance expectations can be met while still achieving the desired architectural design.

Learning Objectives:

1. Review current Building Codes and the trend towards Net Zero Energy as they relate to building envelope design including new requirements to address thermal bridges.
2. Learn how the performance of the building envelope in terms of massing, orientation, glazing ratio, shading, air leakage and thermal bridging can impact performance.
3. Explore how new design guides, tools and metrics can assist with the design of envelope assemblies for high performance buildings
4. Apply the Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide methodology to account for the impact of the design envelope for a high performance commercial building.

This session will be presented by Anik Teasdale-St. Hilaire, Facade Specialist, and Neel Bavishi, Building Energy Consultant. This session is part of the afternoon in-depth workshops that will take place at 1:15 p.m.

CaGBC ASBS 2019: Thermal Bridging and Envelope Design


The CaGBC Alberta Sustainable Building Symposium is back for it’s 22nd year! This year’s event will feature three days of educational courses and project tours in the host city of Edmonton on October 7-9, 2019.

More information and registration here.

Session Overview: Thermal Bridging and Envelope Design

This session will run through the new requirements for thermal bridging calculations and design options. We will discuss the new NECB requirements as well as compare common assemblies and their previous thermal performance against the new detailed calculation methodology. This will result in how much more heat loss is actually expected in buildings, and how it affects sizing of systems along with energy code requirements.

While understanding how thermal bridging will affect the detailed design of envelopes it is important to have a practical understanding about the constructability of these details. The second half of the workshop will take attendees through examples as built of assemblies that have been constructed to mitigate thermal bridging.

This session will be co-presented by Grace Suri, Building Energy Consultant, and Julien St. Pierre, Building Science Engineer. It will take place at 12:30 pm on Monday, October 7.


Panel: Resourcing & Financing Public & Institutional Buildings

Susan Kapetanovic-Marr, Sustainability Specialist, will be moderating this panel on tools and processes specific to Government and Institutional Retrofit projects. The panel will provide insight on the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) and Municipal Energy Solutions. This panel session will take place at 2:15 pm on Wednesday, October 9.

The Condo Conference: Engineering Rapid Fire – Reserve Funds and Project Management


The Condo Conference brings together Condominium Management, Realtors, Students and AEC Professionals for two days of education focused specifically on the Condominium sector. This year’s conference will take place on October 4th and 5th in Toronto.

More information here.

Session Overview: Engineering Rapid Fire – Reserve Funds and Project Management

The difference between property managers and project managers – they are not the same. Responsible reserve fund planning for patios, roofs, windows, exteriors and big interior and underground projects to name a few; ensuring you don’t create some costly long-term mistakes.

Join Nancy Longueira, Senior Building Science Engineer, for this panel-session with three other industry experts. This session will take place on Friday, October 4th at 9 am in the Gardiner Miller Arnold LLP Room.

BuildGreen Atlantic: Keynote + Retrofit to the Max


BuildGreen Atlantic 2019 is a conference, trade show and networking event created to advance the design, construction, and operation of green buildings in Atlantic Canada. This year’s conference theme is Retrofits, Energy Benchmarking and Accelerating to Zero. BuildGreen will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Monday, September 30, 2019.

Our team is excited to be presenting two sessions at this year’s conference!

Registration and more information can be found here.

Keynote – Building as a Conscious Act: Finding Opportunity in Health, Resiliency and Community

100,000 years ago, humans had a near extinction. From those 2000 people came the billions we have today. Now we are facing a new threat of extinction.

In the next decade, more than 6,000 cities, states, and provinces around the world will try to do something that has eluded humanity for 50 years: reduce their carbon emissions. But at our rate of urbanization, we’re building the equivalent of a city the size of New York every five weeks.

Ideas that seem crazy today will seem sane in 10 years. In a world where we will “do anything” to end homelessness (except build homes); will “do anything” to end hunger (except provide food); and will “do anything” to cut emissions (except use less coal), we need new, bold solutions to our address our built environment.

In this talk, we’ll journey through an inspirational look at the global crises facing the world and a variety of ways to transform your business to adapt to a warmer, wetter world. Learn from our work with hundreds of municipalities, agencies, and companies to reduce their carbon, boost their performance, slash their operational expenses, and provide healthy spaces for everyone. Learn how to link design to outcome and uncover new ways to expand your business.

Design affects everything. The typeface in your child’s textbook affects their ability to comprehend the information. The ceiling height of your office affects the productivity of your employees. Imagine how you can use design to transform your business to improve outcomes in health, energy, carbon, and more. If you plan cities for cars & traffic, you get cars & traffic. If you plan for people & places, you get people & places.

Eric Corey Freed, Sustainability Disruptor, will present the event’s Keynote Address during the conference Welcome session at 8 a.m.


Session Overview – 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 submissions.

This session will be co-presented by Steve Murray, Senior Building Science Consultant, it will begin at 10:20 a.m.

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.

CFAA Ontario 2019 Technical Symposium: Testing for Sequence of Operations


The Canadian Fire Alarm Association (CFAA) Technical Symposium brings together members of the Fire Protection industry to network and attend education seminars, aiming to enhance knowledge and capabilities of the fire alarm service companies and other stakeholders in the industry. This year’s event will take place at the Crystal Fountain Event Centre in Markham on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

We’re pleased to announce that Lui Tai, Senior Fire Protection Engineer, will be presenting “Testing for Sequence of Operations in a fire alarm system, including Smoke Control measures in a high-rise building”. This session will take place at 3:15 pm.

More information and registration here.

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.