Carleton’s Cynthia Cruickshank Receives Funding to Create New Technologies That Reduce Emissions in Canada’s Building Sector

Cynthia Cruickshank, Carleton University’s professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering — and director of CU-CABER, has received $5.1 million in funding from the NRCan Energy Innovation Program, and the Ontario Research Fund (ORF), to develop new building envelope technologies that make Canada’s buildings less greenhouse gas intensive.

By Kristoferb, Wikimedia Commons

“Carleton continues to take the lead on advances in sustainable construction,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International). “The Carleton’s Centre for Advanced Building Envelope Research (CU-CABER) research program will foster clean energy innovation and play an important role in developing new solutions leading to more efficient, resilient buildings.”

According to Carleton University, CU-CABER plans to develop approaches that are thinner and cheaper, as well as new methods for renovating existing buildings with fewer cost and less disruption.

“Solutions for existing buildings will play the biggest role in meeting Canada’s climate change goals,” said Cruickshank. “Although Canada will construct nearly four million new homes before 2030, more than 13.7 million homes are already built, and 62 per cent of them were constructed more than 20 years ago, before the National Building Code prescribed requirements for energy efficiency.”

Carleton will also collaborate with researchers at Algonquin College and the Cold Climate Housing Research Center to conceive, prototype, evaluate and optimize new building envelope systems.

“CU-CABER’s partnership between Carleton and Algonquin College is especially valuable as it creates learning opportunities at all levels in the workforce – including construction trades, building design professionals, engineers and project managers, and building science researchers,” said Cruickshank.

The University suggests that the project will enable future collaborations with key players in the built environment such as researchers from NRCan’s CanmetENERGY-Ottawa laboratories, and the National Research Council.

Carleton states that the funding supports the construction of large-scale building envelope test equipment.

The equipment includes a two-story guarded hot box with a spray rack capable of testing full-scale residential and building facades, and a materials characterization lab.

With this new infrastructure, researches have the ability to study how heat, air and moisture move through materials and highly insulated wall systems, and how these elements contribute to occupant health, comfort and building science risks (i.e. condensation, mold growth and rot).

This research will provide new technical solutions to cut heat loss in buildings and reduce the cost associated with net zero ready and deep energy retrofit construction, according to the University.

CU-CABER will be located at the CanmetENERGY complex in Ottawa.

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