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SABMag Issue 68 – Fall 2020

Introducing a new way to connect with the RAIC

Tanner Morton

Following over a year in development, RAIC Connects launched on October 5, 2020 –in honour of World Architecture Day– to further connect members and foster meaningful conversations within the profession.  RAIC Connects is a new online community platform accessible to all members of the RAIC, as well as non-members that are active in committees and task forces. The platform is a forum-based website with multiple functionalities including announcements, email notifications, events, and file sharing. 

Since it was launched, a plethora of discussion posts have explored topics including procurement trends, design responses to COVID restrictions, the licensing process in Canada, working from home during the pandemic for architects, and questions on mass timber, among others. A key feature of the connects platform, and one that has proved invaluable so far, is the development of separate communities around shared topics and points of interest. Some, like the forums for committees, were established at the outset—so that members of these groups can come together and plan their activities and initiatives regardless of their physical location at the time.

Other communities were cultivated through shared interests, specializations, and areas of study in the industry. It’s important for users to feel empowered, to use their voice and, as the name of the platform suggests, build lasting, meaningful connections that will benefit themselves—as well as extend the conversation in the greater profession.

Having a dedicated space to nurture conversation in the architectural profession will be a benefit for Canadian architecture in both our current moment and what lies ahead in the future. Creating connections and fostering a stronger sense of community is vital for the health of the profession in the years ahead. The RAIC is working hard to make the cultural conversation on architecture as dynamic and engaging as the profession itself.

Latest SABMag case study on huge vegetated roof

The new Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility (EMSF) of the Metrolinx Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto has the largest vegetated roof in Ontario – 150,000 sq.ft. – installated by LiveRoof Ontario. Read the 1-page case study.

Owens Corning Introduces FOAMULAR® NGX Insulation

The new FOAMULAR® NGX (Next Generation Extruded) polystyrene (XPS) foam insulation from Owens Corning contains a proprietary blowing agent which delivers a 90% reduction in global warming potential (GWP) without sacrificing product performance. The environmental benefits of FOAMULAR® NGX will be reflected in a new Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), and the new insulation will retain the signature Owens Corning® Pink® colour. Available for sale January 1, 2021.

SEE A LOT MORE PRODUCTS at SABMag’s 2020 Directory of  Sustainable Products and Services for Sustainable, highperformance building organized by product category and by LEED category.

G.E.M. Inc./ Euroshield®

G.E.M. Inc. manufactures Euroshield®, environmentally friendly recycled rubber roofing products from a facility located in Calgary, Alberta. Products include Rundle Slate, Ranchlands Shake, Vermont Slate, Vermont Slate HP (hail proof) and Beaumont Shake.


Radon Environmental  Management Corp.

Radon Environmental (REM) reduces public exposure to radon gas. Holmes Approved Products, Radon Guard™ and Radon Block™ exceed minimum code, offering high-performance mitigation solutions. REM also provides certified measurement products and mapping services.

Tempeff North America

Tempeff North America manufactures Semi-Custom air to air energy recovery equipment with up to 90% energy efficiency in winter without any requirement for an energy robbing defrost strategy.

LiteZone Glass Inc.

CHBA Qualifies First Home with Net Zero Energy Renovation Label

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) has awarded the first Net Zero Energy home renovation label for a house in Calgary under its recently launched Net Zero Energy Renovation Labelling Program Pilot. The house, renovated by Solar Homes Inc. of Calgary, was originally built in 1985 and now has achieved a net zero energy rating.  

Net Zero Energy (NZE) homes produce at least as much energy as they consume on an annual basis. While there have been almost 400 NZE homes built and labelled in Canada under CHBA’s program since 2016, achieving net zero energy through renovations is a new frontier with many additional challenges, but will vastly improve the performance of Canada’s existing housing stock.

The renovation focused on retrofitting the exterior of the home, which minimizes disruption to occupants and results in an extremely comfortable home. In addition to decreasing the home’s energy bills – estimated to be around $2500 lower than before – the renovation has resulted in completely netting out the home’s GHGs emissions, which was previously 14 tonnes per year.

