Willowbank Centre for Cultural Landscape will work with a University of Waterloo student to engage in an emerging process of building disassembly and material reuse. Demolishing a building and sending the debris to landfill sites is a huge loss of resources, energy, and historical value. This project becomes a prototype on how to reuse building materials in other contexts.
The focus of this project is on building performance evaluation (BPE) in residential houses in Southern Ontario. Eight green homes will undergo BPE to see how well they are performing. The project will compare current building performance to the designed building performance. This comparison can help to see whether a “performance gap” exists. A performance gap is a difference between the actual building performance and the designed building performance. It will use on-site testing, collection of existing data, and observations from residents of the homes.
This grant proposes to look at innovation in materials and assembly which are afforded by our new design and fabrication technology so that Patkau architects can take this material innovation and move it to a conceived and completed project.
The proposed research will involve studying the carbon footprint (i.e. the carbon emissions) involved in the preparation of magnesium oxychloride (MOC) cement materials. MOC cement has been proposed as a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditionally used Portland cement (PC), however many discrepancies arise as there is no work directly comparing their carbon footprints. In addition, the work will determine the lifecycle assessment of MOC cement and PC.
The partner organization, the National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence (NACAFV), is conducting a Feasibility Study for constructing on-reserve second-stage housing. A section of the Study is on the technical aspects of this type of housing which is for women who wish to leave their homes permanently because of domestic violence. The design of the housing unit emphasizes safety and security because an ex-partner or ex-spouse may be stalking a woman—since one of the most dangerous times for women living in domestic violence is when they are leaving.
Factory-built structural insulated panels are used for off-site building construction to minimize the labour needed for construction framing, which aims to save construction time and improve the quality of the installation. The panels, instead of using wood or steel framing, are the structural support for walls. Although the insulated panels provide structure, additional reinforcements are needed in order for the panels to be used on a multi-storey residential building.
Monitoring of wildland fires through infra-red remote sensing has become increasing of interest to the wildland fire management community, and quality scientific analysis of the capabilities of such sensors is critical if they are to be used in any operational way. In 2019 a joint burning experiment was carried out over several days. In 2019 a collaboration between the Canadian Forest Service, Institut national d'optique (INO), and the University of Toronto saw the ignition and monitoring of a series of experimental fires in the field at a CFS field research station.
The intern will work with a multi-disciplinary research team from architecture, civil engineering, mechanical
engineering, biology, business development and materials research in the design development phase of a project
to create a bio-mass panel prototype from cellulose (hemp biomass). As the most abundant organic polymer on
the planet, cellulose is currently emerging as a sustainable material alternative to plastics and other non-recyclable
Although ambitious climate change laws are encouraging the sustainable retrofits required to meet carbon emissions reductions targets, a lack of understanding of the synergies between sustainability and preservation often results in interventions which adversely impact heritage values or are less effective than they could have been. Interns will work with MTBA Associates, Inc.
Working closely with me, the two interns will have an opportunity to engage with a timely question engendered by the global pandemic: What is changing in our approach to the public realm, and how can we embrace these changes as positive forces in urban design. We will be working quickly on a time-sensitive challenge, in ways that bridge the conceptual thinking that characterizes architectural education with the pragmatic and pressing problem of a local economy in distress.