The Conference Board of Canada’s (CBoC’s) research series, Cool Ideas, launched earlier this year with a look at how 3D-printed homes could be considered for northern and Indigenous communities. The series aims to spark discussion about how emerging technologies could potentially improve or disrupt the quality of life in the North.
“Revolutionary Building for the North: 3D Printing Construction” highlights how the technology could deliver significant cost and time savings. According to the board, construction and maintenance costs are extraordinarily high in the North as building materials must be transported on ice roads or sealifts and scheduled months in advance. The shortage of housing causes overcrowding in homes thereby contributing to health problems, interfering with youths’ learning and education, and intensifying domestic tensions.
However, questions remain on the effectiveness of the technology in northern and remote environments. 3D printers use a combination of extruded concrete and foam and it is not yet known whether these materials can stand up to Arctic climates. Concrete may also be too heavy for houses that are built on permafrost terrain and the shifting ground that comes with permafrost degradation due to climate change.
“There are still many unanswered questions about 3D printed homes. But, there are signs that 3D printing could revolutionize home construction and potentially help to address many of the housing challenges facing the region,” said Ken Coates, co-author of the report.
The Cool Ideas series will consist of approximately 10 reports, published over the next several years.
Save the date for the Calgary Chapter’s Connections Café. The event will take place on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, at the Calgary Winston Golf Club. The tradeshow will be from 3 to 6 p.m. where hors d’ouveres will be served. It will be followed by cocktails from 6 to 7 p.m. and dinner from 7 to 8 p.m. The keynote speaker will present from 8 to 9 p.m.
Connections Café is primarily a tradeshow and a speaker/dinner event. Participants will have the opportunity to meet architects, interior designers, technologists, engineers, general contractors (GCs), and more.
According to RAIC, the purpose of the project is to foster and promote Indigenous design and architecture in rural, Métis, and northern communities, First Nations, and urban spaces, and to advocate with and on behalf of Indigenous communities. The symposium’s theme was reconciliation, place-making, and identity.
“Too often First Nation, Métis, and Inuit capital projects are designed with minimal community involvement, and ultimately fail to meet community objectives for this reason,” said Dr. Patrick Luugigyoo Stewart, chair of the RAIC Indigenous Task Force. “We need Indigenous architects, designers, and designs that will create long-term relevance, exemplify a respectful cultural and economic, and environmental responsibility to sustainable development, and consider the reciprocal well-being and quality of life of the people.”
Presenters spoke about a variety of design and other issues facing Indigenous communities across Canada and internationally. Overarching themes emerged, such as the inclusion of local Indigenous communities in the design process, incorporation of traditional design elements, the preservation of culture, and remembrance of history.
Among the presenters were Vancouver architect Alfred Waugh, a member of the Fond Du Lac (Denesuline) Nation of northern Saskatchewan, who spoke about cultural sensitivity and environmental responsibility.
Harriet Burdett-Moulton, a Nova Scotia-based Métis architect with Inuit roots, described the importance of consultation with Indigenous communities when designing buildings so that the identity of the population is reflected in the final product.
The symposium took place in May 2017, at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, Ottawa, in conjunction with the RAIC annual architecture festival.
Both the federal and Ontario governments are investing $30 million each to revitalize Massey Hall, the country’s oldest concert hall, in Toronto. Phase two of the revitalization project for the historic hall began in summer 2018.
“People travel from all over the world to experience a concert at Massey Hall in person. The renewal of Massey Hall will not only preserve the incredible history of the venue, it will also help Ontario’s up-and-coming artists and performers by creating a new performance space with a 500-person capacity to help develop their skills,” said Michael Tibollo, minister of tourism, culture, and sport.
Built in 1894, the iconic venue is located in the downtown area. Phase one of the revitalization project was completed in 2017.The hall was closed in July for construction. It will see a full restoration of the exterior and interior of the building, including 100 original stained-glass windows. A new seven-storey tower addition will feature a live-music stage and performance studio. When completed, Massey Hall will feature three performance stages, all fully accessible.
The Trinity Western University (TWU) in Langley, B.C. has one of the tallest wood-framed modular student housing complexes in the country. Completed earlier this year, the five-storey Jacobson Hall has added housing for about 220 students.
With enrolment of more than 4000 students, TWU’s on-campus housing was available for less than 25 per cent of its students.
Therefore the school hired Metric Modular, a B.C.-based modular builder, to construct the 5000 m2 (53820 sf) student housing complex.
“The university needed more beds, and they needed them quickly,” said Rodger McLean, senior manager of innovative solutions for Metric Modular. “TWU’s construction timeline would have been impossible to achieve using traditional construction methods. Plus, they needed a customized solution with amenities that would satisfy students, all at a reasonable cost. Our ability to use wood in this modular context gave us the perfect solution to do the job.”
