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New Project at Fort Whyte Alive

We are pleased to announce that we have begun construction of a new high performance commercial building at Fort Whyte Alive, The Ben and Rose Puchniak Woodworking Studio.

The Woodworking studio is a multi-functional building that will house office space, a classroom/assembly area, and a woodworking shop. The request for proposal to build the Woodworking studio called for a building that required 50% less energy to operate than one that is merely code compliant. Sun Certified will surpass this requirement using Passive House design principles to minimize heat loss and use passive solar heating to offset heating demand. We also incorporate shading to minimize heat gain during the summer months. Insulation is one of the most important components to minimizing heat loss. Insulation must be continuous to avoid thermal bridging, typically structural components that are continuous from the interior to the exterior of the wall system, which would create cold spots inside the building. Cold spots reduce occupant comfort and can contribute to damaging condensation and mould growth. Sun Certified prefers to use cellulose for most of the above grade insulation in our buildings. Cellulose is an insulation product made exclusively from recycled paper waste that we are able to source from a local manufacturer.

Sun Certified has developed a type of Modified Larson Truss (MLT) wall that uses wood framing to create a large cavity for cellulose insulation and minimizes thermal bridging to achieve a very high performance system. Our prefabricated MLT wall system features an integral plywood air/vapour barrier that provides both structural stability and a very airtight seal, also an important component of energy efficient building design. Using plywood as the air/vapour barrier provides resilience in both the long term durability of the material itself and also for the wall system as it allows for drying to both the interior and exterior which ensures that the building will continue to perform as designed for hundreds of years. Using organic building materials such as wood framing and cellulose insulation allows us to store carbon in the building over its lifetime. This is an important feature that Sun Certified believes must accompany energy efficient design as some insulation and structural building materials create large amounts of carbon in their manufacturing and transportation. A building designed using materials with a large carbon footprint can still achieve a very high level of energy efficiency but the total carbon emissions from the building material alone can actually make it a worse carbon emitter than a conventional code built one. Prefabricating the walls off site allows for a quick close in and also lets us optimize material efficiency by saving material remnants to be used for future projects.

The Woodworking Studio will be energy efficient, have low carbon emissions from both its operation and construction, will have optimal interior air quality and thermal comfort, have resilient exterior finishes that are recyclable, and will continue to be an example of the potential for commercial buildings in these areas for many decades. Fort Whyte will use the Woodworking Studio as an extension of their Social Enterprise at FortWhtye farms to partner with high schools and youth-serving organizations to bring young people into nature to learn about food, farming, health and wellness.

Sun Certified is committed to following the seven principles of Co-operatives and one of those principles, P6, is Cooperation among Co-operatives. Social Enterprises are very similar to Co-operatives in their values so partnerships  with Social Enterprises like FortWhyte farms are very valuable to Sun Certified.


Added: Tue February 23rd 2021