Low-slope roofs offer an economical and sustainable platform for renewable solar energy in the form of photovoltaic (PV) systems. However, the popularity of renewable energy sources does not change the fact the roof designer’s primary goal will always be to protect the building’s contents and occupants from the elements.
In 2009, Montréal-based international corporation Rio Tinto Alcan began the process of modernizing its aluminium smelter located in Kitimat, B.C. To provide space for the new smelter, several existing facilities were dismantled and the area was cleared. Additionally, two lodging camps for workers were built.
Whether used on contours around a building, or as flat panels on an exterior wall, a façade of mesh metal ‘fabric’ can help create a beautiful exterior. However, advances in their design have yielded additional benefits for functionality and efficiency.
In London, Ont., a multi-residential apartment building built in 1970 was beginning to show significant signs of wear and tear on its exterior clay through-the-wall (TTW) brick, and owners had to develop a plan. Having already undertaken smaller localized repairs in the past, new water penetration issues on the upper, west-facing floors where the building is susceptible to driving rains, were cause to go in another direction.
Driven by the principles of high-performance energy (HPE) buildings through government, energy codes, and the green building movement, building energy designs across Canada and around the world strive to improve. The increasing focus on the implementation of energy-efficiency requirements, for both new construction and deep energy retrofits for commercial and public buildings, begins with envelope-first energy efficiency, reduced energy demand loads, and related greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.
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