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NSERC Solar Buildings Research Network NSERC NewsletterSolar Buildings Research

Chairman, SBRN Board of Directors

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As is abundantly clear from the contents of this newsletter, a great deal of progress has been made by our network as we pass the halfway point of our mandate. In fact, the progress has exceeded our expectations! This is especially gratifying as we move Weinto areannow in the which finished sixth, also had substantial era where notfinal only year is the of the present SBRN research program. The Netpublic coming to grips with the SBRN involvement. Congratulations to needhas to reduce greenhouseachievements gas work considerable to both teams (see stories inside)! emissions, is also experiencing show in its itwork. Many of its graduates higher energy cost, mostly caused have taken up faculty positions in CanaSBRN has played a key role in transforby our depleting fossil fuel redian and US universities and are playing serves. This concern underlines mative demonstration projects such as the importance of our work as a key role in the development of new Concordia’s John Molson School of we find ways to displace fossil academic programs and research initiaBusiness building-integrated photofuels. We of the Board of Directives aimed at developing the technovoltaic thermal system. This project has tors are proud to be associated www.solarbuildings.ca logically sustainable buildings with theadvanced team of dedicated and attracted much attention, including a researchers have of committed the future. Otherwhograduates have program on Discovery Channel (http:// been responsible for these joined government partners such as watch.discoverychannel.ca/#clip163486). achievements, and we look forNRCan labs and CMHC, where they are ward to working with them in directly contributing I am pleased to report that we are the future as they achievetheir and knowledge andexceed expertise to develop our objectives for theprograms that working on new funding initiatives to of the mandate! willrest enable Canada to meet its obliga-

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

SBRN reaches its 5th year and plans for the future

4th Canadian Solar Buildings Conference

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A. K. Athienitis

TRCA-BILD Archetype Sustainable Twin Houses

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The SoleAbode

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North House

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PV/T DemNet Zero onstration Energy NORTH Buildings HOUSE

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PV/TSBRN Test 7 From 14 to beyond Where are International 9 they now? Exchange Hybrid Ventilation

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New Network Part-

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Network Activities

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Visit: www.solarbuildings.ca

continue the work of SBRN focused on tions for GHG emission reductions, smart net-zero energy buildings and while encouraging energy efficiency and communities. Interested industry partuptake of renewable energy systems. ners are encouraged to contact us. SevPast the midpoint! By A. K. Athienitis Finally, our graduates have joined the eral SBRN universities are currently energy and construction industries and planning new research and demonstraare already contributing to key innovation facilities such as research houses tions. issue contains articles (John Molson School of Business A lotThis has happened since our last tion,highthe Agence de l’efficacité and a solar simulator integrated with an énergétique, Alouette Homes, at Concordia)atandConcordia in two netNewsletter! One of of theSBRN most graduates. lighting the careers environmental chamber zero energy EQuilibrium homes significant is a $2.3M demonstraConcordia University, Conserval University. This(EcoTerra year we are holding a Engineering, Day4Energy, Hydroand Alstonvale) is, to a tion project, championed jointly Team North – in which SBRN researchmeeting ofextent, SBRNtheresearchers large result of the by SBRN and CETC-Varennes, Québec, Regulvar,working Sevag Pogharersandand students role – and Sustainable Design work of (August SBRN’s Technology funded primarilyplayed from thea key ian and keyEnergy stakeholders 24-25) in Transfer Committee’s Josef AyTEAM program ReTechnologies. finished fourth of in Natural the prestigious Solar Montreal, to plan our future initiatives. Funding for this project, which oub who was instrumental in sources Canada ($900,000). Team Alberta, Decathlon competition. Additional cash and in-kind support was received from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corpora-

demonstrates building-integrated photovoltaic/thermal technologies in a new commercial building

bringing the partners together and drawing up the contractual agreements. Thomas Green of


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4th Canadian Solar Buildings Conference, Toronto ON Meli Stylianou, CANMET Energy Technology Center, Natural Resources Canada

traditional training. These were funded through the SNEI funding made available to the Network by NSERC, specifically to enhance the training and capacity of Network members.

The fourth Canadian Solar Buildings Conference was held in Toronto from June 25 to 27, 2009. It was attended by about 200 engineers, architects, researchers and professionals from the three levels of government: municipal, provincial and federal. It was preceded by a number of workshops that addressed the needs of the industry, as well as those of students doing research in the area of solar energy utilization in buildings.

Workshops Of particular interest to the industry were the workshops on RETscreen and Building Integrated Photovoltaic/ Thermal design, while the workshops on TRNSYS and ESP‐r, specifically addressed to Network students, provided a combination of introductory and advanced content that will be critical in the research they are undertaking and in the outputs of the Network related to all Themes, but particularly for Theme 4, which deals directly with modeling and simulation. Two non-technical workshops; one on public speaking and a second one on patents and IP protection, were very much appreciated by both students and professors of the Network. The two workshops, given by specialists in the respective fields, provided concrete information to the participants in two fields that do not form part of their

Conference The participation at the workshops reflected the participation in the conference itself: a mixture of architects, engineers, researchers and students as well as professionals from the municipal, provincial and federal governments. The conference was a big success in that it not only attracted a broad industrial participation in terms of attendance, but more importantly, this year it attracted significant industrial participation in its content. In particular we had presentations by the Canadian Solar Industries Association, the Canadian Home Builders Association, the Canadian Gas Association, the Ontario Power Authority, municipalities, individual builders and application engineers, giving a strong flavour of how research is taken up by the industry and applied in real projects, thereby contributing to the advancement of the industrial know‐how and ultimately the competitiveness of the Canadian construction and solar industries. The conference was opened by the

President of Ryerson University, Dr. Sheldon Levy, followed by the Dean of Engineering at University of Toronto, Dr. Cristina Amon. Both stressed the fact that their respective universities strongly support the work undertaken by the SBRN researchers and underlined the importance of research in the area for the future of Canadian competitiveness in the global marketplace. Their opening remarks were followed by welcoming comments by Dr. Terry Hollands, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Solar Buildings Research Network, and by the co‐chairs of the conference: Dr. Ted Kesik and Dr. Alan Fung. Dr. Andreas Athienitis, Scientific Director of SBRN, then provided a report on the successes of the network over the last year, including the completion of the EQuilibrium houses and the combined PV/T installation at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business building. Dr. Athienitis went on to mention the international activities in which the network and its researchers are involved, paying particular attention to the role of the Network in the launching of IEA SHC Task 40 ECBCS Annex 52 on Net Zero Solar Buildings. Ms. J. Butler, VP Electricity Resources of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) followed with an overview of the activities of the OPA in the area of renewable energies. She expressed her support for the activities of the SBRN. Ms. Elizabeth McDonald, Executive Director of CanSIA, provided an overview of the successes of the solar industry in Canada and its rising importance following the Clean Energy Act in Ontario. Ms. McDonald also stressed the importance of continued support for innovation and the need for training and education of the stakeholders in the building industry.


