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Foundation Canada and Canadian Chapters to Host NRC Virtual Building Science Insights

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August 20, 2020

The RCI Foundation Canada is collaborating with the National Research Council Canada and the Canadian chapters of IIBEC to present a series of webinars entitled “Virtual Building Science Insights.” Webinar topics will include: “What is New and Old in the CSA A123.21 – 2020? (Standard Test Method for the Dynamic Wind Uplift Resistance of Membrane Roofing Systems)” as well as “Lessons Learned from SIGDERS’s R&D – Practical Design Extracts.” These webinars will be presented live and interactive. Each will be one hour, followed by a 30-minute Q&A period, worth one IIBEC CEH. The series begins September 17, 2020 and continues through January 21, 2021. Presentations will be on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. local time. Case studies pertinent to the presenting geographical region will be included along with a local expert panel. In addition to this series being presented for various regions of Canada, there will also be a presentation in French. Click here to find the seminar(s) you want to attend.

Presentation 1: What is New and Old in the CSA A123.21 – 2020?

Testing a roof system with TPO.

CSA A123.21 is the standard test method for the dynamic wind uplift resistance of membrane roofing systems. It has been used by the roofing community since 2004. Its origin goes back to 1994 when Special Interest Group for Dynamic Evaluation of Roofing System (SIGDERS) started to develop a dynamic load cycle testing procedure. CSA A123.21 is a better replication of the true effect of wind on the roof, while also accounting for variations in roofing components and materials. Additionally, the failure models obtained from CSA A123.21 are like the field failure examples after high wind events.

This webinar will present a brief history of how CSA A123.21 has evolved through the years and how it is codified.  Local case studies pertinent to the presenting geographical region will be included. Applicability of building code and professional judgement of designers will also be discussed.

EPDM roof test.

“The CSA A123.21-19 Standard Test Method for the Dynamic Uplift Resistance of Membrane-Roof Systems has now been part of the National Building Code of Canada for a few years and it is being integrated in provincial codes across the country,” according to Albert Duwyn, president of IRC Building Sciences Group as well as president of the RCI Foundation Canada. “There have been many design professionals who have been asking questions on exactly how it applies to their roof designs. This presentation will answer many of those questions.”

System equivalency or performance enhancement is an important aspect of this design and eliminates the need for excessive and unnecessary testing. How to achieve system equivalency for various low-slope membrane roofs will be discussed along with examples. This webinar will also concentrate on the required calibration process for labs to perform CSA A123.21 testing.

Presentation 2: Lessons Learned from SIGDERS’s R&D – Practical Design Extracts

Modified bitumen test.

The SIGDERS group at NRC has been evaluating roofing systems over the last two decades. Their generic, pre-competitive research benefits all its members while also tackling the challenges encountered by the industry pertaining to all elements of the roofing system. The SIGDERS operation is the only of its kind in the world, not only for its legacy of a long-lasting R&D consortia, but also the several impacts it creates for the roofing community.

“Since the formation of SIGDERS in 1994, much work has been developed in order to improve roof design and construction,” according to Dr. Appupillai “Bas” Baskaran, group leader, Construction Research Centre of the National Research Council Canada/Government of Canada. “The CSA Standard on Dynamic Wind Uplift and the Wind Design Calculator are two examples of that work.”

Bas Baskaran

This webinar will summarize the lessons learned throughout the years on how to optimize the wind resistance of low-slope membrane roofing systems. By taking the “weakest link” concept of a resistance chain, the role that each element of a roofing system plays in the overall performance of the system will be demonstrated. Local case studies pertinent to the presenting geographical region will be included, and a segment of the presentation will focus on NRC’s new climate adaptation standard.

Think Tank Segment

SIGDERS display

Finally, the Q&A period will welcome ideas, concerns, or barriers that may exist in the Canadian roofing community. A pre-prepared survey will follow the presentation to obtain feedback from the participants to prepare our roofing industry for the next decade. Such collected data will be used to develop a framework for future NRC research and development. Because of this, each location’s registration will be limited to a maximum of 75 participants.

Registration cost for each presentation is $50 CDN plus Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) (Continuing education credits will be issued by email 2 to 5 days after the webinar); Students are $25 CDN plus HST (Continuing credits are NOT available for students. IIBEC and RCIF reserve the right to verify the student’s program and education institution).

Registration for these seminars is open now. Questions about registration should be directed to Betty Quan, IIBEC Southern Ontario Chapter, 416-499-4000 x4119 or