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Ontario supports skilled trades

November 24, 2015
The Ontario provincial government is dedicating support to the industry-driven governing body in charge of promoting and modernizing skilled trades. The partnership between the province and Ontario College of Trades has recognized the recommendations of Tony Dean, the former secretary of cabinet, in his report, “Supporting a Strong and Sustainable Ontario College of Trades”. The spring legislative session will introduce Ontario’s proposed legislative changes, and the province will work with the College of Trades to implement Dean’s recommendations.

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Infrastructure report: More integration needed

November 24, 2015
The Mowat Centre, an independent Ontarian public-policy think-tank, published its latest report, “From the Ground Up: The Role of Local Governments in Building Canada’s Economic Infrastructure.” In it, the group examines the link between public infrastructure, economic competitiveness, and the role of local government, while providing recommendations on how best to address Canada’s infrastructure gap.

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Spider Plus Commercial/Residential Insulation
HEMCO modular clean labs
Symons Magic Kote


The Internet of Things, all the way to restrooms

Today, using technology is a normal, daily occurrence. In fact, as of 2014 about half of the country’s population owns a smartphone, allowing Canadians to be ‘connected’ and link with the rest of the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Although connections usually transpire between people, they are increasingly occurring between people and objects (watches, cars, refrigerators)—a phenomenon known as the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).

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Designing a low-maintenance vegetated roof

Throughout Canada, there are many beautiful, living vegetated roofs dotting urban landscapes that require care. Creating these green roofs is not only an esthetic choice, but also a major maintenance commitment. Some municipalities and cities, such as Toronto, require rooftop maintenance plans in order to obtain a vegetated roof permit, and some cities even require rooftop inspections twice a year. Many green roof system warranties are tied to performing maintenance and filing reports. Reports should include health of plants, recent weather conditions, and inspection check list of what was found and what was done. Ultimately, maintenance keeps vegetated roofs...

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Making the Invisible Visible: Designing for energy efficiency with insulation

Buildings are energy hogs. Nearly half the total energy consumption of commercial and industrial buildings in Canada is used for heating and cooling spaces, which contributes to 42.9 per cent of the sectors’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Thus, important measures are taken to reduce the energy consumption of buildings, with a special focus on heating and cooling loads.

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Riding the cloud: Adopt new technologies to meet challenges of shrinking workforce

A project may involve not only general contractors, architects, inspectors, engineers, and developers, but also regulators, city planners, estimators, and many others. This is why technologies capable of facilitating and streamlining document management, sharing, and collaboration are a central component in strategies tasked with increasing construction productivity and efficiency to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget.

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The Theory of R-value Relativity: The impact of thermal conductivity on building enclosure durability

When designers are deciding which insulation products to specify for a given project, two questions come to mind: ‘What is the R-value?’ and ‘What is the permeance?’ The answer to both these queries is, ‘It is all relative.’ If Einstein had not been so focused on the speed of light, he would have had the time to establish the third theory of relativity—R-value relativity.

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More Than a Cabin in the Woods: Designing homes using CLT and passive solar strategies

Tucked in the woods of Saint-Calixte—an hour away from Montréal—is a residential retreat that might have gone unnoticed were its designer not trying to change the way we build and heat our homes. It is an unpretentious statement, advocating better ways of building with wood and simple but efficient harnessing of the sun’s energy. At its own modest scale, this home is becoming one of several projects that will hopefully help the traditional wood industry embark on the 21st century.

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Fans of the Green Building Boom

Canadian green construction is booming, with research indicating the trend is not slowing—by 2017, the amount of green construction projects will double, motivated by the desire for high-quality, environmentally responsible buildings. At its core, green building is a focus on making smart and sustainable decisions about building site, water use, energy and atmosphere, materials, size, and indoor environmental quality, both during construction and over the life of the building.

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