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4th Canadian Solar Buildings Conference, Toronto ON - Review (continued..)

Conference Poster Session Finally, two speakers provided different perspectives of what is to come. Dr. Kleiman presented activities on the development of photovoltaic materials covering the work that he and other researchers are undertaking to push the capabilities of photovoltaics to new levels of efficiency. Ms. Gauthier presented one of the EQuilibrium houses, the Now house, and how existing technologies can be used to turn some of the old housing stock into high efficient, net zero houses. The opening ceremonies set the tone for the subsequent technical sessions and panel discussions. A broad spectrum of subjects was covered in the technical sessions: PV/T systems, fenestration, solar thermal systems, net zero energy housing, modeling and simulation, to name just a few. However, the panel discussions were overwhelmingly related to one subject: community systems and how solar energy could contribute in the development of energy systems that are highly efficient and environmentally sound. A significant level of discussion was generated by the panel on the reconfiguration of urban energy systems and the role of solar energy. Mr. Louis Marmen of CGA presented the vision of QUEST: community systems that work seamlessly to minimize the energy requirements of communities. Mr. Chuck Farmer of OPA provided the view of his organization for the role of solar in community systems, while Ralph Williams of Hydro One, Brampton gave a presentation on the experiences of his organization in distributed electricity generation. Danielle Murray of the City of Toronto provided the view from a municipal level and covered the activities of her municipality in the area of distributed generation, while Jonathan Westeinde presented the vision of windmill construction, including the highly acclaimed Dockside Green development in Victoria BC. The specific issue of how best to integrate solar electricity in the urban environment was addressed by a panel chaired by E. McDonald and composed of J. Gray of Sunedison, F. Ruffalo of Arise Technologies, Rob McMonagle from the City of Toronto and Mike Brigham, an independent consultant with strong roots in the community, who is working towards the seamless integration of solar energy at the community level. The conference closed with a panel discussion on the challenges of building net zero houses, chaired by Dr. Athienitis with participation from the Canadian Home Builders Association (D. Foster), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (R. Charron), as well as from an award winning builder (Doug Tarry) and a researcher involved in the design and construction of net zero houses (Alan Fung). Of particular interest was the presentation from Mr. Foster who outlined the challenges and barriers faced by builders who are trying to build cutting edge energy efficient homes: lack of disciplined risk assessment and robust business cases; ignoring affordability and the marketplace; failure to address the “innovation adoption train‐wreck” and lack of “system within a system” thinking. The closing panel discussion left the participants with a sense of where efforts need to be put, both in terms of research to develop low cost effective solutions for net zero houses, and in policy and training efforts from the different levels of the government: municipal, provincial and federal.


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Comprehensive Long Long--term Monitoring and Evaluation of Two TRCA TRCA--BILD Archetype Sustainable Twin Houses - Dr. Alan Fung, Ryerson University Are you ever curious how much you could save on your electricity bill by using a solar collector to provide hot water or using PV to supply local power needs? Are you ever interested in finding out the actual performance of your HVAC system rather than the outstanding numbers claimed by the manufacturer? Do you ever want to know the simple solutions to saving energy in your home, or perhaps on a higher level, the real-time interaction among individual equipment – the boiler, heat pump, tanks, and the terminals, etc? Many answers can be found through the monitoring project of the Archetype House at Kortright Centre, Vaughan, Ontario.

Although conceptually viable, we still need solid convincing numbers to prove the expected functionality of such designs. Dr. Alan Fung from Ryerson University, along with his graduate students, Dahai Zhang (PhD Candidate) and Rupayan Barua (MASc Candidate), has been implementing a comprehensive and flexible data acquisition system (DAQ) to

commissioning processes. “I was thinking, the biggest challenge was to design and select the suitable DAQ system and proper sensors.” Dahai commented on his experience. “We faced more problems in the actual installation and wiring work. The improper selection of sensor location might affect the desired temperature readings by several degrees, hence changing the real efficiency of certain equipment.” Rupayan had some unique experience too, “I wanted to install a flowrate sensor with 3/8” MNPT port in the 1” hydraulic piping. But, there was no such direct fitting. I had to go to Home Depot to figure out my own fixtures.”

Of course, being graduate students, they see The Archetype House is more research orientatwo semi-detached twin tion in the project. houses, which serve as models of the next gen- View of the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority-Building Industry and “Our ultimate objective Land Development Association (TRCA-BILD) Archetype Sustainable House is to evaluate the pereration of green homes. formance of various Although of similar advanced HVAC systems as well as to floor-plan, these two houses are configmonitor the energy performance of variprovide benchmark data in the southern ured with different building materials ous aspects of the twin houses. “It is an Ontario region.” Dr. Fung speaks of his such as insulation, windows, wood and incredible experience,” Dahai said, “not long-term plan. “All these will rely on concrete, as well as different meonly because we got this internship to the successful collection of raw data and chanical and renewable work with so many industry the adequate post processing analysis. energy systems. Generally “Our ultimate objective is to partners, but also you have We have all the necessary equations to speaking, one house, evaluate the performance of to learn how to work with check the performance of individual House A, is intended to them efficiently.” A budget various advanced HVAC equipment and they have been impledemonstrate practices and systems as well as to provide of $100,000 was allocated mented in the LabVIEW system. We technologies that are curto purchase the hardware benchmark data in the have obtained some preliminary data rent and practical today, for this monitoring project, and the feedback was sent to our induswhereas the other, House southern Ontario region.” a significant amount comtry partners to improve the existing B, demonstrates practices pared to its peer projects. system.” According to the plan, the twin that we may see in the future. Through However, more funding is still required houses will be evaluated under condieducation, training, market transformato meet the goal of the original plan, i.e. tions with and without occupants. The tion and partnership programs, the to monitor 200-300 points in each performance data with occupants will Archetype House will influence how house, which covers almost every aspect be analyzed against the base case, which communities are built, planned, conof the energy flow in the house. Meanis the non-occupant case, to evaluate structed and lived in to minimize ecowhile, many practical problems and chalthe occupant effect on the house operalogical footprint and improve people's lenges were encountered and solved tion. quality of life. during the installation, calibration, and


