Winter 2016

To access a full flip version of this issue, contact

Premier Issue, Winter 2016

To access a full flip version of this issue, contact

Click on the images that follow to read each of the articles that were included in the premier issue.


A Message from the National Research Council

This message was contributed by Richard Tremblay, General Manager of Construction for the National Research Council of Canada. In it, he discussed the NRC’s four focus areas: building regulations for market access, critical concrete infrastructure, mid-rise wood buildings, and high performance buildings.



Could Wood be a Better Building Envelope

A typical eight-storey building is usually not newsworthy. However, this eight-storey office and educational space, located in Prince George, British Columbia, is because its building envelope is made completely out of wood. In fact, the Wood Innovation and Design Centre is the world’s tallest wood building constructed in modern times; aside from the bottom floor and foundation, which are made of concrete, the remainder of the building is clad only with timber planks and engineered mass timber products. It was completed on time, on budget and with locally-sourced lumber. This feature story showcased this project and the potential that engineered mass timber products could have in building mid-rise and high-rise structures


A New Beacon on the Horizon for Edmonton

When Stantec’s new headquarters are complete in 2018, Edmonton, Alberta, will officially join the skyscraper club. The new tower will rise to 251 metres and will be Canada’s tallest building (outside of Toronto). It will bring 1,700 Stantec employees under one roof (so to speak) and will have room to grow; there is potential to add two additional floors, as well as creating a cap to the building that could raise the final height. This article discussed the design of this building, including its goals at street level, LEED Gold targets, how the budget influenced decisions and scheduling in tight, urban site conditions.


New Ideas for Old Saskatchewan Structures

Ali Piwowar, an architect-in-training, wants to take Saskatchewan’s iconic grain elevators and adapt them into modern-day spaces to live, work and play. While these solid structures may no longer have agricultural usefulness, they are structures that could have brand new purpose. There are about 420 wooden grain elevators left in the province. Piwowar envisions a tourist information centre in the drive shed, an events venue on the main level, a glass elevator where the man lift used to be, guest suites in the shoulder, and a coffee shop and bakery on top. To make it viable, a new building envelope (vapour barrier, insulation, etc.) would need to be installed. In this article, readers learned about how this concept could work in many prairie communities, without incurring a massive cost because most of the structure is already in place.


VDC Makes Breathtaking Building Envelopes Possible

Stone, glass, steel and concrete wrap the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in a twist of amazing architecture. In fact, 1,669 custom-cut pieces of glass make up this building’s inspirational building envelope. Melding the architect’s vision with very real and very complex envelope challenges was achieved with the help of virtual design and construction (VDC) and other supportive technologies. The building would not have been built to the same standard without these tools, which included “live walk throughs” and renderings to help everyone on the team visualize and evaluate what was possible. In this article, readers learned how the geometry of the CMHR’s envelope challenged everyone involved, and those challenges were overcome.



Melding Mother Nature With Urban Design

While this is not a new concept, green vegetative options have greatly advanced over the past decade. This article discussed how properly installed vegetative roofing assemblies can more than double the lifespan of a building’s waterproofing membrane.


Effectiveness of Different Drip Edges

By deflecting rainwater from the exterior surface of a wall assembly, drip edges can reduce moisture-related issues. This article outlined results from a study that compared the effectiveness of different drip edge materials, profiles and overhang distances.

Tools and Technologies

Each issue, this department features new products to market specific to building envelopes and construction.

Take Note

Each issue, Western Exteriors highlights building science-related headlines from across Western Canada. In the Winter 2016 issue, readers learned about ROXUL Inc.’s new Energy Design Centre; a University of British Columbia student residence being built from wood that will be among the tallest wood buildings in the world; a new Building Envelope Technology Access Centre going up at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba; and much more.