Improving the tools for assessment and analysis of energy losses through building envelopes using Infrared Thermography (IRT), Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAV), and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

IR imaging presents the temperature distribution of the exterior surface of a wall and is typically assessed through visual inspection by building science experts. A specialist must review numerous images one by one which is inefficient and inaccurate. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with IR camera attachments has become a method of faster and more accessible on-site building envelope evaluation. The proposed research aims to develop a machine learning framework to improve the evaluation of energy loss through the envelope, using UAV and IR thermography.

Delineation and phenology of the invasive box tree moth (BTM) in Toronto

The box tree moth (BTM) (Cydalima perspectalis) is an invasive insect pest from Asia that was confirmed to be present in Etobicoke, Ontario by the CFIA in November, 2018. This is the first known introduction of BTM to North America. BTM attacks boxwood (Buxus spp.), a popular broadleaf plant used in residential and commercial gardens, hedges and topiary in Canada. For the nursery sector, boxwood represents a very high value, slow-growing crop in Ontario, Quebec and BC.

Designing for better novice assembly: towards energy efficient novice building

This research is about technologies for ‘DIY’ or ‘novice’ home-construction. The research asks if high energy efficiency homes could be built by novice and non-expert builders. Energy efficient construction is an increasingly expert craft: with specialized knowledge, tools, and practices now required to achieve excellent building energy performance, this presents barriers to building efficiency for novice builders.

Evolutionary Housing Strategies for Canadian Cities

This project examines the feasibility of low-cost evolutionary housing strategies to accommodate changing uses in Canada. It is a partnership between the University of Waterloo school of Architecture and architect John van Nostrand who has developed numerous prototypes for evolutionary housing in Canada and internationally. The research will begin with an analysis of existing prototypes in order to develop best practices.

Effective Forest Management in Areas Impacted by Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect from Asia that was detected in Ontario in 2002 and has caused severe declines in ash trees. EAB is able to kill a healthy ash tree in 3-4 years and has caused declines of up to 99% in some areas 8-10 years after arriving. Although there is substantial research on EAB and its impacts, there is not a lot of research on the aftermath of EAB. Credit Valley Conservation, a conservation authority in Ontario, has noticed an abundance of invasive plants and ash regeneration in areas impacted by EAB.

Laura Secord Campus Commons Material Deconstruction and Reuse

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.

Building Performance Evaluation of Leading Energy Efficient Homes in Southern Ontario

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.

From Form to Structure and Space

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.

Determining the carbon footprint and lifecycle assessment of magnesium oxychloride cement building materials

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.

Feasibility Study for Indigenous Women’s Second-stage Housing in Canada

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.

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