A Step Toward Net-Zero: How British Columbia is Rolling Out New Building Energy Efficiency Requirements

Net-zero is typically defined as a building that produces as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. However, this definition can vary by project and is subject to more questions: Is renewable energy production on-site or off-site? How does it consider efficiency versus renewables? Does net-zero hinge on the building’s size, location, and […]

Guide to Managing Renewals Projects in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings


Q&A with Kristen Yee Loong for Women's Equality Day

Posted on August 25, 2017

In celebration of Women’s Equality Day, we spoke with Kristen Yee Loong, Energy and Sustainability Specialist in our Toronto office, about her experiences as a woman working in Building Science and the most significant moments driving women’s equality today. What inspired you to start a career in Building Science? Kristen Yee Loong: From a young […]


International Passive House Conference 2017 | Highlights from the RDH Team

Posted on June 2, 2017

Every year, the Passive House community comes from all over the world to gather at the International Passive House Conference. Although the Passive House movement originally started out as a construction concept for residential buildings in Central Europe (ref. Passipedia “Basics”), the standard has spread to all parts of the globe. This year’s theme “Passive […]


Early Testing: A Key to Airtightness

Posted on April 13, 2017

In 2015, the Seattle Energy Code saw increased strictness in airtightness requirements with the maximum allowable leakage rate shifting from 0.4 to 0.3 cfm per square foot. That may not seem significant at first glance, but consider this: as of this post, multifamily buildings tested by RDH had a 92% pass rate at 0.4 cfm […]


What You Need to Know About San Francisco’s New Building Façade Inspection and Maintenance Ordinance

Posted on March 21, 2017

Over the course of its service life, a building’s façade endures monumental environmental forces including seismic, atmospheric, and meteorological effects. In recognition of this fact and following the lead of many other cities across the United States, San Francisco recently enacted a façade inspection ordinance. The addition of Chapter 16E, a local amendment to the […]


Defining Net-Zero: The Next Step in High-Performance Building Design

Posted on November 10, 2016

“So, what’s next?” This question has been posed to me not once, but twice over the last few weeks—both times by clients. It’s the type of question that can make you freeze up as you rack your brain and hope that you can answer with something profound and interesting. It isn’t an easy question to […]


Learn from the Experts at RDH

Posted on May 5, 2016

Here at RDH we’re passionate about building science. So passionate that for nearly 20 years we’ve committed ourselves to making buildings better. How are we doing this? We’re out in the field, constantly learning through hands-on experience, then bringing our findings back to our offices and into our labs, where our team of experts is changing […]


Why Building Airtightness is Important

Posted on August 5, 2016

In the simplest terms, building airtightness refers to a building’s resistance to air leakage—air flowing both in and out of the building—through areas of the building enclosure not intended to allow air flow. The idea of air entering or exiting a building may not seem like cause for concern, but in reality, airtightness is an […]


What is Façade Engineering?

Posted on July 15, 2016

Building façades, envelopes, or enclosures—by whichever name you call them—are a key element in a building’s design. Largely responsible for a building’s performance in energy efficiency, airtightness, and water resistance, these building “skins” are undeniably complex systems, but more than that, they are the part of a building seen by the world. By their very […]


Corporate Sustainability: How RDH is Walking the Walk

Posted on June 3, 2016

It’s no secret that improving your company’s triple bottom line (environmental, social, and economic) can be a challenge. At RDH, we believe that the path to reducing our carbon footprint begins with regular measurement of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With the help of Climate Smart, we’ve been taking inventory of our GHG emissions, tracking […]


Real, Measurable Savings: Practical Tips for Ensuring Building Performance & Energy Efficiency

Posted on April 22, 2016

Energy-efficient design in buildings is helping reduce the carbon footprint of our communities and manage future energy costs in North America. A key element in achieving energy efficiency is to measure and verify energy savings and emissions reductions, ensuring that low energy buildings continue to perform: enter RDH. In 2013 RDH was retained to undertake […]