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Comprehensive Long Long--term Monitoring and Evaluation of Two TRCA TRCA--BILD Archetype Sustainable Twin Houses (cont’d) Each house has two different systems: House A is equipped with a mini-gas boiler and a two-stage air source heat pump, whereas House B, which has more advanced systems, is equipped with a ground source heat pump and a micro-cogeneration system. In addition, House B has an infloor radiant system on each floor, individual zone control for the AHU and the PV installed. Although the project has a time scope of two more years, the Ryerson team still feels the heat. “We do have deadlines. We need to finish the data collection within the two years as we have two different mechanical systems to be run in either house. Our team will develop the modules for each equipment with the building simulation software and examine them with the benchmark data collected from the houses. We also need to evaluate those systems with the real-time data. The time is tight.” Dr. Fung expressed his eagerness to achieve the goal. According to their plan, the two-stage air-source heat pump in House A and the horizontal-loop ground source heat pump in House B will be tested first this year and the rest will be evaluated in 2011. Both houses achieved LEED for Homes Platinum level.

It is expected that the outcomes of the project will be readily available for 1) government agencies to make policy decisions on building and building equipment standards, 2) industry associations to promote new technologies and/or building techniques to its constituents and consumers, 3) manufacturers and homebuilders to adopt new technologies and/ or building techniques in the housing sector in Ontario and Canada, and 4) existing and new businesses to create new products and services in sustainable/renewable integrated energy systems. The Archetype House monitoring project is mainly sponsored by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Building Industry and Land Development (BILD) Association, MITACS ACCELERATE, Reliance Home Comfort and Union Gas. The Compact Fieldpoint DAQ system from National Instruments (NI) was adopted for the data acquisition. The LabVIEW platform was used to design the monitoring system. For more information, please visit http://www.sustainablehouse.ca/

Mechanical Systems with Natural Gas Combo Miniboiler and Solar Thermal DHW Heater in House A of the TRCA-BILD Archetype Sustainable House

Solar Thermal DHW Heater Supplemented by Ground Source Heat Pump De-Superheater and Time-of-Use (TOU) Backup Storage Tank used in House B of the TRCABILD Archetype Sustainable House


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The SoleAbode - Team Alberta’s entry to the 2009 Solar Decathlon Dr. Jim Love, University of Calgary Alberta’s entry in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 Solar Decathlon was a joint effort of students from four post-secondary institutions in Calgary: the University of Calgary, SAIT Polytechnic, Mount Royal University and the Alberta College of Art + Design. The design incorporated a fundamental element of the Canadian Rocky Mountain lodge vernacular, wooden post-and-beam construction. A modular layout of timber posts and beams blended poetics with pragmatic considerations. The open-plan concept included a centrally located services core for the kitchen and bath areas as well as a rooftop garden and terrace. Fenestration was arranged to enhance passive solar thermal control. Loads were reduced through the use of structural insulated panels for the walls and roof, as well as an energy recovery ventilator. During the eight days of decathlon competition, the house had to accommodate transitions from a high volume of visitors during open houses to very low occupancy. A forced air system was used for rapid response to this variability in loads. Control of the thermal environment was based on the use of offthe-shelf components to illustrate the potential of today’s technology, with proven reliability and support infrastructure, to provide energy-efficient environmental control. A water-source heat pump was the central space heating and cooling system and night-time domestic hot water heating. Because the short time of competition precluded the use of ground-source heat pumps, teams were allowed to use temporary water reservoirs for heat storage. The SolAbode was equipped with 7.6 kWp of photovoltaic modules. These modules cover each of the two roof sections. Each module had a microinverter because of the minor shading introThe SolAbode exterior duced by the rooftop patio. With traditional centralized inverters, the shading of one panel would affect the performance of the entire system. The microinverters limited output reductions due to shading to one or two panels. Five flat plate solar thermal collectors supply domestic hot water needs and charge the thermal storage. Flat plate collectors have a few advantages relative to evacuated tube collectors. They are more durable and cheaper to repair should they be damaged (e.g., by hail, which is common on the Prairies). The panels are façade-mounted (vertical) to improve winter heat collection when the sun is just above the horizon for a small number of hours per day (collector performance improves as the incident angle of the solar radiation approaches 90o). The solar thermal system provided domestic hot water and was also used to charge the thermal storage reservoir. This integration increased the efficiency of both the solar thermal system (by lowering the approach temperature to the panels) as well as that of the heat pump (by increasing the approach temperature to the heat pump when in heating mode). Thermosyphons were coupled with the thermal storage tank. These passive devices reject heat to the air at night when the air temperature drops below that in the tank. Similar to the increase in heat pump efficiency when the working fluid temperature was high, the cooling efficiency was increased by lowering the working fluid temperature. An advanced control system continuously monitored all the components as well as the indoor and outdoor conditions (temperature and The SolAbode interior humidity). The control logic maximized the overall system efficiency. The system could also log energy use and report use patterns to identify opportunities to improve performance. Lighting, external blinds and home entertainment were also tied into this system. Many of the decathlon projects were built by contractors based on designs by students, but the SolAbode was both designed and built by the student team, from the framing to the controls. In its first appearance at the Solar Decathlon, Team Alberta finished sixth overall out of 20 international teams chosen to compete.


