Monday, August 31, 2020

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Enclosure Design Documents for New Construction

Construction Documents for the building enclosure are commonly prepared by the Architect of Record, often with peer review by a building enclosure consultant.

We ask for a lot from enclosures today – complexity, performance, efficiency – yet detailing often concentrates near the end of the construction document phase and the risks related to rushing details can be high.

Many other design disciplines produce Construction Documents complementary to an Architect’s set. Is it time for the Building Enclosure discipline to do the same?

In Washington State, legislation requires enclosure consultants to effectively act as a designer of record and produce standalone documents for condominium projects. This has led to growing adoption of a standalone “BE Set” in the Construction Documents for mid-rise and high-rise multifamily condo and apartment design – and commercial design as well.

This presentation will provide a process overview and guidance for efficiently incorporating a BE Set into construction documents, including lessons learned and benefits for broader adoption beyond Washington State.

Bradley Carmichael

JRS Engineering, Seattle, WA

Brad has been consulting on building enclosures throughout North America for over 15 years. Brad is passionate about good design and the role it can play in social and environmental stewardship. He believes that durable and efficient building enclosures are critical for a built environment that is low consumption and long lasting.

Brad has consulted on a wide array of different project types and sectors, including high rises, healthcare facilities, cultural institutions, workspaces, affordable housing, and historic landmarks.

José Estrada 

JRS Engineering, Seattle, WA

José Estrada is a consulting engineer with more than a decade of experience providing advice on building enclosures for projects of varying size, scope, and location. His project portfolio includes a range of project types, from high-end homes, to affordable housing, to medical facilities, to military barracks, to multibillion-dollar super-tall commercial developments. He has also had an opportunity to work on projects throughout North America and China. Estrada is passionate about building science and about the role that the building enclosure must play in helping us build a sustainable world.


1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Mitigating Condensation for an Iconic Structural Glass and Precast Concrete Natatorium Façade Using Advanced CFD

Mitigating Condensation for an Iconic Structural Glass & Precast Concrete Natatorium Façade using Advanced CFD

High-performance all-glass enclosures are familiar, indoor pools are ubiquitous, but all-glass point supported pool facades supported on Iconic precast structure without visible HVAC ducting are unthinkable. This paper begins with a primer on the unique challenges posed by pools in building enclosure design. These challenges will be illustrated by several forensic case studies of natatorium failures across North America. The lessons learned from these investigations have led to several rules of thumb that have governed modern natatorium design. However, when iconic design conflicts with precedent, a shift in the design paradigm is required. As consultants on a recent all-glass pool enclosure, the authors will show how advanced computational fluid dynamics modelling can be integrated with building enclosure design to mitigate the risk of condensation and comfort issues. Other aspects of the design – including point supported glazing, precast structural elements, and concealed HVAC systems – will be described in the context of a high-performance natatorium enclosure. This paper will be a valuable resource to professionals looking to design for high-humidity occupancies with large glazing ratios.

Daniel Haaland

RDH Building Science, Inc., Burnaby, BC, Canada

Daniel is a Building Science Engineer on RDH’s Research, Forensics, and New Buildings teams. Daniel’s work includes thermal modeling, energy code compliance, building enclosure consulting, and innovative building science research. He is adept with a wide range of building analysis software including HEAT3, THERM, flixo, and CONTAM. He supplements this expertise with knowledge of various building analysis techniques including energy modeling, and hygrothermal analysis. Through his research, Daniel assists in the development of technical bulletins, research reports, and guides. Current research interests include low-energy, Passive House, and IAQ design.

Steven Hall

Gradient Wind Engineers & Scientists, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Steven is a Wind Engineer at Gradient Wind Engineering. Steven’s work includes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling of air flows in and around buildings for predicting occupant comfort, exhaust dispersion, and snow accumulation, as well as providing expert advice for developing new modelling methods. His research and expertise are used to guide the development of in-house software, modelling standards, and research reports.


3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Thermal, Structural, and Cost Optimization of the Building Enclosure for Net-Zero Construction

When the Building Envelope Thermal Bridging (BETB) Guide was launched in 2014, the impact of thermal bridges were largely overlooked in North America. Comprehensive thermal calculations factoring in thermal bridging are now a requirement in many new energy codes and standards due to an increased understanding of their impact and drive to net-zero construction.  The next progression is to recognize that structural requirements need to be factored into thermal calculations.  This evolution requires reliable data that is readily available, so that cost effective solutions can be efficiently examined.

