Red River College

A Decade of Innovation

Red River College

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2 Improving energy efficiency is more than just sealing windows, adding insulation, and having an up-to-date heating and cooling system installed. An important contributing factor to a building's energy efficiency, comfort, and durability is air leakage. "ere is a big gap of knowledge in that area," says Klassen. "We actually know quite a bit about air leakage in low-rise housing because over 30,000 homes have been tested in Manitoba. For larger, non- residential buildings that number was probably less than a dozen. We are working to address that gap in knowledge." Testing air leakage in a large building involves overcoming many obstacles. "Our first major project was an office tower in downtown Winnipeg," says Rob Spewak, Senior Research Manager of Applied Research & Commercialization and SITRG. "With a team of students and our crew, we had the challenge of making enough fans work properly to pressurize and depressurize the large building. Another challenge was to separate factors such as vents and grills whose job is to ventilate the building from legitimate air leakage issues. And, last, we had to consider the stack effect that results when warm air rises in a tall building." e crew tested the building before a new façade was added, and aerwards. "e testing sessions lasted a long time. We arrived around 6:30 in the evening and finished around 2:30 in the morning," says Spewak, adding with a laugh, "An unexpected challenge was the fact that the building had a bank machine in the lobby, and just as we'd run through half of the pressure levels for testing, a stream of customers would come through the doors to use the machine. When they le, we'd have to resume the test." When the results were tabulated, the new façade resulted in a 15 per cent improvement in air tightness. Aer this success, and with the techniques they learned, Spewak and his team wanted to test more buildings to create a database of air leakage rates for large buildings in Manitoba. "We asked 33 experts to rank 20 potential areas of energy-related building research for SITRG. Exploring air leakage in the commercial building sector was ranked highest. In response, we partnered with Manitoba Hydro, which helped us by giving us financial support to engage local consultant, Gary Proskiw, who's been working in this field since the 1970s. We promised Manitoba Hydro that we would test 20 buildings, and we delivered 25." e final reports will be completed soon. "Minimizing air leakage has an important effect on the durability of a building," says Klassen. "Excessive air leakage can cause a lot of moisture damage. It allows water vapour to get between the building and the façade that freezes and thaws, damaging the façade resulting in the need for expensive repairs or replacement. at's why a big part of our focus on air leakage control is on sustainability. It's better for the environment if you can make existing buildings last longer, rather than having to construct new ones." In many cities, there is a resurgence in renovating and converting heritage buildings. Most of these buildings were built with little or no insulation at all. Adding insulation, installing new heating and ventilation systems, and changing the type of occupancy can put stresses on the structures that they didn't face before. e recent conversion of the Union Bank Tower to house the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute is an example of such a space. "We've placed sensors in the retrofitted exterior walls of the tower to continuously monitor temperatures and moisture so we can collect data to study what happens over time," says Spewak. "Our goal is to not only increase knowledge about the energy performance of buildings in Manitoba but also to increase the supply of knowledgeable people," says Klassen. "Our research begins local in order to be relevant elsewhere. Our students learn through these projects, and at the same time, provide much-needed data for industry. Ten years sounds like a long time, but it's just a blink of the eye. We're learning all the time, creating an industrial infrastructure and a human infrastructure. And growing both is what we're trying to do with SITRG." Saturday, February 22, 2014 A DECADE OF 2004-2014 StandardAero and Red River College forged the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT) with a spirit of cooperation, intellectual curiosity and desire for results. Building on a decade of amazing achievements, we celebrate the research centre agreement as a standard for public/ private collaboration. Together, the StandardAero and Red River College partnership creates skilled jobs, marketable technology and highly trained graduates for today's competitive marketplace. CONGRATULATIONS TO RED RIVER COLLEGE ON 10 YEARS OF APPLIED INNOVATION THROUGH AR&C CATT technology includes 3D plastic printing, robotic vision systems, digital X-ray, plastic welding, cold metal transfer, chemical vapor deposition, and hybrid laser welding and cladding for aerospace superalloys. Big Buildings, Big Energy Loss, Big opportunities! The Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group (SITRG), established in late 2009 with a five- year, $2.3-million grant from the Natural Sciences & Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC), is focused on improving energy performance of new and existing buildings. "Because of our extreme climate, reducing energy use is a very important issue for Manitoba building owners," explains Ken Klassen, Research Professional for the Centre of Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI). "Our province has a long, rich history of doing pioneering work to improve energy efficiency in housing. SITRG is focused on doing that same work in commercial, industrial, institutional and large, multi-family buildings." T Paul Charette, Red River College Civil Technology alumnus and Chairman of Bird Construction Inc., along with his wife Gerri have donated $1 million to establish Red River College's first endowed Research Chair. e Province of Manitoba has matched Paul and Gerri's contribution. In April 2013, Dr. Shokry Rashwan was appointed as the Green Building & Construction Chair for Research and Innovation, and will lead applied research within the School of Construction and Engineering Technologies. "siTRg's first major air-leakage test was 363 Broadway in downtown Winnipeg" Rob Spewak and Serge Broeska check building pressurization. Paul and Gerri Charette

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