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On November 6 to 8, WSP’s key leaders specialized in buildings will attend the 15th Canadian Conference on Building Science and Technology. Our experts will speak about their experience in developing iconic, complex and challenging buildings. Held in Vancouver, WSP is proud to count on nine experts who will elevate the building sciences conversation to the next level.


Monday, November 6, 2017


10:30 AM PST

Forensic Whole-Building Simulation 
Alex McGowan

Alex McGowan

A homicide investigation required a whole-building simulation to determine the temperature and humidity profiles for a period of interest, to test the alibi of a known suspect. This presentation describes the project from calibration through to delivery of information in court. Conclusions are provided about requirements of such models, the calibration process, and the reliability and accuracy of predictive models.

10:30 AM PST

Retrofitting Resilience into Buildings in a Mixed Humid Climate 
Sarah Buffaloe and Paul Totten

Sara Buffaloe  Sara Buffaloe

All over the world, weather patterns are changing. In many places, extreme hot and cold temperatures are being experienced by people and buildings not acclimated to the changes. In the mixed humid climate of the mid-Atlantic region, unique building enclosure failures related to climate change include an increase in condensation issues as a result of record lows in the region over recent winters. This presentation explores condensation issues related to extreme cold for a typical large multi-family residential building and proposes a retrofitted, cost-effective solution in the form of a passive heat fin. 


11:00 AM PST

Regal Place Hotel - Cost-Effective Heritage Façade Rehabilitation 
Brenden David, Paul Creighton

Brenden David

Paul Creighton

In this presentation, Brenden David and Paul Creighton discuss a case study involving WSP’s approach with rehabilitating the façade of the Regal Place Hotel in Vancouver’s downtown East side. From 2014 to late 2016, WSP worked with Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation, David Norman Architect, the City of Vancouver, and specialty contractors to design and implement a repair strategy that would both restore the integrity of the structure and meet Heritage Planning Department requirements. The combination of the major repair strategies allowed the team to meet the needs of the diverse stakeholders in the project and proved to be very cost-effective.


1:00 PM PST

Scoring Big on Façade Without Skipping a Beat on Safety
Nicole Parsons, Scott Baxter

Nicole Parsons

Scott Baxter

In a presentation that was jointly written with MicroClimate, Nicole Parsons and Scott Baxter discuss Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre (NMC), in Calgary’s East Village. The stringent interior conditions required in the galleries that will showcase NMC’s collections coupled with the extremely cold Calgary winters demanded a high performance enclosure. NMC also invested a lot of time and effort in seeking out a unique and impressive design for their new home, including holding an International Design Competition. Both the building’s performance and finished appearance were non-negotiable. Studio Bell is clad primarily with glazed terra cotta tile, applied in a unique rain screen format.  This presentation will focus on the snow and ice studies, including laboratory testing, completed as part of the design process. The studies and testing were devised to assess how ice and snow would both form and behave on the various rain screen configurations, with a key aspect being to reduce the potential for falling or wind released ice and snow or icicles from the building façade.


2:00 PM PST

BC Hydro HQ: Design and Construction Challenges on a Barrel Arch Canopy Replacement Project
Paul Creighton

Paul Creighton


The main headquarters building for BC Hydro (BCH) is a landmark building constructed circa 1992 in the commercial downtown are of Vancouver British Columbia. Nineteen stories stall, it features granite (and concrete) cladding and coloured-glass skylights and canopies at the top and bottom – intended to mimic or invoke the mountains of British Columbia and to suggest a tall waterfall descending each face of the building and cascading into arched canopies at each entrance. In 2013, WSP was retained to conduct a condition review of the entire building envelope. Among the concerns noted was ongoing leakage at the lower-level glass skylights and canopies, in spite of regular repair programs. Subsequent detailed evaluations identified the existing conditions, causes of leakage and other concerns, and presented several options for repair. This presentation discusses the decision-making process in determining a repair process, and the many changes necessitated or experienced during the repair program.


3:00 PM PST

The Real Estate Hot Potato - Challenges and Solutions for Whole-Building Re-Cladding Projects
Scott Armstrong

Scott Armstrong

Building renewal projects are subject to an array of market challenges: the “Class” ceiling, static revenues, existing tenants and lease agreements, rent pressures, vacancy rates, capital expenditure forecasts, leasing partnerships, among other factors. Further, there are very few examples in the marketplace that demonstrate whether whole-building recladding projects have an attractive return on investment. This presentation will review the existing buy, hold, and sell approach – or “real estate hot potato” – and analyze the building renewal “decision arc,” including risk mitigation, measured and predicted cladding deterioration, energy improvements, revenue generation, and improved aesthetics.


4:00 PM PST

Determining Total-Assembly R-values 
Alex McGowan

Alex McGowan

Standards such as ASHRAE 90.1 (ASHRAE, 2010-2016) and NECB (NRCC, 2011) are referenced in national Building Codes, and both require total-assembly R-values. This presentation explains how and why various calculation methods work and describes some ground-breaking (but historical) research comparing hot-box tests, computer simulation, and various hand calculation methods, and the recommendations coming out of that research. Methods discussed include physical testing, 2D and 3D computer simulation, parallel-path and isothermal-planes methods, zone method, modified zone method, ISO/DIS 6946, BRANZ method, and the methods required by ASHRAE 90.1 and NECB.  

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM PST

Chair of Building Airtightness and Air Leakage Session 
Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith chairs the Building Airtightness and Air Leakage session on Day 2 of the CCBST conference.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

8:30 AM – 12:00 PM PST

Chair of Fenestration Session 
Alex McGowan

Alex McGowan

Alex McGowan chairs two Fenestration sessions on Day 3 of the CCBST conference.

The event is taking place at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver. For more information about the conference, please click here.