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North House - Team Ontario/BC’s entry to the 2009 Solar Decathlon Dr. Alan Fung, Ryerson University In October 2009, Team Ontario/BC, a consortium of University of Waterloo, Ryerson University and Simon Fraser University competed in the 2009 Solar Decathlon, a competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Twenty college and university teams from around the world designed, built and operated their versions of the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solarpowered home.

Exterior view of the North House

Our mission was to design and deliver a home (hereon called “North House”), a compelling and marketable solar -powered home while training Canada’s next generation of leaders in sustainable design. The combination of active and passive solar design, integrated energy production, customized component, and mobile interactive technologies is a powerful vehicle of advancement in Canadian new housing industry, as well as improvement in the health and well-being of Canadian residents. The core team comprised students and faculty members from the three universities across Canada.

North House effectively utilizes the sun's energy to ensure high levels of comfort while using less energy. A highly glazed façade on the East-, West-, and South-face covers the main living space. In total, North House has a window-to-wall ratio (WWR) of approximately 70% yet it is still a net-positive energy home. To do this, North House reduces its energy consumption by controlling the amount of solar radiation that passes through the glazed façades with dynamic shading, and uses a salt-hydrate phase-change material embedded in the floor to store solar heat. The façades of North House were constructed with highly insulated quad-layered insulated glazing units(IGUs), which are able to harness passive solar heat from the sun with relatively low U-value of 0.474 Team Ontario/BC with members of Canadian Embassy W/m2K (R-12) yet relatively high solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC) of 0.404. An extensive computer system called the "Living Interface System" that allows residents to easily see and control their energy use is one of the innovative features that North House has to offer. The system includes desktop, embedded, and mobile components, which can also be accessed and controlled using an iPhone application. Energy harnessing is integrated into virtually every surface of the building. An approximately 9 kW photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof is the primary energy generator, complemented by an approximately 5 kW custom PV cladding on the South, East and West facades that operates when the sun is at the lower angle. A solar-assisted heat pump system including three-tank heat transfer and storage system; the roof mounted evacuated-tube solar-thermal collector; and a variable capacity heat pump meet the hot water and space heating demands. A second variable capacity heat pump is utilized for space cooling, which pulls the cold water from a cooling pond and rejects the heat back to the pond.


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North House - Team Ontario/BC’s entry to the 2009 Solar Decathlon (cont’d) During the competition, the 20 teams received points for their performance in 10 contests and opened their homes to the public. Solar Decathlon consists of 10 contests that center on all of the ways in which we use energy in our daily lives. Overall, Team North was ranked 4th place in the final competition based on the 2nd place finish in the Communications, 3rd place finish in the Comfort Zone, and 3rd place finish in the Net Metering contests.

[Figure 1: Overall Standings (U.S. Department of Energy, 2009)]

For more information on North House, please visit the website at www.team-north.com. For more information about the Solar Decathlon, please visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website at www.solardecathlon.org

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Net Zero Energy Buildings: definitions, issues and experience Josef Ayoub, CANMET Energy Technology Center, Natural Resources Canada

Buildings - the places where we live and work - are some of the largest consumers of energy in the world, accounting for over 40% of the world’s primary energy use and 24% of greenhouse gas emissions. Energy use in buildings as well as emissions from them include both the direct, on-site use of fossil fuels as well as indirect use from electricity, district heating/cooling systems and embodied energy in construction materials. There have been significant advances in improving energy efficiency in buildings, but much more is required to address the global challenges related to climate change and resource shortages. Presently, there is a popular vision for the buildings sector that encapsulates energy-efficiency and more - the so-called “netzero energy” approach. Whether, the term is “net-zero energy”, “net-zero emissions” or “net-zero carbon”, the vision is bandied about and discussed with the assumption that there is a common understanding of its definition and resultant implications. This is far from the truth. There are numerous definitions and approaches in the current discussions on this zero energy buildings (NZEB) - all claiming to be the “right” path. Although these terms have different meaning and are poorly understood, several IEA countries have adopted this vision as a long-term goal of their building energy policies. What is missing is a clear definition and international agreement on the measures of building performance that could inform “net-zero energy” building policies, programs and industry adoption. In October 2007, Prof. Andreas Athienitis, representing the Solar Buildings Research Network, and Josef Ayoub from CanmetENERGY participated in a US DOE hosted event to define a new international research concept on this topic under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The project was presented to the Executive Committees of both the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Program and the Energy Conservation in Buildings and Community Systems (ECBCS) Program the following summer and was approved as a joint activity as the SHC Task 40/ECBCS Annex 52 - Towards Net Zero Energy Solar Buildings for a 5-year period (October 2008 - September 2013) with the following criteria: • Goal: Joint international research to advance NZEBs to a practical reality in the marketplace. • Objectives: To develop a common understanding of definitions, guidelines, tools, innovative solutions sets and collate that information in a source book (Vol. 1, 2, 3…) which would be the basis of demonstrations and international collaboration to support broader industry adoption. • Scope: Residential, non-residential buildings and clusters and different climates.

The launch of this new activity was inaugurated in May 2009 at the Task/Annex’s 1st Experts Group Meeting, hosted by NSERC Solar Buildings Research Network Newsletter the SBRN in Montreal. The Task/Annex has attracted some 60 Experts from 19 countries and continues to receive requests from an international audience to attend future meetings.

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IEA Promoting Energy Efficiency Investments – case studies in the residential sector ISBN 978-92-64-04214-8. Paris. 2008. Note: In most countries, indirect emissions are not counted as emissions from the building sector but from the industry (power plants). This means the environmental footprint of building related energy use is often underestimated. 3 CA, DE, UK, USA, NL, NZ 2


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Net Zero Energy Buildings: definitions, issues and experience (cont’d) To achieve these objectives, the Task/Annex work has been organized in the following themes and activities: Subtask A: Definitions & Implications Led by Karsten Voss, Germany and Assunta Napolitano, Italy (To establish an internationally agreed understanding on NZEBs based on a common methodology) Activity A1: NZEB definitions framework Activity A2: Monitoring, verification and compliance guide Activity A3: Grid interactions Subtask B: Design Processes & tools Led by Andreas Athienitis, Canada and Adam Hirsch, USA (To identify and refine design approaches and tools to support industry adoption of innovative demand/supply technologies for NZEBS) Activity B1: Processes and tools Activity B2: Pre-concept design, feasibility tools Activity B3: Tools guide and worked examples Subtask C: Solution Sets (Advanced Design, Engineering, Technologies) Led by Francois Garde, France, and Michael Donn, New Zealand (To develop and test innovative, whole building net-zero solution sets for cold, moderate and hot climates with exemplary architecture and technologies that would be the basis for demonstration projects and international collaboration) Activity C1: NZEB STC Database: Activity C2: Analysis Matrix Activity C3: Research analysis of themes undertaken Activity C4: STC Source Book

