Specifying EPS as geofoam

Moulded expanded polystyrene (EPS) is an air-filled, closed-cell, rigid foam plastic that does not contain any hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) or hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as blowing agents. The closed-cell structure of EPS insulation provides constant thermal resistance, is dimensionally stable and non-corrosive, provides excellent mechanical properties, and can be recycled where facilities exist.

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Designing With Stainless Steel: Bioclimatic hybrid façades

An international design revolution is incorporating both traditional and new concepts to create bioclimatic sustainable architecture. Building energy reduction is a key goal for new and renovation projects designed to these principles, but it must be balanced against occupant well-being and the desire for fresh air and natural light. Exterior walls are being transformed from relatively simple climate defensive mechanisms to more active membranes. Innovative hybrid second-skin designs incorporating shading systems are being used on award-winning projects around the world, and these concepts could be applied to a much broader range of buildings.

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Will this concrete help build a better bridge?

When a reinforced concrete bridge deck is subjected to freeze-thaw cycles and de-icing salts over a number of years, the ensuing deterioration drastically reduces the structure’s service life and results in costly maintenance or early replacement. In such severe environments, high-performance concrete (HPC) is often required because of its superior strength and low permeability. Unfortunately, HPC also has a tendency to crack prematurely if not properly cured.

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Designing EPCOR Tower

Construction on EPCOR Tower began in March 2008. The need to secure a reliable and experienced construction team was of paramount importance and the major trade contractors were assigned to the project within the first three months of an aggressive 3.5-year construction schedule. Due to the project size and limited local experience in this building genre, there was only a select pool of trade contractors that could complete the development from a manpower, knowledge, and schedule perspective.

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Canada’s first LEED platinum affordable housing project

Brampton, Ont.’s Chapelview has become the country’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum affordable housing building. The project is one of only about 17 LEED New Construction (NC) Platinum buildings in Canada. Through the initiative of the Region of Peel and Enermodal Engineering, Chapelview is expected to achieve 50 per cent energy savings and 46 per cent indoor water savings compared with a conventional multi-unit residential building.

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Expert evidence in construction matters

With the continued evolution of the construction world, coupled with the increasingly complex nature of building projects, disputes between the various parties will inevitably arise. While the parties may resort to litigation or some other form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), an expert is frequently called on to assist the trier of fact.

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Architectural aluminum goes green

The green building movement offers unprecedented opportunity to respond to challenges like global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy, and threats to human health. The work of innovative building professionals is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement. Such leadership is a critical component to achieving the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC’s) vision of a transformed built environment leading to a sustainable future.

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Sound Advice: Specifying and procuring sound masking systems

Everyone has heard the old adage “silence is golden,” but just as with lighting and temperature, the comfort zone for the volume of sound is actually not zero. In fact, if the background sound level in a space is too low, conversations and noise can easily be heard, even from a great distance, impacting speech privacy and disrupting one’s concentration. Many organizations use a sound masking system to maintain an appropriate ambient sound level in their facilities, which is typically between 42 and 48 decibels (dB) in commercial interiors.

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When The Rubber Hits The Floor: Designing functional flooring with recycled tires

Pressure is mounting on architects and designers to create practical and sustainable projects. Clients want beauty and ease of maintenance from long-lasting products, but within a limited budget. Thoughtful design and the use of proper materials, like recycled rubber flooring, can help ensure this model is achieved. Whether it is a commercial, institutional, government, industrial, or residential building, the premise of design starts with the needs of the end-user.

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Is ‘buying local’ always better?

Placing special emphasis on the use of local materials is a popular approach to reducing the many environmental impacts of construction projects. The Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating program offers points under Materials and Resources (MR) Credit 5, Regional Materials, for sourcing building materials from within 800 km (500 mi) of the site. However, the reality is more complex and one should not assume the pursuit of this credit will actually reduce the project’s environmental impact.

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