Ensuring security with card-based access control systems

For buildings, the security of access control systems is critical. If a card system is hacked, there can be major problems. For example, at a university, years of research can be tampered with or lost. At a hospital, federal and provincial security rules are stringent and the penalties for having them breached can be severe. No administrator wants to be ultimately responsible for causing injury to an employee or visitor because unauthorized entry was gained via the card system.

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Are all LED luminaires created equal?

Navigant Research recently released a report stating global unit shipments of light-emitting diode (LED) lamps and luminaires are expected to total 10.7 billion from 2014 through 2023. This statistic rings true in the Canadian market where most areas of the country are actively implementing LED streetlight programs or incentives.

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Human-centred Design: Simplifying features in building automation

At the most basic level, a building automation system (BAS) helps reduce operating costs and equipment replacement capital costs by only running systems when they are needed. For example, facility professionals could use a BAS to raise air-conditioner set-points or turn off the system in college dorm rooms in Toronto in the spring and summer, or lower heating set points in Edmonton commercial office buildings on winter weekends.

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Designing green roofs for stormwater management

The number of vegetated roofs has consistently experienced double-digit growth over the past decade. An annual market survey conducted by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) shows the North American industry grew by 10 per cent in 2013 over the previous year, when a total of 519,151 m2 (6.4 million sf) were installed over 950 projects

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Specifying tiles outside the building

Tiled exterior features—such as walls, patios, and walkways—make a powerful first impression. A well-executed exterior installation can attract customers to a business, add curb appeal to a home, or complete a public space. Although worthwhile, exterior installations present potential complications, particularly in Canada, as there may be great temperature variation between the summer and winter months.

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Creating a regenerative building in Southern Ontario

What if a building could function like a forest? What if a project could be designed so it was an integral part of nature and enhanced its surroundings? This was the approach taken by the design team for the York Region Forest Stewardship Education Centre (YRFSEC)—a new single-storey, 371-m2 (4000-sf) building located in the middle of one of Southern Ontario’s natural treasures.

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