Subtask D: Dissemination & Outreach Led by Operating Agent, All participants (To support knowledge transfer and market adoption of NZEBs on a national and international level) Activity D1: NZEB web page Activity D2: Reports production, Source book(s): Vols. 1, 2 and 3 Activity D3: Education network for PhD students and summer schools Activity D4: Outreach (conferences, seminars, workshops etc.) Country Participation: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealnd, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK , USA.


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Net Zero Energy Buildings: definitions, issues and experience (cont’d) The work is being undertaken in an integrated approach:

Definitions STA

Design Process STB

Solution Sets STC

Document and assess existing definitions

Assess current approaches, tools, problems and gaps for the design process

Assesscurrent currentsituation situationusing using Assess projects data, data,literature literaturereview review&& projects practitioner input input (workshops). (workshops). practitioner

Study utility and grid interactions, mismatches and overall exergy balance

Identify existing tools as starting point for an NZEB design approaches and tools.

Develop and assess participants case studies and demonstration projects.

Develop an IEA harmonized definitions framework

Adapt and refine tools/models for NZEB feasibility analysis, conceptual design, optimization.

Research advanced technologies and integrated concepts for participant case studies, projects.

Develop a monitoring, verification and compliance guide

Develop tools guide, worked examples (projects) to support industry adoption .

With STA, STB, develop solution sets for different climates, building types and functions

Dissemination STD Subtask Reports, Definitions and Compliance Framework, Tools, Website, Database, Workshops, Case Studies, Demonstration Projects, Education Network, source books (vols. 1, 2, 3), PhD network…Deliverables Canadian National Experts: Andreas Athienitis Scientific Director NSERC Solar Buildings Research Network Professor and Concordia Research Chair Tier I Dept. of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering Concordia University 1455 Maisonneuve W. Montreal, Québec H3G 1M8 aathieni@encs.concordia.ca http://www.solarbuildings.ca Véronique Delisle CanmetENERGY/Natural Resources Canada/ Government of Canada 1615 Lionel-Boulet Blvd, P.O. Box 4800 Varennes, Québec J3X 1S6 veronique.delisle@rncan-nrcan.gc.ca www.canmetenergy.nrcan.gc.ca Michel Tardif CanmetENERGY/Natural Resources Canada/ Government of Canada 580 Booth Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E4 michel.tardif@rncan-nrcan.gc.ca http://www.canmetenergy.nrcan.gc.ca Josef Ayoub Operating Agent, IEA SHC Task 40/ECBCS Annex 52: Towards Zero Energy Solar Buildings josef.ayoub@rncan-nrcan.gc.ca For more info visit the Task/Annex website: http://www.iea-shc.org/task40/


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Collaboration among SBRN participants Study on the Implementation of BIPV/T Technologies on the Canadian Housing Stock Jos Joséé A. Candanedo and Liam O’Brien (PhD Candidates, Concordia University) Natural Resources Canada, Dalhousie University and Concordia University have been collaborating since July 2009 on a project aimed at evaluating the potential impact of BIPV/T technologies on the Canadian housing stock. The most recent activity of this project was a working meeting at Dalhousie University in Halifax, in early March 2010. This meeting brought together: Lukas Swan and Sara Nikoofard, PhD students at Dalhousie, who are working on ESP-r models of the Canadian housing stock; Bart Lomanowski, from NRCan, an expert in the implementation of new models on ESP-r; José A. Candanedo, a PhD student at Concordia University who has been working on the integration of BIPV/T-assisted heat pumps in innovative buildings; and two other doctoral students from Concordia University, Liam O’Brien and Scott Bucking, who have been working respectively on a design tool for net-zero buildings, and the formal optimization of these designs.

From left to right, Bart Lomanowski, Scott Bucking, Jose Candanedo, Sara Nikoofard, Lukas Swan and Liam O’Brien.

Bart and Lukas discussing the implementation of BIPV/T and an air source heat pump in ESP-r.

The product of this collaboration will be a detailed model of a BIPV/T system that can be directly included in existing ESP-r house thermal models. This will enable the direct use of this innovative technology in Sara, Lukas, Scott, and Liam's respective applications. Furthermore, this model will be implemented into HOT3000, NRCan’s building design tool, which also uses ESP-r as a simulation engine. Bart’s remarkable work on the implementation of BIPV/T systems in ESP-r, testing different ways of using the BIPV/T air as the heat source for a heat pump is already producing interesting results. Heat transfer correlations obtained through numerical and experimental work by Luis Candanedo (Concordia), and corroborated by measurements in demonstration projects, have been used in this work. This effort is a primary example of the kind of fruitful collaboration that has been taking place in SBRN since its inception, bringing together the expertise of people from different disciplines to find innovative solutions. In this example, results obtained in Theme 1 (Integration of Solar Energy Systems into Buildings) have been transferred to Theme 4 (Simulation Tools for Solar Buildings Design). Thank you Lukas and Sara for hosting a successful and productive meeting! PS: Lukas recently joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Dalhousie as an Assistant Professor. Congratulations Lukas!


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SBRN News Commercialization of UNB PV Inverter Technologies - Liuchen Chang, University of New Brunswick The Sustainable Power Research Group (SPRG) at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) has adopted the RD3 approach (Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment) toward its endeavours in technological innovation. With continuing efforts supported by Solar Buildings Research Network, SPRG has developed and demonstrated a one-stop solution for PV inverters in distributed generation applications. The key building-block technologies for grid-connected PV inverters have all been developed “in-house”, including an innovative predictive current controller based on the space vector pulse width modulation to accomplish a high quality current output feeding into the grid, comprehensive system protection functions including the hybrid anti-islanding algorithm to comply with the CSA/UL interconnection standards, and a golden section based maximum power point tracking (MPPT) method to optimize the power output from PV arrays. These technologies have been integrated into a 10kW, single-phase, grid-connected inverter package, available for commercialization. Technology licensing agreements have been signed between UNB and EPOD Solar Inc. of BC and EffiSolar Energy Corp. BC, for commercial installations in the world PV electricity generation market, particularly for the Ontario Feed-in Tariff market. SPRG has completed training of engineers of these two companies, which are now in the process of establishing their manufacturing facilities for PV inverters.

Network researcher John Wright receives award from ASHRAE Dr. John L. Wright of the University of Waterloo received the ASHRAE Transactions Paper Award at the ASHRAE annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky. The paper is entitled "Calculating Center-Glass Performance Indices of Glazing Systems with Shading Devices". Visit Dr. Wright’s webpage at: http://www.mme.uwaterloo.ca/research/brochure/wright-br.html

Dr. John L. Wright

SBRN Researcher Jim Love’s work earns top top--level LEED certification Dr. Jim Love, professor in the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design and holder of the university’s Chair in Sustainable Building Technologies, designed the University of Calgary’s Child Development Centre (CDC) building. This building was among the first in Canada to earn the top-level Platinum certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system and also features the largest photovoltaic array in Western Canada.

Dr. James A. Love

Network researcher Alan Fung receives two awards Ryerson University’s Mechanical and industrial engineering professor Alan Fung was presented with two awards, one for research excellence and the other from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for promotion of sustainable practices. For more information go to: http://www.ryerson.ca/news/news/ General_Public/20100129_feas.html

Dr. Alan Fung (center) receiving the CMHC Excellence in Education Award for the promotion of sustainable practice, from Mr. Larry Brydon (Reliance Home Comfort) and Mr. Steve Jacques (Community Development & Research, CMHC)


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…..From From SBRN to beyond - Where are they now? Thanos Tzempelikos, Assistant Professor, Architectural Engineering, Purdue University Thanos Tzempelikos completed his PhD at Concordia University in 2005 on “Integrated thermal and daylighting analysis of buildings”, for which he won the Concordia Engineering Faculty Doctoral Prize. In Fall 2005, he was hired as a post-doctoral fellow in SBRN, based at Concordia University and started working on Theme 1.2: “Solar optimization of perimeter zones and multifunctional façades”. During his appointment, he completed the experimental design and setup of the Solar Energy Laboratory of Concordia University, which includes six different façade sections for testing the daylighting, solar and thermal properties and energy performance of fenestration systems, shading devices and also perimeter HVAC performance and photovoltaic panels. Thanos helped in linking university network research with government agencies and the industry (Somfy, Hydro-Quebec, etc) and also completed a demonstration project in P.E. Trudeau airport about optimizing shading and lighting control in all perimeter zones, in collaboration with NRCan and Aeroports de Montreal. Thanos’s research focus is on dynamic façades and their impact on energy performance and indoor environment. He helped in advising two MASc students (M. Bessoudo, graduated in 2007 and K. Kapsis, graduated in 2009) with Dr. Athienitis and Dr. Zmeureanu. The projects included experimental and simulation of thermal comfort studies near glass façades and the impact of motorized bottom-up shades and related control strategies on the thermal and daylighting performance of buildings. Thanos worked as a post-doctoral fellow in SBRN until May 2008. He published several papers in journals and conferences and he gained valuable experience from interacting with students, researchers and professors from other universities and industry partners. The SBRN environment provided him with unique qualifications in order to start his academic career. In August 2008, Thanos was hired as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University, in a new Architectural Engineering program they started. Together with Panagiota and two other colleagues, they developed a new curriculum (undergraduate and graduate courses) and a new strong research program on energy-efficient buildings. They are currently building their new research labs (modular, reconfigurable full-scale buildings) and continue working on modeling and building simulation. Thanos is organizing an International Conference on High Performance Buildings, which will take place at Purdue University in July 2010. They are also collaborating with faculty members from Herrick Laboratories from the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue for creating an interdisciplinary center for high performance buildings. Thanos and Panagiota continue participating in SBRN as collaborators.

Panagiota Karava, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering & Management, Purdue University Panagiota Karava completed her PhD at Concordia University in 2007 on “Airflow prediction in buildings for natural ventilation design – wind tunnel measurements and simulation”. Panagiota was mainly involved in theme 1.4 in SBRN “1.4: Integrated modelling, simulation and design of atria” and she helped advising one MASc student (E. Mouriki graduate in 2009). In 2008 she was hired as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) at the University of Western Ontario and she was awarded with an NSERC-Discovery Grant and a University Faculty award. Presently she holds a Research Adjunct Professor position at the University of Western Ontario (School of Civil Engineering) where she advises 1 PhD and 2 MASc students. In 2009 she joined Purdue University as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the School of Civil Engineering (Architectural and Construction Engineering Group). Panagiota is highly involved in the development (research and teaching) of the new Architectural Engineering emphasis area at Purdue. She has contributed to the development of the new Architectural Engineering Research Laboratories (full-scale outdoor facilities), construction of which started in February, 2010. Also she is collaborating with faculty members from Herrick Laboratories from the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue to create a center for high performance buildings. Panagiota’s research focuses on the fundamentals of heat and air transport and their application in innovative building envelope systems modeling.


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Chris Adachi, Carbon and Energy Management Research Analyst, teck Resources Ltd. Chris Adachi joined the SBRN in 2008 while conducting his graduate studies in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo. Interested in the relationship between renewable energy policies and the adoption of renewable energy technologies, Chris eventually focused his Master’s thesis on Ontario’s Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program and its influence on the adoption of residentially-mounted solar photovoltaic systems. With support from the SBRN, Chris conducted his research during the course of 2008, and successfully completed his Master’s in Environmental Studies in early 2009. During this period, his research was communicated to different audiences in different ways: he made poster presentations at the 2008 and 2009 SBRN conferences, prepared a stakeholder report for the project’s website,* and had an article published in the international journal Sustainability.* Chris has since taken the knowledge and skills developed through his work with the SBRN to Teck Resources Ltd., Canada’s largest diversified mining company. There, he is a Carbon and Energy Management Research Analyst. No longer focusing solely on solar photovoltaic systems, his work at Teck has challenged him to find new and innovative ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through conservation, fuel switching, and the adoption of renewable energy resources and technologies. The policyoriented skill set he developed with the SBRN has also proven to be an asset. Much of Chris’s work at Teck focuses on climate change policies (e.g. British Columbia’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction [Cap and Trade] Act), their influence on the mining sector, and the implications for Teck’s operations. “My work with the SBRN provided me with a comprehensive understanding of Energy Systems and Energy Policy and helped me to secure a position with Teck. Working at Teck is exciting – I get to work at the forefront of changing carbon practices and carbon policies. I am grateful for the support of the SBRN, and I can confidently say that my experience in the Network helped me to get where I am today.” http://environment.uwaterloo.ca/research/greenpower/projects/solar.html http://environment.uwaterloo.ca/research/greenpower/projects/documents/StakeholderReport_ChrisAdachi.pdf *

- Chris Adachi and Ian H. Rowlands, ‘The Role of Policies in Supporting the Diffusion of Solar Photovoltaic Systems: Experiences with Ontario, Canada’s Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program’, Sustainability (Vol. 2, No. 1, 2010), pp. 30-47, http://www.mdpi.com/20711050/2/1/30.

Véronique Delisle, Research Officer, Distributed Energy Program, CanmetENERGY, Natural Resources Canada Starting her Master`s degree at the University of Waterloo Solar Thermal Research Department in 2005, Véronique Delisle was involved with the Solar Building Research Network since the start. Under the supervision of Prof. Michael Collins, she conducted modeling and experimental work on a PV/Thermal transpired collectors, completing her Master’s thesis entitled “Analytical and Experimental Study of a PV/Thermal Transpired Collector” in 2008. During her years as an SBRN student, Véronique saw the progress of the researchers taking part in the network at the annual conferences and found it interesting to see the various collaborations that were formed. At the same time, the benefits and relevance of the network were observed with everyone’s work coming together to achieve the main research objectives. Through Véronique’s participation in the SBRN, she gained valuable experience and was given the opportunity to continue working in the solar energy field as part of the distributed energy program at CanmetENERGY in Varennes, a research centre of Natural Resources Canada. Her work at CanmetENERGY as a research agent allows her to contribute to a rewarding field by being involved with the advances in areas such as photovoltaic/thermal systems and net-zero energy buildings.


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Brendan O’Neill, Junior Engineer (Building Science), Les Consultants LBCD Inc. (Trow Global) Brendan O’Neill started a Master’s of Applied Science degree at Concordia University in September 2005, just when the Solar Building’s Research Network was getting started. It was his desire to learn how mechanical engineers can apply their knowledge in energy system design to contribute towards reducing energy consumption in the built environment that drew him to the Building Engineering program under the supervision of Professor Andreas Athienitis. During his degree, and through the funding of the SBRN, he was able to involve himself in a multitude of research and hands-on activities: experimenting with the 2005 Solar Decathlon home, and participating in the 2007 competition with Team Montreal; implementing his research in dynamic façade shading control at the Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport; contributing with fellow students and colleagues in the design and instrumentation of cutting edge research facilities and Net-zero energy homes; and attending and presenting at SBRN annual conferences. For Brendan, the ability to apply the theory to real world projects, whilst working in an amazing team, was what made his time with the SBRN the most rewarding. This culminated in taking the lead role in the engineering supervision and project management of the building-integrated photovoltaic/thermal demonstration project that was constructed on Concordia University’s new John Molson School of Business Building. Brendan coordinated the manufacture and specification of the components, and used the knowledge gained from his studies to ensure that the system blended into the architectural, mechanical and electrical aspect of the building. This project, the first application of BIPV/T of its kind on a prominent building in a major downtown Montreal location, shows Montrealers and all Canadians that solar technologies not only work well in our cold climate, but in fact are able to power and heat our buildings efficiently. After spending a short period helping with the administration side of the SBRN, and taking a much deserved summer break, Brendan started working in the private sector in the Building Science division of a Montreal-based consulting firm: Les Consultants LBCD inc., part of the larger Trow Global group of companies. His experience with the SBRN allows him now to add value to the company’s projects, notably for building-integrated solar installations in Canada and abroad, and mechanical HVAC design. Brendan can be contacted at b.oneill@lbcd.org, and would be happy to share his experiences and passion for Solar Buildings.


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Cynthia Cruickshank, Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University Cynthia Cruickshank completed her PhD studies under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Harrison at Queen’s University in June 2009 and started a full-time tenure track position at Carleton University in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department in July 2009. Support for her PhD research was provided by the Canadian Solar Building’s Research Network under Theme 2, Project 2.2a. Cynthia’s PhD study investigated the operation of a unique, multi-tank thermal storage incorporating natural convection heat exchangers. Intended to be cost-effective and easily installed, its design promoted sequential thermal stratification and passive control. A full-scale experimental apparatus was constructed, instrumented, and commissioned, allowing experimental data to be obtained under a variety of operational conditions. The operation of the multi-tank storage unit was modeled and new purpose-specific component routines were developed. In addition, a simplified test method for characterizing natural convection heat exchangers was developed and adopted for use in Canada and in the USA by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation. This work was presented at the annual ASME conference in Denver and received the “Best Paper Award”. The paper was later submitted and published in the ASME Journal. In October 2007, Cynthia attended a SolNet graduate course on Thermal Stratification in Solar Storage Tanks at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) as part of her PhD coursework. Her ability to travel and participate in this course was a result of receiving a Solar Buildings Research Network (SBRN) Travel Supplement, which is intended to help SBRN students interact with experts in their field and to collaborate with researchers from other institutions working on similar projects. As a result of attending this international study session at DTU, Cynthia established a number of close ties with overseas researchers that have led to further collaboration and the publication of a joint international journal paper. This work involved an extensive review of characterization methods for thermal stratification in thermal energy storages. During the course of her formal studies as an SBRN student, Cynthia presented 12 conference papers on different aspects of her research at national and international conferences. As the newest member of the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering (SREE) program at Carleton University, Cynthia is participating in the development and delivery of new course curriculum and graduate research. Her primary research involves the design and optimization of solar thermal systems and sensible heat storages. Cynthia hopes to broaden the scope of her work to include investigations related to advanced buildings, including energy efficient and sustainable energy concepts for commercial and residential applications. As part of her teaching requirements, Cynthia is also a fourth-year design project advisor for a high performance housing project. This project focuses on developing cost-effective and efficient methods to significantly reduce the total energy consumption and the peak electrical demands of houses. The assistance and support of the SBRN has given Cynthia the opportunity to further her research and academic career in the solar energy field. In addition, the connections Cynthia has made within SBRN have provided her with an invaluable resource for future research and collaboration.


