Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Webday Wednesdays - Highly insulating, non-combustible enclosures and THERM

 Registration is closed for this event
For the month of February, the RAIC is pleased to present a weekly series on the subject of architecture and energy.


Highly insulating, non-combustible enclosures and THERM
Date: February 13, 2019
Experience Level:
Presenter: Stephen Pope, OAA, FRAIC, Assoc ASHRAE

The recent fashion for Passive House construction and separately, a new focus on carbon accounting for commercial buildings, has rejuvenated the idea of highly insulating enclosures as an alternative to providing comfort with mechanical systems only. The Passive House approach is also being applied to large buildings requiring non-combustible enclosures. 

Building codes require steel stud based building enclosures to use continuous exterior insulation or "ci". With ci comes secondary metal framing for insulation and cladding support, which can dramatically reduce the ci effectiveness, similar to the manner in which steel studs themselves reduce the effectiveness of cavity insulation. 

Wood studs are close enough in resistance value to insulation that 1D parallel path spreadsheet calculations (heat flow inside to outside) are reasonably accurate. Steel studs accelerate the transfer of heat through an assembly in every direction (heat flow inside to outside, up and down, and sideways into the interior of an assembly). Reviewing non-combustible steel stud assemblies requires 2D or 3D calculations. 

THERM is a free 2D heat flow analysis program created and maintained by the  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy, already commonly used in the rating of window performance according to CSA Standard 101. The Passive House certification process extends the use of THERM to the assessment of the thermal bridging in wall assemblies. Webinar participants will become aware of how THERM can help them optimize the performance of their non-combustible exterior assemblies. 

At the completion of this session, the participant/learner will be able to:

  • describe the negative effect that too much secondary steel can have in relation to the effect of continuous exterior insulation;
  • explain why the one dimension spreadsheet analysis of steel stud assemblies is not sufficiently accurate;
  • describe the free software tool that is available to make a more accurate analysis, and;
  • recall the basic knowledge of how that tool works

Continuing education learning hours: 1 credit

Stephen Pope spent almost 20 years at Canmet ENERGY Ottawa, a research unit inside Natural Resources Canada, researching building performance and energy efficiency measures for commercial buildings. Stephen now provides design decision support to colleagues at CSV Architects covering subjects from building science and material selection to detailing for energy efficiency, whole building energy modelling and sustainable design process facilitation. 

Stephen is a licensed architect under the Ontario Association of Architects, a Fellow of the RAIC College, Chair of the Board of Directors of the ATHENA Sustainable Materials Institute, and member of ASHRAE Technical Committee 7.1 responsible for the HVAC Applications Handbook Chapter 58 addressing Inegrated BuildingDesign and Integraded Project Delivery.  

This webinar is sponsored by

About Owens Corning

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) develops, manufactures, and markets insulation, roofing, and composites. Global in scope and human in scale, the company’s market-leading businesses use their deep expertise in materials, manufacturing, and building science to develop products and systems that save energy and improve comfort in commercial and residential buildings. Through its glass reinforcements business, the company makes thousands of products lighter, stronger, and more durable. Ultimately, Owens Corning people and products make the world a better place. Based in Toledo, Ohio, Owens Corning posted 2017 sales of $6.4 billion and employs 19,000 people in 37 countries. It has been a Fortune 500® company for 63 consecutive years. For more information, please visit


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Sunday, February 10, 2019

$25 for RAIC members, plus applicable taxes.
$30 for non-members, plus applicable taxes.

SCHEDULE: The Webinar will take place on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at 1 p.m. ET in English.
The Canada-wide schedule by time zone is:









 10 a.m.

 11 a.m.

 12 noon

 1 p.m.

 2 p.m.

 2:30 p.m.


 11 a.m.

 12 noon

 1 p.m.

 2 p.m.

 3 p.m.

 3:30 p.m.

More information, including online access instructions and a PDF copy of the slides will be sent to you by email on the Monday prior to the Webday webinar. 

February 13, 2019 1:00 PM   through   2:00 PM
Event Fee(s)
Event Fees (GST) $ 30.00 + $ 1.50 Sales Tax
Event Fees (Ontario) $ 30.00 + $ 3.90 Sales Tax
Event Fees (Quebec) $ 30.00 + $ 4.49 Sales Tax
Event Fees (HST) $ 30.00 + $ 4.50 Sales Tax

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