The Architek Group adds new team member for eastern Canada expansion

The Architek Group has welcomed Ms. Sandie Anctil as its Architectural Specifications and Business Development Manager. A veteran in the AED industry, she will apply her expertise in architectural specification and support to Architek Sustainable, as well as Rope and Cable Canada, and looks forward to working with municipal planners, developers, architects, and contractors in developing well-designed, cost effective solutions for projects across Canada. 1-888-317-9226 or

Major companies and retailers join BASF’s reciChain pilot to improve circular economy and traceability of recycled plastics in Canada

BASF, CSSA, Layfield, London Drugs, Merlin Plastics, NOVA Chemicals, Recycle BC, Return-It, Save on Foods and V.I.P. Soap have joined forces to respond to one of the most pressing environmental challenges – plastic waste. Supported by reciChain, these companies aim to strengthen the circular supply chain, extend the lifecycle of plastics, incentivize recycling, reduce waste and enhance resource efficiency in Canada.

reciChain combines the power of SMX’s blockchain solution with their physical marker that enables the secured sharing of transactional data while improving the sorting, tracing and monitoring of plastics throughout the value chain. Implementing these technologies, value chain actors would conceivably be able to generate tokens or ‘plastics credits’, which would in turn increase in value as plastics go through additional loops. These credits could then be used to incentivize producers to design for recyclability, thus enhancing circular economy.

For the pilot project in Vancouver, BASF is also partnering with Deloitte as a strategic advisor.

The reciChain plastic value chain actors, on their part, are offering in-kind contributions to enable the feasibility of the pilot such as plastic material, testing, and technical expertise.

This track and trace technology used in reciChain marks plastic products with a unique “chemical barcode” and connects them to a digital twin. Both rigid and flexible plastic products will be used during the pilot to test the feasibility of the marker technology in the reverse logistics process. The pilot will allow users to access and verify information associated with the production of the material, supporting producers’ recycled content targets and retailers’ plastic waste diversion targets and further closing the plastic loop.

The pilot will also include a parallel testing of BASF’s trinamiX Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Solution, a hand-held scanner that detects and documents the composition of plastic material.

The project is being validated in British Columbia’s local supply chain. BASF’s vision is to expand reciChain to a nation-wide solution in order to position Canada as a leading country in recycling and recovery of plastics. To learn more about reciChain and potential partnership opportunities, visit  


Nov 16-20-2020 – VIRTUAL National Wood Solutions Conference: Learn about the latest innovations, interact with wood product experts, participate in seminars, and earn up to 14 continuing education credits.

Nov 30 – Dec 4 – Buildings Week: The virtual event experience comprised of The Buildings Show | Construct Canada, PM Expo, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, World of Concrete Toronto Pavilion, and BUILDEX Alberta. Explore exhibits, an online marketplace, and take in over 120 professionally accredited educational seminars. Early bird deadline for discounted Education Programming expires Friday, November 13, 2020.

Dec 8-10 – Passive House Canada: The virtual Summit sessions includes 16 hours of content, and the opportunity to network and liaise with industry professionals and Passive House experts. Registration:

SABMag Issue 67 – Summer 2020

RAIC Report: Main Street Design Challenge launched to foster innovation in Urban Design – By Tanner Morton, Communications Coordinator

A new Canada-wide design challenge launched on June 3, 2020 to generate responsible, sustainable, and resilient design solutions to be implemented during COVID-19 recovery, and post-pandemic, on affected main streets across the country. The Main Street Design Challenge (MSDC), developed by the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), invites all Canadian residents interested in place-making and design to develop solutions to help build the resiliency of main streets across the country.

The Challenge demonstrates how thoughtful and innovative design plays a key role in the revitalization of main streets, including kickstarting the economy, fostering vibrant, liveable, and healthy communities, increasing public safety, reducing social isolation, and restoring the public’s confidence to return to streets and public spaces.  An online portal opened for submissions on June 22, 2020—with deadlines for the different cycles of the competition. All submissions meeting the project guidelines will be published online on a rolling basis in a free, open-access Main Street Design Playbook on October 5, 2020—recognized across the globe as World Architecture Day.

The Main Street Design Challenge is an initiative of Bring Back Main Street a nationally coordinated research and action campaign by the CUI to ensure the people, businesses, and organizations that recognize the main streets of cities and towns across Canada as a vital heart of their community.

CPCI releases new EPDs for wall panels and structural precast concrete

The Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) has released new environmental product declarations (EPD) for Architectural and Insulated Wall Panels and for Structural Precast Concrete Products. The new EPDs allow architects, engineers, building owners, and other specifiers to better understand the environmental impacts of precast and prestressed concrete products.

The industry-wide EPDs, jointly released by the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), are issued within clearly defined product groups based on the precast concrete Product Category Rules (PCR).

The EPDs were independently prepared by Athena Sustainable Materials Institute in accordance with ISO 14025 and ISO 21930; the Product Category Rules for Preparing an Environmental Product Declaration for Precast Concrete (UN CPC 3755).

They were also independently verified by ASTM International (in accordance with ISO 14025) and by ndustrial Ecology Consultants (in accordance with ISO 14025 and the Product Category Rules). Get your copies at and scroll down to the Sustainability section.

evolv1 receives receives Mitsubishi Electric’s Sustainable Building of the Year Award

1.Terada-san, President and CEO, of Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada Inc. (left) presents Mitsubishi Electric’s Sustainable Building of the Year Award to Adrian Conrad, Chief Operation Officer of the Cora Group. 2.The evolv1 building.

evolv1 is the first office building in Canada to receive the Zero Carbon Building-Design Certification from the Canada Green Building Council. According to the CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standard, the certification means the project modelled a zero-carbon balance for future operations, incorporated an efficient energy and ventilation system to meet a defined threshold for thermal energy intensity, and designed onsite renewable energy systems capable of providing a minimum of 5% of building energy consumption.

The building was designed to not just maximize energy efficiency, but to produce 108% of its energy needs. As part of this mandate, all components needed to be energy-efficient, including the HVAC system.

Mitsubishi Electric Heating and Cooling was selected to supply 100% of the heating and cooling to the office building.  Specifically, Mitsubishi Electric’s City Multi Water-Source VRF Heat Recovery System was chosen because it not only regulates the flow of refrigerant to the fan coils, but it also changes the water flow rate to minimize the pumping energy.

The Mitsubishi Electric heat pump system is also very quiet, and is a great solution for office, commercial, education and residential applications.

Thirty-six outdoor units and 148 indoor units were used in the 104,000 square foot building. On February 14, 2020, a tour was given to Terada-san, President and CEO, of Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada Inc. along with Dermot McMorrow, VP and GM, Syed Abid, Commercial Sales Manager and Tova Davidson, Executive Director of Sustainable Waterloo. Adrian Conrad, Chief Operation Officer of the Cora Group hosted the tour. The Cora Group was awarded Mitsubishi Electric’s Sustainable Building of the Year Award. Congratulations to the Cora Group for their success in sustainable building development.

Energy-efficient, durable and affordable: a new take on First Nations housing

When architect Douglas Cardinal contacted Maisons Chicoine Homes (MCH), a builder located near Gatineau, QC, with a vision to create a new housing model for First Nations communities, the result was Cardinal House.

The two-storey, 1,100-square-foot, three-bedroom home uses prefabricated floors and exterior wall panels of cross-laminated timber (CLT) from Element 5 which were factory made, then trucked to the site and assembled in three days by MCH.  The Cardinal House concept offers a healthy (mould-resistant), energy-efficient, long-lasting and affordable home to meet the housing needs of First Nations communities. Watch the brief video:

Certification/Quality Assurance a vital part of The National Building Code in era of uncertainties

The main threats to infrastructure assets are many but include first and foremost damage or destruction caused by extreme weather events. These threats have led to Infrastructure Canada’s Climate-Resilient Buildings and Core Public Infrastructure Initiative. Led by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) this “ground-breaking work focuses on integrating climate resiliency into building and infrastructure design, guides, certification and codes.”

The federal government’s new LCA initiative (low-carbon assets through life cycle assessment) guidelines will enable public and private sector portfolio holders to incorporate the quantification of Life Cycle Carbon & Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO) of built assets (real property, public infrastructure) into their procurement processes. For more information: and

This work will contribute to an infrastructure landscape that can keep Canadian communities safer from extreme weather and deliver the Best Bang for the Buck (lowest total cost of ownership). When it comes to purchasing certified buildings and above- and below-ground infrastructure products, the best value comes from the appropriate durability and resilience over the entire lifecycle. So how to achieve best value for an investment?

We know that specifying products that meet the right building code standard is a minimum first step. Specifying products that meet a certification program built on superior quality assurance processes, above and beyond the minimum building code standards, will protect your investment, manage risk, and provide safety assurance to your end users, tax payers, and/or service community.   

Why Precast Concrete Certification?

Certification helps ensure that the essential components of a quality assurance system are present and functioning properly, resulting in the highest probability of reducing risk, meeting specifications, and completing a successful project.  Therefore, the primary purpose of a certification program is to help ensure that products are manufactured in accordance with specifications and community expectations. In other words, certification helps ensure “as designed becomes as built” and should be considered by every designer as a means of reducing risk and ensuring quality and safety.