The modules were built offsite in a climate-controlled factory providing workers with a quiet space and keeping construction costs at a predictable level.
It is not surprising cost is often the main consideration when it comes to specifying commercial products. However, true “cost” reaches far beyond the initial purchase price. When selecting fixtures for a space it pays for specifiers and architects to consider the total cost of ownership, or lifetime cost, of a product to make the most informed decision. Appliances, light bulbs, cabinetry, fixtures—anything purchased in quantity is a viable candidate for cost-of-ownership consideration. To create well-functioning buildings, and also be efficient for those who own them, decision-makers must weigh lifetime value when making these purchases.
Total cost of ownership is especially important when choosing plumbing fixtures, as these products are used multiple times on a daily basis. When it comes to plumbing, all costs, direct and indirect, incurred throughout the life cycle of a product should be considered, including:
ease of installation;
required maintenance and associated labour costs;
frequency of replacement;
product efficiency; and
Durability and reliability
A low price is no bargain if the fixture is not built to last. Choosing durable faucets, showerheads, and flush valves can help ensure lifetime costs stay manageable. Look for fixtures that have been third-party tested for durability of criteria such as handle strength. Fixtures that have been shown to stand up to at least 50,000 cycles are ideal.
It may seem obvious, but when constructing a space that will have a high volume of traffic, one must make sure to choose commercial-grade fixtures, as these are designed to withstand heavy use, and even occasional misuse. Commercial products also usually are designed to be vandal-resistant, with features discouraging tampering and opportunities for damage.
Solid construction materials and long-lasting finishes also help plumbing products stand the test of time. For instance, brass is a good choice for plumbing fixture fittings due to its durability and ability to be manipulated into intricate parts. Brass is also long lasting and may be a comparable price to other metals.
Durability and reliability go hand-in-hand. Fixtures proven to perform and withstand the rigours of daily use help to minimize total cost of ownership, since they require less maintenance and repair. Choose brands with a known history of dependability as well as a strong warranty. Also select products from companies with a reputation for excellent customer service—should there be a plumbing issue, it is best to have a resource on hand to help correct any problems.
Time savings during installation increase the efficiency of plumbing technicians, which contributes to a project’s bottom line, making ease of installation an essential element when considering lifetime cost. In hospitality or multifamily settings, property owners can minimize expenses over time by selecting fixtures with features quickening their install, such as flexible supply lines, integrated foam gaskets, and a standard cartridge design.
Flexible supply lines enable quick and easy installation, without requiring additional parts, while integrated foam gaskets eliminate the need for plumber’s putty, saving time and supply costs on the jobsite.
Products with a standard cartridge fitting across multiple product categories, such as kitchen and bath faucets, reduce the necessity for extra supplies and decrease the risk of installation errors, simplifying the process across the property.
Clearly, the less maintenance required, the lower the lifetime cost. Robust construction, durable polyvinylidene (PVD) finishes, and brass waterways reduce maintenance requirements, while also combatting issues with hard water and line debris.
Faucets with ceramic disc cartridges also help reduce labour costs by minimizing dripping, which saves water and money. For example, a leak of one drip per second can waste more than 30 L (8 gal) per day, and nearly 12,000 L (3170 gal) per year. Choose the right cartridge at the outset to avoid wasting time and money on labour costs as well as wasted water.
Ceramic disc cartridges can be accessed easily, allowing maintenance professionals to make a swap in a matter of seconds, in the unlikely event of a required repair. These cartridges also combat debris in the water, ensuring lasting reliability, and trouble-free maintenance and repairs.
The Vancouver Chapter is holding their December lunch meeting on Thursday, December 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 180 West Georgia Street. Brizi Coetzer, PEng, of RWDI AIR Inc. will be presenting on acoustic performance of windows.
Coetzer will provide an overview of the fundamentals of acoustics as they apply to the propagation of sound through fenestration assemblies. The various parameters affecting the acoustic performance of windows will be detailed with reference to single number ratings such as sound transmission class (STC) and outdoor indoor transmission class (OITC), the significance of mass, thickness, and airspaces, as well as the composite acoustic performance of the exterior wall and window combined.
For more information or to sign up for the event, click here.
Kick start your day with the Edmonton Chapter as they will be hosting a hot breakfast on Wednesday, December 5, from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. at the Chateau Louis Hotel & Conference Centre. Breakfast will be served from 7 to 8 a.m. in the conference room.
Bill McHugh, executive director of the Firestop Contractors International Association (FCIA), will also be giving a presentation. FCIA has developed a package of programs aimed at fire and life safety. The FCIA is a worldwide professional trade association of contractors, manufacturers, consultants, distributors, and manufacturer representatives who install and provide maintenance of firestop systems.