This presentation illustrates this progression with a case study where various claddings and back-up walls are examined from a structural, thermal, and cost perspective.  Design assist tools with extensive data sets are showcased to illustrate how optimization can happen early-on in design and how these tools can support specifications that encourage cost effective solutions.

This presentation draws from a research project that is significantly expanding the BETB database and developing web-based applications that reduce the effort to optimize the building enclosure.  This paper is supported by experience on new construction projects where these approaches have been successfully applied.  

Katie Hay

Morrison, Hershfield Limited, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Katie is a Building Science Consultant at Morrison Hershfield, with a focus of component thermal modelling. Her background includes experience in structural modelling, including anisotropic material behavior and dynamic properties of structures.  She also has experience in validating simulation model results with physical testing. In addition to component thermal modelling, she is also involved in evaluation of heat and moisture transfer simulations and other avenues to help improve building energy use.

Brett Patrick

Morrison, Hershfield Limited, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Brett is a Façade Specialist and Secondary Structures Team Lead within the Façade Engineering group at Morrison Hershfield. He has a comprehensive understanding of buildings and façade design, having worked in the industry for over 14 years. Brett’s experience includes a variety of construction projects focusing on façade design and construction, with specific focus on complex façade and glazing systems. Brett’s expertise applies to a wide-range of technical aspects of façade design, including complex façade design, engineering, testing, site inspections and investigations of existing buildings.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Prefabricated Systems: Where Intent Versus Reality Collide

With the ever-developing challenges of accelerated project schedules and reduced project costs, prefabricated components and systems are becoming more and more widespread in the marketplace. Fabricating a portion or entire system prior to installation on the project site not only assists with project schedule and costs but also increases quality control and quality assurance and other project controls. However, the success of these prefabricated assemblies can immediately become compromised after fabrication resulting in ineffective performance, installation issues, additional unforeseen additional work, and consequently undermining the benefits of these systems. 

A brief history of common prefabricated building envelope assemblies will be reviewed to allow the audience to understand the origin and design of these systems. Next, the various types of modern prefabricated building envelope systems and components will be reviewed. Then, the modern prefabricated elements will be compared to their historic counterparts to emphasize the current problems in the actual effectiveness and final performance of these systems. Methods of evaluating the use of prefabricated assemblies will be provided, as well as safeguards to avoid potential performance and coordination issues. Finally, the author will provide case studies from representative projects to demonstrate the challenges that the prefabrication trend presents.

Amy Peevey, RRO, REWC, PE CDT

DeSimone Consulting Engineers, Houston, TX

Ms. Peevey is a building enclosure engineer with over 20 years of experience in the new design, investigation/evaluation, and restoration of building enclosure systems. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin and is a registered professional engineer. She spent a majority of her career performing forensic investigations and developing new designs, as well as providing expert litigation support for below-grade and plaza waterproofing, cladding, fenestration, roofing systems and building science related problems. Her forensic engineering background has enabled her to understand the performance of building enclosures and causes for material, system, and integration related performance failures, as well as the need to coordinate the building exterior with the other building systems (MEP, structural, civil, etc.), which in turn provides a high level of technical insight into new building enclosure design. Her new design experience has reinforced her technical knowledge and grown her understanding of new technology and innovation in materials, components, trends, construction methods, etc. as it applies to both new construction and restoration of building envelopes. Ms. Peevey is a seasoned presenter and published member of several technical trade associations and active contributor to the building enclosure community.


1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Reframing the Frame of Reference – Using 2-Dimensional Software to Model 3-Dimensional Elements

There are several means of estimating the thermal performance of building envelope components: good old-fashioned spread sheet calculations, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional modelling software, and hot-box laboratory testing.

In many cases, a good old-fashioned spread sheet may be sufficient for the task at hand. In some cases, 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional thermal modelling programs may be more appropriate and can provide a cost-effective alternative to hot-box testing. 2D software is an uncomplicated and affordable tool. By employing relatively simply measures (which will be described in the paper), it can accurately represent 3D assemblies. 3D software, in comparison, is a costlier, more complex tool, requiring a higher level of effort by the modeler. Regardless of the software, the accuracy of the model depends heavily on the expertise of the modeler and in all cases, hot-box testing should be used as the benchmark for determining the ‘right’ answer.

This paper aims to demonstrate that when effective means of using 2D software to model 3D elements are applied, both 2D and 3D software, when referenced back to hotbox tests, can produce accurate results, with relative errors in the same order of magnitude. So, while 3D software may be useful, it is not always necessary.