Where Energy Models Differ From Reality: Lessons Learned Through Measurement & Verification of High-Performance Buildings

Posted on April 15, 2016

Energy-efficient design in buildings is helping reduce the carbon footprint of our communities and manage future energy costs in North America. A key element in achieving energy efficiency is to measure and verify energy savings and emissions reductions, ensuring that low energy buildings continue to perform: enter RDH. In 2013 RDH was retained to undertake […]


Calibration and Comparison: Measured Energy Savings of High-Performance Buildings

Posted on April 8, 2016

Energy-efficient design in new and existing buildings is helping North Americans reduce the carbon footprint of our communities and cut energy bills. A key element in achieving energy efficiency is to measure and verify energy savings and emissions reductions, ensuring that high-performance buildings continue to perform: enter RDH. In 2013 RDH was retained by an […]


Show Me the Numbers: Measured Energy Consumption of High-Performance Buildings

Posted on April 1, 2016

Energy-efficient design in new and existing buildings is helping North Americans reduce the carbon footprint of our communities and cut energy bills. A key element in achieving energy efficiency is to measure and verify energy savings and emissions reductions, ensuring that high-performance buildings continue to perform: enter RDH. In 2013 RDH was retained by an […]


Risk Management Strategies: Chicken or Ostrich?

Posted on March 18, 2016

When it comes to asset risk management, it can be easy to find ourselves on one of the two ends of the spectrum of worry: pure panic or blissful denial. But neither of these outlooks help us make rational decisions about our assets. Instead, we need to understand the factors at play and make a reasonable assessment […]


Meet the Researcher: Aaron Grin

Posted on March 4, 2016

At RDH we believe there is an important relationship between the work we do in the field and the work we do in the lab. The two go hand-in-hand, providing us with the experience and expertise to not only deliver outstanding results and garner a reputation for quality, but to be leaders in the field […]


How to Determine if The Construction Management Approach is Right For You

Posted on March 2, 2016

When it comes to deciding which construction approach to take for a building renewal or rehabilitation project, the traditional method is often the first that comes to mind. A general contractor is hired through a competitive bid process, with the contract being awarded to the lowest qualified bidder, then through the bid process, the selected […]


Leading the Way in Tall Wood

Posted on February 17, 2016

With new research demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of wood as a building material, it comes to no surprise that tall wood construction has become one of the fastest growing trends in the industry over the past decade. RDH has been at the forefront of mid-rise and tall wood building design, and has continually contributed to the […]


The Warning Signs of Asset Failure

Posted on January 22, 2016

If we all had crystal balls, asset management would be easy. But without mystical items of premonition, it falls to asset managers to adequately plan ahead and to know the warning signs of asset failure. Discover the tools available to help you avoid the shock of asset replacement and minimize your risks. Did you know […]


2016 Masonry Systems Guide: Northwest Edition

Posted on January 15, 2016

On January 21, 2016, RDH’s Michael Aoki-Kramer, Bailey Brown, and John Straube attended the official launch of the 2016 Masonry Systems Guide: Northwest Edition in Seattle, Washington, at the Masonry Institute of Washington’s 2016 Masonry Symposium. There, the team of experts formally presented the guide and discussed the included assemblies and information. To create the guide, RDH […]


Asset Assessment From a Bird's Eye View

Posted on November 20, 2015

We’re all looking for solutions—asset managers included. Discover how the right combination of timely and relevant asset assessments can help you understand how your assets are performing. Have you heard the one about the thirsty crow who came upon a pitcher with some water at the bottom? The water was beyond the reach of its […]


Pandora's Box: A Cautionary Tale for Optimists and Pessimists

Posted on September 18, 2015

Occasionally, I’ve been known to see the glass half full, while more often I’ve seen it half empty. While I am not alone in this this type of dualistic thinking, I have learned that such a strong dichotomy of thought can reveal biases that may lead to problems. So when I find myself approaching situations with an overly negative or […]


A Breath of Fresh Air on the Topic of Indoor Air Quality

Posted on September 4, 2015

What are the effects of poor air quality in a residential building? Does your building often feel stuffy and have bad odors? Do your windows experience condensation during the winter months? These issues are often the result of poor indoor air quality—a common problem in many multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs). Proper ventilation and airflow throughout […]


Do I Have a Line of Sight on My Assets?

