Home Around the province Collège Boréal partners with builders to conduct applied research in green construction

Collège Boréal partners with builders to conduct applied research in green construction

Jérémie Roy, architectural technology student, builds a wall to install and test an insulated shutter

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Collège Boréal is collaborating with two builders – Quebec-based Construction La Ray and Muskoka’s Tooketree Passive Homes – to research techniques in green construction.

The field of sustainable construction has experienced remarkable advances in recent years, the school stated in a press release. Developments have led several small and medium-sized businesses operating in the field of residential construction to focus on sustainable construction.

“Tooketree Passive Homes is pleased to partner with Collège Boréal on this initiative. Given buildings are such a large contributor of greenhouse gases that cause climate change, this project is timely,” said Rick Zytaruk, Tooketree CFO. “Developing a new sustainable structural insulated panel will allow builders to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of new buildings.  This can help transform the building industry from being a cause of climate change to becoming a solution to the climate crisis.”

Denis Ouimette stands with the model of an insulated shutter. Its performance will be studied over the coming months

The pandemic contributed to this growing trend, with the growing calls for the post-pandemic economic recovery to be seized as an opportunity to build back better.

Professor Denis R. Ouimette, coordinator of the architectural technician and architectural technology programs, is leading applied research projects with two private sector partners to develop new sustainable construction techniques.

“In partnership with Construction La Ray, my students and I will be studying the energy performance of insulated window shutters. Windows are a weak point for a building’s energy performance. Our applied research aims to demonstrate the feasibility of using insulated shutters to surpass the performance of high-end windows, at a lower cost,” Ouimette said in the release.

Construction La Ray chose to partner with researchers at Collège Boréal to develop this insulated shutter that will reduce heat gains in the summer and heat loss in the winter, energy consumption and green house gas emissions. Construction La Ray will then be able to propose this new technology to its clients, affording them significant cost savings.

Tooketree Passive Homes has also partnered to conduct a feasibility study for a new structural insulated panel.

This research project, led by Mr. Ouimette and his students, will study Tooketree Passive Homes’ eco-digital wall and aims to improve the fabrication process for homes.

“We will develop a structural insulated panel which uses renewable materials, digital fabrication, and construction which prioritizes the continuity of thermal insulation and vapour and wind barriers,” Ouimette explained. “The panels will be designed, fabricated and evaluated for their thermal and structural efficiency.”

Each of the projects is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

“We are thrilled to be in a position to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field of construction, in partnership with Collège Boréal. I have no doubt that we will succeed in developing a new product which will result in better energy performance and we hope to put the results to work in our future construction projects,” said Raymond Larouche, president, Construction La Ray

Established in 1995, Collège Boréal is a French language post-secondary training and learning institution dedicated to the development and growth of communities throughout Ontario.

Construction La Ray is a family business that was established in 1987. Based in La Sarre, Québec, it has completed hundreds of residential, commercial and industrial construction projects of every size and scope in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.

Tooketree Passive Homes is committed to the health and sustainability of the communities where it operates. Tooketree builds homes that are made to last: high-performance homes that help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

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