Office Building Solar Sunshade - ON-237

Preferred Disciplines: Engineering and/or Architecture (Masters level)
Company: Conerstone Architecture Incorporated
Project Length: 4-6 months
Desired start date: As soon as possible
Location: London, ON
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: None

About the Company: 

Established in 1991, Cornerstone Architecture is a service-orientated practice whose clients include public and private sector organizations, as well as not-for-profit groups across Southwestern Ontario. Our areas of focus are on buildings for children, education, communities, and the elderly. We are also leaders in green building design, having completed the first LEED® Gold Certified facility in the London area, with numerous other projects certified under both the LEED® and Green Globes™ standards.  Principals Alison Hannay and Richard Hammond are directly involved throughout the design process, utilizing a highly collaborative approach with our clients which directly involves them in each stage of their project's evolution. The Cornerstone Collaborative Design System™ enables our clients to become co-creators with us of their buildings, resulting in architecture which is informed by their needs, respectful of their resources, and inspired by their aspirations.  We strive to demonstrate our commitment to green building design in our own practice, through involvement with organizations like the Canada Green Building Council, the Green Buildings Initiative, the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute and the Passive House Institute, as well as by reducing our firm's carbon footprint using completely carbon-free energy supplied by Bullfrog Power.  

Project Description:

We would like to model and develop a photovolataic sunshade system for the south and, potentially, east and west facades of our office to eliminate the existing venetian blinds and optimize daylighting within the office while offsetting some of our energy use. The reasearch to be performed will be to develop a model to inform the design and work with our team, including a PV supplier, strucutral and electrical engineer, to implement the design solution.

Research Objectives:

Develop a design, detail the construction, and build a mock-up to assess the feasibility for a solar sunshade that achieves the following objectives:

  • Improve daylighting – review options for directing daylight deeper into the office space
  • Reduce glare – optimize sunshade angle, depth and position within the window
  • Reduce cooling loads – energy model to determine impact on cooling loads
  • Offset energy use – model energy production of PV panels
  • Retrofitted to connect to existing structure – Review options for scaling the prototype


  • Data collection and synthesis
  • Model various options to optimize results
  • Research and develop method of attachment to the exisitng building

Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • 3D Modelling (SketchUp, Revit)
  • Interest in Green Building Design
  • Collaborative Work Ethic
  • Working knowlegde of photovoltaic systems a benefit

For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

  1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects
  2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform.