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When: May 27th, 2020
Cost: TBD

This short half-day course focuses on providing engineers and expert practitioners with some perspective on the anticipated effects of climate change on buildings and their elements in the coming years.  In this short course an overview will be given on tools, in the form of standards and guidelines, as may be used by expert practitioners to assess the expected risk to premature degradation of building components on the building’s exterior fabric.

The course will primarily focus on the effect of climate loads on building envelope assemblies but will also touch upon the expected effects on buildings arising from flood risks, urban wildfires and other naturally occurring climate effects as may require changing or adapting the design of buildings over their intended service life.

A number of topics will be covered in the short-course, the first of which is directed at gaining a general outlook of the phenomena of climate change.  Specifically, a comparison is provided between historical and future projected climate loads, for those loads of importance to building design and operation over the long-term. Thereafter, in the subsequent topic, emphasis is given to the effects of climate loads on buildings and the anticipated change in loads arising from a warming climate on the buildings themselves. In this section, information is also provided on the expected effects on buildings arising from flood risks, urban wildfires and overheating in buildings and the urban heat island effect. The topic that follows offers a broad summary of durability in buildings and considerations for climate change on building elements.  A brief overview is given of standard CSA S478 (durability in Buildings) – this provides a basis for assessing the consequences of premature degradation of the building fabric. Afterwards, approaches are described whereby changes to the design of new or the retrofit of existing buildings may be considered with the use of guidelines for the design for durability of the building envelope.  Examples are presented in the use of this guideline to achieve useful results in adapting building envelope design to mitigate the anticipated effects of climate change in the future.


Senior Research Officer, Construction Research Center


Dr. Lacasse has over 29 years’ experience as a building engineer. He is Acting Director for the Building Envelope and Materials & Intelligent Building Operations research units of the CRC. As such, he has overseen work over a broad spectrum of building envelope research that includes the weathertightness of building enclosures, evaluating the thermal and moisture response of highly insulated wood-frame wall assemblies, development of methods to assess the long-term performance of building components and envelope assemblies, and more recently, on the expected resilience of building enclosures to the effects of climate change.

Since joining NRC in 1991, he has been active in various ASTM, CSA, ISO and CIB technical committees related to performance of the envelope and the durability and service-life prediction of materials and components. He chairs the ISO TC59 SC14 on Design Life of Buildings. As an active member of the CIB technical committee W080 “Prediction of Service Life of Building Materials and Components”, he acts as research coordinator for this committee’s activities. More recently, he supported the work of the NBC Part 5 “Building enclosures” and also worked on the CSA committee to revise the standard CSA S478 “Guideline on Durability in Buildings”. He also participates in ASTM activities of committee E06 on “Performance of Buildings”.

Dr. Lacasse prior to working at the NRC worked both in private industry and government construction agencies.


Assistant Research Officer, Construction Research Center


Dr. Gaur’s work focuses on the generation of climatic data needed for the testing and evaluation of building envelopes under historical, and projected future climates.  He is the lead researcher for the development of climatic databases for building envelopes design and research in Infrastructure Canada’s sponsored project on Climate Resilience Buildings – Core Public Infrastructure (CRBCPI).  Within the CRBCPI project he also contributes to the assessment of the durability of building envelopes, overheating in buildings, and wildland urban interface fire hazards under historical and future projected climates.  Additionally, he also works on the Tall Wood buildings project focused on the evaluation of the effects of climate change and extreme events on the performance and durability of Tall Wood building envelopes.

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