The Canadian Precast Concrete Quality Assurance (CPCQA) Certification Program

The national and provincial building codes require conformance to the CSA standards for precast concrete materials and construction when it comes to structural, architectural and drainage precast concrete products. CPCQA is a nationally recognized and accepted certification program that provides an independent third-party certification of conformance to the CSA standards.

The CPCQA certification program requires precast concrete manufacturers to meet the requirements of the latest editions of CSA Standards for structural, architectural and drainage products and the PCI Quality Control Manuals MNL-116 and 117 (US equivalent), with the more stringent requirements being the governing criteria. Certified plants are audited annually with at least two unannounced audits. Strict compliance with published standards is necessary to maintain certification. Certification confirms a manufacturer’s capability to produce quality products and systems.

CPCQA Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Council

CPCQA’s Quality Assurance Council (QAC) of 23 members, comprising architects, engineers, provincial government officials, ACO’s and six precast concrete producers, embodies a high level of expertise and acts independently to design and vet the certification program.

Continuous Feedback and Addressing Client Concerns

CPCQA has two key client groups – the owners / agencies / specifiers who specify the program and the precast concrete producers who participate. Both of these groups have formal methods for providing feedback to the Quality Assurance Council on the program. Addressing this feedback is a formal part of the QAC agenda at each of their three annual meetings.

Owners or specifiers concerned about the quality of precast concrete from a CPCQA certified plant can fill in the Quality Concern Reporting Form on the CPCQA website and submit it confidentially to the Managing Director of CPCQA at CPCQA is the only certification program in North America that has an official Quality Assurance Reporting Program and Quality Conflict Resolution Mechanism.

At present the Canadian Precast Concrete Quality Assurance (CPCQA) Certification Program certifies over 80% of the precast concrete production in Canada. The CPCQA program is the only program endorsed by the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) and the Canadian Concrete Pipe and Precast Association (CCPPA).

Helpful Specification Guide

Available for free download at:

Certification Validation and Online Certified Plant Lists

Detailed information about certified plants is actively updated and securely maintained by CPCQA in the certified plant listings, as follows:

– Architectural and Structural Precast Concrete Products:

– Concrete Pipe, Manhole Sections and Precast Concrete Drainage Products:

More information:; or 888-749-5123.

Author: Brian J Hall, B. B. A., MBA | Managing Director, Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, and Vice Chair – Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Foundation.


Isokorb® structural thermal breaks insulate balconies in Halifax high-rise 

Maple Apartments is one of the largest mixed-use residential high-rises in downtown Halifax. Developer Southwest Properties aimed to create a “contemporary, iconic addition to the urban landscape” while minimizing the building’s energy use. Structural thermal breaks helped achieve these goals by limiting heat loss through the floor slabs by thermally isolating the building’s cold exterior balconies.

The inclusion of structural thermal breaks between the interior floor slabs and exterior balconies greatly reduces heat loss through the penetration, while increasing the temperature of interior floors by up to 19°C compared to non-thermally broken slabs during cold weather periods. The design team specified the Isokorb® Type CM load-bearing structural thermal breaks by Schöck North America.  The thermal breaks consist of a graphite-enhanced polystyrene insulation module that runs the full length of the slab.

Stainless steel reinforcing bars are positioned at the top of the insulation module to accommodate tension forces imparted by the cantilevered slab.  Compression concrete modules placed at the bottom of the assembly transfer compressive forces from the cantilevered slab which, in conjunction with the tension bars, accommodate the moment at the connection.

Additional stainless steel reinforcing bars run diagonally through the insulation body to address shear loads at the connection. By minimizing the cross-sectional area of the structural elements that penetrate the insulation body, as well as using less thermally efficient materials (stainless steel transfers 70% less energy than mild carbon steel), structural thermal breaks can reduce heat transfer by up to 90% at the connection.

Images: 1. The Maple Apartments in Halifax. 2. The Isokorb® thermal break installed.

SEE A LOT MORE PRODUCTS at SABMag’s 2020 Directory of Sustainable Products and Services for Sustainable, high-performance building organized by product category and by LEED category.


Nedlaw Living Walls So much more than just a, “green wall.” A Nedlaw Living Wall Bio-Filter is a patented building subsystem that cleans indoor air, improves occupant health and wellness, and increases building performance.

Fraser Wood Siding manufactures premium quality prefinished wood siding and Shingles. Made from Canadian softwood, sustainably harvested from 100% PEFC Certified forests and backed by an industry leading warranty.

Klimatrol Radiant Floor Heating: Klimatrol, 25 Years providing Radiant Floor Heating and Cooling system. We use only the highest quality PEX pipe and provide field support to ensure your system is correctly installed.