Session 3 | Building Renewal: Accelerating urban sustainability progress through facade system renovation

The construction of the large majority of existing buildings dates to a time when energy was not a primary performance consideration in building design and operation. The facade system was merely a membrane separating inside from out and independent from the building’s mechanical and electrical systems. Consequently, these buildings—many now a half-century old or more—were never good energy performers nor did they provide particularly healthful and productive environments. Now, their renewal presents the most significant opportunity in moving the built environment toward sustainability and resilience goals. National Research Council of Canada publications document significant advances in building science, design and construction practices over past decades. These advances provide necessary knowledge assets as the foundation for quality and timely interventions to upgrade, restore and renew existing building facades with the intent of improving performance and extending building service life. Several retrofit and renewal projects are underway or recently completed in the downtown core, and many stakeholders are evaluating the progress and outcome with an eye to scalability. This session reveals lessons learned from several past and current facade renovation projects.


Annette Matthews, G.S.C.

Project Manager, PCL Constructors Canada

Harrison Chan, OAA, MRAIC

Principal, WZMH Architects

Don Delaney, P.Eng.

Engineering / Business Development, Flynn Canada

Scott Armstrong

Senior Facade Engineering Specialist, WSP Canada