BCIT unveils new lab to train green builders of the future

The High Performance Building Lab (HPBL) was unveiled today at the BCIT Burnaby Campus. The new facility came out of a partnership between the BCIT School of Construction and the Environment (SoCE), BC Housing, and various industry stakeholders. On hand to celebrate was the MLA for Burnaby North, Richard Lee.

“This is very exciting,” said MLA Richard Lee. “British Columbia continues to be a climate leader in Canada and the world. This is a concrete example of how we’re leading the way to encourage and grow a highly skilled, sustainable, energy efficient residential construction sector.”

“Green building practices are becoming an integral part of the construction processes in BC, and therefore our economy,” says Wayne Hand, the Dean of SoCE.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-11-13-52-amThe B.C. government, through BC Housing, is contributing $40,000 to BCIT for the High Performance Building Lab.

The HPBL is a hands-on learning space for both trades and technology students. It offers a rare opportunity to learn about, and become trained in the construction of energy efficient buildings. The lab can also be used for applied research. In partnership with industry, researchers will be able to explore wall and window assembly solutions for high performance buildings.

Through engagement with various industry and academic stakeholders, SoCE found a need for a high performance building lab. New requirements for energy efficient housing require changes to existing building envelope design and construction techniques. Wood frame construction in the coastal region of BC is sensitive to high moisture levels resulting in materials deterioration and failure. It is essential that construction technologists, designers, and builders are familiar with building envelope application technologies.

The High Performance Building Lab has been developed in order to provide effective delivery of high-efficiency envelope building techniques. It offers training in buildings as a system, including methods pertaining to building envelope wall assembly, air-tightness testing and HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation systems).

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-11-14-07-amThe lab, including the mock-up wall panel assemblies and airtight testing house, can be used for several educational programs within BCIT such as the Architectural and Building Technology Diploma, Bachelor of Architectural Science and the Passive House Trades Training course. It will also be used by industry in order to help advance the sector as a whole.

The HPBL is located inside building NW3 on the BCIT Burnaby campus.  The total floor area occupied by the lab is approximately 800 m2 including storage and educational space.

For more information, please visit this article about the project.

For additional information and space bookings please contact BCIT_HPBL@bcit.ca.

View more photos on flickr.

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