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Group2 at BuildEX Seminar in Calgary: Day 2

12 Nov 2014 / posted by Calgary Studio

Addressing Building Envelope Issues
• Did you know that Calgary experiences 120 freeze thaw cycles per year (up from 80 cycles five years ago…)?! This is one of the most extreme climates for building envelope design in the world.
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Addressing Building Envelope Issues
• Did you know that Calgary experiences 120 freeze thaw cycles per year (up from 80 cycles five years ago…)?! This is one of the most extreme climates for building envelope design in the world.
• Some fun statistics about building envelope issues in Alberta:
o 25% of building envelope issues occur in commercial projects, 65% in residential projects and
10% in industrial projects;
o 80% of issues are due to installation failures with only 20% due to material failure;
o 98% of issues are caused by human error, with 2% chalked up to “acts of god” (e.g., the flood);
o 35% of building envelope failures occur at windows, 30% at walls, 20% in roofs and 15% in
the foundation;
• Building envelope issues are becoming more and more frequent. Traditionally, designs have allowed for drying of the building envelope by allowing air to move through the assembly. As we build tighter buildings to improve energy performance, we’re taking away this drying mechanism we’ve always relied on. Additionally, designers and contractors need to be aware of material limitations and constructability issues with new products.
• There is a big push for certified building envelope trades.
• More architects, owners and developers are getting building envelope specialists involved during construction. Building envelope commissioning is becoming a big thing. Review of drawings during design and frequent inspections during construction mean that mistakes are caught early and solved before costs become unbearable (we’ve been incorporating BEcx on recent LEED projects too!).

LEED Version 4 – In General
• The USGBC and the CaGBC have unleashed a new version of LEED with the goals of encouraging transparency, applying to more market segments, aligning LEED with other rating systems and driving the sustainable building industry forward.
• After October 31st, 2016, all new LEED projects will have to register in Version 4. Last week this deadline was pushed forward a year and a half from the original deadline (June 2015) to allow the industry more time to adapt.
• LEED V4 is going to be a HUGE transition. We will no longer be able to cross our fingers and hope certain credits work out. Much more work will be required in the contract docs and design stages of projects.
• There is a big emphasis on aligning with other ratings systems (WaterSense, CradleToCradle Certification …) and involving more consultants (lighting consultants, acoustic consultants, life cycle analysis consultants, building envelope consultants…). Costs are going to go up.
• The biggest take-away: LEED V4 is not really ready yet. We should continue with version 2009 while manufacturers and contractors adapt to the new system. It would be a good idea to start working on a small V4 project sometime next year to test the waters.

LEED Version 4 – Materials & Resources
• In particular, the contractor credits (recycled/regional content, FSC wood, materials reuse, rapidly renewable materials, low-VOC) are getting much more complicated. These credits will no longer be low-hanging fruit.
• It is likely that either a) the contractor will have to hire a third party LEED consultant to do their documentation (this is a service Group2 could provide…) or b) the LEED consultant for a project will have to absorb much of the contractor’s documentation or risk big point losses at the end of the project.
• If you have any product reps come in for lunch and learns or to restock your library, please ask them if they will be pursuing “third party, type 3 environmental product declarations (EPDs), health product declarations (HPDs) and or Cradle-to-Cradle certification” for their products. Moving forward, this will be really important for our LEED projects and is applicable to any and all building products.
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Group2 at BuildEX Seminar in Calgary: Day 1

12 Nov 2014 / posted by Calgary Studio


Smarter Skins in Higher Performance Buildings
• Canada has the highest Energy Use Intensity of all the G7 countries!
• P3 projects are pushing the envelope (hah) as they consider the operating costs during design
• Incorpo...[ CONTINUE READING ]
Smarter Skins in Higher Performance Buildings
• Canada has the highest Energy Use Intensity of all the G7 countries!
• P3 projects are pushing the envelope (hah) as they consider the operating costs during design
• Incorporate Dynamic Facades into a project in this order:
1. Include high performance assemblies, insulation and air barriers.
2. Minimize thermal bridges
3. Consider crazy innovations like renewable e-power producing clear glass
• Building envelope commissioning is becoming a common thing. Instead of waiting until the end of the project to test the windows/walls, create a mock-up on the first floor and test it for air and water tightness (and possibly use thermal imaging) before completing the rest of the building.
• Be aware that while spray foam is often used as an air barrier, it can shrink as it dries, creating large gaps around penetrations. Careful inspection by a building envelope specialist before enclosure is necessary to ensure a quality application.

Women in Construction Panel
• This was a great panel featuring TWO of Calgary’s Top 40 under 40:
o Jill Drader (founder of Steel Toe Stiletto Ltd and Women in Work Boots) and Karen Ryan
(founder of Ryan-Murphy Construction Inc.)
• Check out: http://womeninworkboots.ca/ for courses, inspiration and tips for women in the construction industry

Energy Savings vs. Fresh Air Ventilation in Office Spaces
• It is common practice to reduce ventilation to a minimum in order to save on energy (we do this all the time with our LEED projects!). This presenter used some very bold statistics to argue that from a cost and health perspective, this is bad design.
• Apparently, every dollar saved in reduced energy costs results in $6-9 spent in sick leave!
• Interestingly, while the recommended maximum CO2 concentrations are between 3500 and 5000 ppm, drastic reduction in productivity has been observed at 1000 ppm. Yikes!
• The speaker recommended pushing back on LEED, BOMA and government organizations who advocate for reduced ventilation.
• Because this topic is near and dear to our hearts (particularly on schools), your LEED team will be researching this more.
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