Posted on August 28, 2015

Asset management is a process that requires multiple ways of understanding—or sights—to achieve success. There are five interconnected sights that provide a foundation for owners to realize the full value of their assets: insight, foresight, oversight, hindsight, and line of sight. To help us all better understand how these sights work together, let me introduce you […]


How Can a Deep Energy Retrofit Make a Difference in Your Building?

Posted on August 24, 2015

Condominium owners know how much they are paying for electricity and gas when their bills arrive every month or two. But most owners don’t have a reference point to compare their usage against. Is your building using more or less than average? What about the common spaces that you pay for indirectly through building management […]


Is My Building Fractured or Just Cracked? Making the Right Decisions About Your Assets

Posted on August 17, 2015

Families have a reputation for being a little dysfunctional, where siblings, relatives and spouses fight unnecessarily with one another. Similarly, lots of energy gets wasted in the conflicts that go on amongst the stakeholders of buildings. I once heard someone say that every residential building suffers from “The CLAP” (Children, Landscaping, Animals and Parking). These […]


What's Hiding in My Building?

Posted on June 13, 2015

“Sometimes, the most dangerous things are those that are hiding in plain sight.”


Is My Operating Budget a Fairy Tale?

Posted on June 1, 2015

There are several interesting money management lessons we can learn from Fairy Tales. Once upon a time… Robin Hood, a heroic outlaw (with a fondness for green outfits), used the cunning of disguise to steal from the rich in order to give to the poor. Bearskin, a man who was offered a lot of money by a cloven-hooved […]


The Grasshopper's Lesson on Asset Management

Posted on May 12, 2015

One fine summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about chirping and singing. An Ant passed by carrying a large bag of corn husks on her back…


Are my Assets Fading or Degrading?

Posted on April 24, 2015

We all know that if we ignore our assets they will eventually suffer from physical deterioration — it is a reality of life. But some assets also fade. What’s the difference and why care?


Re-Thinking Ventilated Attics: How to Stop Mold Growth in Coastal Climates

Posted on April 7, 2015

Mold growth on the underside of sheathing has become an epidemic in the Pacific Northwest. So what’s the solution?


Urgent vs. Important: Maintenance Prioritization on Limited Budgets

Posted on March 29, 2015

They say that two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Well… I say that there is a third certainty: limited budgets.


Can Dominoes Topple a Building? (Video Included)

Posted on March 9, 2015

A few weeks ago I blogged that ignorance and apathy are often the very first dominoes in a chain leading to failure of assets on buildings (or pieces of equipment). These human traits are therefore “upstream” of the failure and failure is “downstream” of the cascading effect.


Asset Management Toolbox: Keys for Property Stewardship

Posted on February 11, 2015

A successful carpenter has a toolbox that includes a hammer, saw, screwdriver, pencil and various other implements. If the toolbox is not complete, the carpenter either will not be able to practice their trade or will only be able to do so inefficiently. Imagine trying to cut a piece of wood with a hammer — it can be done, but the edges will be jagged and it will serve no useful purpose.

Asset management, like carpentry, requires a set of tools…


Heated Decision-Making on Expensive Capital Projects

Posted on March 2, 2015

The bigger — and more expensive — the decision, the more emotions play a role and the more explosive things can become.


Gambling with Deferred Maintenance: Food for Thought

Posted on February 16, 2015

We may think we can outsmart consequences, we may try creative tricks to avoid consequences, but we can only do this for so long. Sometimes we get “lucky” and we can defer things for a few years, even decades. Eventually, though, we will lose. So what are these different types of consequences of failure that […]


How Long do Buildings Last?