Janette Meyrick

WSP Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Janette works with the WSP Building Sciences team in Ottawa, specializing in thermal analysis and coordinating hygrothermal monitoring programs for heritage masonry buildings. She manages WSP’s national Centre of Excellence for Building Physics and Modelling, a national team that connects building physics and modelling business across the country, supporting teams by sharing knowledge, managing internal company processes and documents, and promoting industry reputation. She is a designated Building Science Specialist (BSS).

Janette’s 2D thermal modelling experience spans NFRC window certification simulations, condensation risk analyses, whole building R-value calculations, thermal bridge evaluations, and comparative studies of thermally broken building components.


3:30 – 5:00 PM

Renewal Strategies for Highly Insulated Low-Slope Ventilated Wood-Framed Roofs in Cool Marine Climates

Roof ventilation requirements are firmly established for residential wood-framed buildings, with ventilation commonly considered beneficial for providing drying, reducing cooling loads, minimizing ice dams, and extending the service life of roof materials by reducing surface temperatures. However, growing evidence of mold growth, moisture accumulation, and deterioration of the low-sloped wood-frame roofs in the pacific-northwest has initiated an ongoing debate regarding mandatory venting requirements. Of particular interest is how to improve durability of roof assemblies as part of renewals work, but current guidance for the design, construction, and renewal of roof assemblies is primarily anecdotal.

This presentation will highlight the findings of a significant research study and subsequent design guideline development conducted in British Columbia, Canada. This study and guide development includes a survey of roof conditions during renewals, monitoring and testing, hygrothermal and energy simulations, and an industry guide. The presentation will identify key factors impacting the observed performance of these roof assemblies, and the development of design solutions. The potential benefits of adding insulation above the roof deck, sealing of roof vents, and increasing airtightness will be presented.

Patrick Roppel, PEng

Morrison Hershfield Limited, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Patrick is a Principal, Building Science Specialist, and manages the Building Performance Analysis department at Morrison Hershfeld. With over 15 years of consulting experience related to building science and building envelope energy eficiency, Patrick’s focus in recent years has been providing tools and guidance to help practitioners make practical design decisions related to constructability, thermal, structural, energy, and hygrothermal performance. 

Lorne Ricketts, PEng

RDH Building Sciences, Inc., Burnaby, BC, Canada

Lorne Ricketts is a Principal and Building Science Specialist with RDH Building Science Inc. specializing in new construction, investigation, and research work with typical projects including designing building enclosure systems, hygrothermal and thermal analysis, and testing and monitoring of building performance. In addition to his work with RDH, Lorne also passes on his knowledge to the next generation of engineers as an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia where he teaches building science in the Department of Civil Engineering.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

A Pattern Language for Iconic Passive House and Net-Zero Façades for High-Rise Buildings

In BC by 2032 all new residential buildings will need to meet levels of performance that are currently associated with Passive House and Net Zero projects. Similar targets are being set by jurisdictions across North America to combat greenhouse gas emissions.  To help the industry prepare for these changes and to lead the way for years to come, a number of progressive high-rise projects in Vancouver are being designed and constructed to meet these goals now. As the Façade Engineer and Passive House Consultant for these projects, RDH has observed that many of the conventional assumptions about facade design and building form are going to change as these buildings become more prevalent. Understanding this shift, the redefined goal posts that they represent, and the Pattern Language for Passive House Façades early in the design process is important so that the building form and attributes can meet the design intent, while also meeting the budget and project schedule. This paper will outline the lessons learned to date and will provide a roadmap for high-performance low-emission buildings and their facades moving into the future. This will be an invaluable resource to design architects building high-rise buildings of all kinds, façade and specifically curtain-wall and window suppliers and manufacturers, façade and building envelope consultants and contractors for years to come.

Brian Hubbs, PEng

RDH Building Sciences, Inc., Burnaby, BC, Canada

With over 25 years’ experience as a consultant practicing exclusively in the field of façade engineering and building science, Brian is recognized by his peers as being a practical engineer and researcher who consistently delivers innovative solutions. He has a unique blend of theoretical and hands-on knowledge gained from completing hundreds of building enclosure investigations and rehabilitation projects as well as from façade engineering and construction review of building enclosures for new buildings. Brian has extensive experience designing, testing and constructing unique high- rise building facades with unitized curtain wall, skylights, and window-wall systems manufactured offshore in Asia and Europe.