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Qian Peng, Research and Development Engineer, Unicel Architectural Group Qian Peng, a SBRN student, has finished his M.A.Sc degree in Building Engineering under a joint research project between Unicel Architectural Corp. and Concordia University. Unicel is the developer of an advanced fenestration product called VisionControl®, which integrates aluminum venetian blinds between two panes of glass and provides cord-free operation of louver tilt. The tilt angle of the integrated louvers can be accurately controlled to block direct solar radiation from entering the space or to redirect daylight towards the ceiling for daylighting purposes. Qian’s research focused on developing a new generation of VisionControl® window by redesigning it to reduce its overall thickness. The reduced window thickness widens its applications in commercial curtain walls and retrofit projects. The newly developed VisionControl® window was tested in a small-scale, threesection curtain wall façade. This experimental study confirmed that the newly developed VisionControl® window offers better functionality and better daylighting performance than the previous generation. Today, the newly designed VisionControl® window is available on the market and is now patented. Qian Peng was granted NSERC’s Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship (IPS) for 2008 and 2009, and he will continue his career in Unicel as a research and development engineer. He will promote this new window product for more sustainable and intelligent building designs.

VisionControl® window

VisionControl® windows in a three-section façade design

Qian Peng in Unicel shop with VisionControl® windows he designed.


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Remi Charron, Senior Researcher, Sustainable Housing Policy and Research, CMHC Rémi Charron had the privilege of starting his PhD at Concordia at the SBRN’s conception stage. Working part-time at NRCan in Varennes, one the Network’s Public Sector Collaborators, allowed Rémi to provide input on the NSERC Network proposal from the perspective of both the universities and the federal government. “This unique perspective was important in helping me shape my understanding of the separate roles that the federal government and universities have with regards to leading research in Canada.” For his thesis, Development of a Genetic Algorithm Optimisation Tool for the Early Stage Design of Low and Net-Zero Energy Solar Homes, Rémi developed a model of a solar house in TRNSYS that had multiple energy efficiency and solar technology options available. This house model was coupled with a genetic algorithm program that would run thousands of TRNSYS simulations to determine cost-effective combinations of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to use in homes. Although this research started before the Network was officially started, the results fed directly into a couple of the research projects under Theme 4.3. “My thesis work was broad and helped me learn about a number of energy efficiency and solar energy technologies. This broad knowledge base was key in helping me get my previous and current job.” Nearing the end of his PhD, Rémi accepted a position as Professor in Energy Systems Engineering Technology at St. Lawrence College, the only college that is part of the SBRN. There he taught a broad range of courses on photovoltaics, energy simulation tools, thermodynamics and others. He also led the construction of a new renewable energy laboratory and an insulation demonstration building. “Whereas my PhD work was more theoretical, the work at the college was very much hands-on, which was perfect as it helped me round out my skill set.” Although the work at St. Lawrence College was enjoyable and fulfilling, when an opportunity came to work as a Senior Researcher in Sustainable Housing at CMHC, another SBRN public sector collaborator, it was a position Rémi did not want to pass up. Working at Canada's national housing agency as one of their key energy efficiency and renewable expert, the work involves leading housing related research on a number of energy efficiency and solar energy related projects. “I had admired the work CMHC had done through its EQuilibrium Housing Demonstration projects, and now having the chance to work directly on a number of EQuilibrium related initiatives is very rewarding.”

Mark Bessoudo, Green Building & Sustainability Consultant, Halsall Associates Mark Bessoudo completed his Master of Applied Science in Building Engineering at Concordia University in 2008 where he served as a graduate research assistant in Concordia's the Solar & Lighting Lab under the guidance of SBRN Network Leader Dr. Andreas Athienitis and Post-Doctoral fellow Dr. Thanos Tzempelikos. As part of the SBRN's Theme 1.2, "Solar optimization of perimeter zones and multifunctional facades", Mark studied the effects of passive solar design, primarily solar shading and glazing, on occupant thermal comfort and the indoor thermal environment in commercial office buildings. During his time with the SBRN, he also published several conference and journal papers, carried out research at a Hydro-Quebec research lab and was a member of Team Montreal at the 2007 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. In 2008, Mark's research work for his thesis was published into the book "Building Façades and Thermal Comfort: The impacts of climate, solar shading, and glazing on the indoor thermal environment". After graduation, Mark was hired as a green building consultant with Halsall Associates in Toronto where he now works on a wide range of projects related to sustainability in the built environment, including LEED certification for new and existing buildings, community energy planning, and municipal green development policy. Mark has been able to work with a number of clients interested in using solar energy systems for their buildings, especially with the recent introduction of Ontario's feed-in tariff program for renewable energy systems. Beyond just the academic experience that Mark gained while with the SBRN and Concordia, he believes that the connections and friendships he has made with fellow students and professors across Canada and the world were instrumental in helping him to begin his career. Mark looks forward to continued friendship and collaboration in the future!


EcoTerra home built by Alouette Homes (Eastman, Quebec)

Construction of BIPV/T roof module (Concordia students: L. Candanedo and B. O’Neill)

BIPV/T roof module delivered on site for assembly of the house

EcoTerraTM EQuilibriumTM Demonstration House and its BIPV/T roof construction (an SBRN demonstration project)

Editor: Phone: E-mail:

Lyne Dee 514 848 2424 ext. 7029 Fax: 514 848 7965 lynedee@solarbuildings.ca

Website: www.solarbuildings.ca


SBRN Newsletter