Posted on January 28, 2015

We have tracked 1,651 buildings over a 20+ year period and have identified five life stages. These stages apply to all sectors: commercial, residential, industrial, institutional and municipal.


Building Enclosure Design: Best Practices for Wood-Frame Buildings

Posted on January 22, 2015

RDH’s Colin Shane will be presenting at the Bay Area Wood Solutions Fair on January 27th.


The Most Expensive Assets to Replace...?

Posted on January 19, 2015

Well, we did a study on 1,651 buildings over a 10 year period and the detailed research findings can be downloaded here. This blog contains a summary of what we found. The Most Expensive Systems Let’s start our journey by looking at the broader systems before we move down to the individual components. Residential buildings can be organized […]


From Building Rehabilitation to Deep Energy Retrofit: An Opportunity for Rental Apartments

Posted on January 14, 2015

There is a ‘glass half-full’ perspective worth considering: upgrades that increase the market value and desirability of your building(s) (to both prospective purchasers and tenants), grow your equity, and improve aesthetics and tenant comfort also tend to improve its energy performance.


10 Myths Delaying Depreciation Reports

Posted on January 5, 2015

Listed here are the most common reasons I have heard some owners use for delaying the commissioning of a Depreciation Report (also called a Reserve Study or a Capital Plan). I have included some reasons why these are based on false assumptions.


Developing a Roadmap to Low-Carbon Buildings

Posted on December 10, 2014

How can governments and consumer associations transform the market so that we can achieve deep reductions in greenhouse gases from buildings, while making buildings more affordable and creating thousands of jobs?  


When Should We Update Our Depreciation Report?

Posted on November 27, 2014

Our clients have asked when they should start preparing for the update report – essentially when is 3 years up? There are several dates associated with a Depreciation Report: the date of the site visit, the date the draft report was issued, and the date the final report was issued. There may be as many as six to eight months between the site visit and final report.


7 Reasons Why Buildings Don't Get Maintained Properly

Posted on November 4, 2014

As a consultant I have heard the same old stories over and over again. It is the perennial human condition of deferred maintenance. Here is my take on the seven primary reasons why buildings don’t get sufficient maintenance and why each of these reasons is based on flawed logic.


4 Steps to Taking Action with Your Depreciation Report

Posted on October 28, 2014

Taking action with your Depreciation Report can be overwhelming. Mike Wilson from RDH shows you how, one step at a time.


NAFS in Canada Blog Launch

Posted on September 23, 2014

If you’re looking for the latest information on NAFS in Canada, look no further. RDH’s NAFS expert Al Jaugelis breaks it all down into easy terms and sheds light on current topics and confusion points.


Osmotic Blistering: The Bane of Liquid Applied Waterproofing Membranes

Posted on August 13, 2014

Over a decade ago, while performing warranty reviews and condition assessments, RDH began to find water-filled blisters under many new cold-applied membranes.


INFOGRAPHIC: How we Reduced C02 Emissions by 34% Per Employee While Continuing to Grow

Posted on August 7, 2014

Let’s face it: sometimes it can be a struggle to work towards your company’s environmental goals. We found that implementing a lot of small, inexpensive changes added up to a big difference.


San Francisco Bay Area Office Launch

Posted on July 29, 2014

RDH Expands with New Office to Support Growth We are pleased to announce that RDH Building Sciences Inc. will open a new office in the San Francisco Bay Area this September. The office, located at 360 22nd Street, Suite 710, in Oakland, CA, will deliver expertise in all of our existing service areas and, as […]


The Inevitable Issue Most High-rise Owners Face

Posted on March 10, 2014

Modern glazing systems provide durability and require very little maintenance in the first 10-20 years in service. Unfortunately this is when the party often ends.


"Reaching" or "Extending" the Life of Assets: What's the Primary Goal of Maintenance?

Posted on February 17, 2014

When it comes to maintenance there can often be confusion. Are we required to maintain our building assets to simply reach their expected life? Or are we maintaining to extend their lives somehow?