HomeCollège Boréal partners with two builders to conduct applied research in green construction

Collège Boréal partners with two builders to conduct applied research in green construction

7 October 2020

The field of sustainable construction has experienced remarkable advances in recent years. These developments have led several small and medium-sized businesses operating in the field of residential construction to focus on sustainable construction.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has also contributed to this growing trend, with the growing calls for the post-pandemic economic recovery to be seized as an opportunity to build back better.

But the most innovative businesses do not simply adopt sustainable approaches: they push the boundaries and pioneer new techniques and technologies.

Professor Denis R. Ouimette, OAArchitecte, coordinator of the Architectural Technician and Architectural Technology programs, is leading applied research projects with two private sector partners to develop new sustainable construction techniques. The partners are Construction La Ray and Tooketree Passive Homes.

Research Partnership with Construction La Ray: Improving the Energy Performance of Windows

Jérémie Roy, architectural technology student, builds a wall to install and test an insulated shutter.

Jérémie Roy, architectural technology student, builds a wall to install and test an insulated shutter.

“In partnership with Construction La Ray, my students and I will be studying the energy performance of insulated window shutters. Windows are a weak point for a building’s energy performance. Our applied research aims to demonstrate the feasibility of using insulated shutters to surpass the performance of high-end windows, at a lower cost,” explains Mr. Ouimette.

Construction La Ray chose to partner with researchers at Collège Boréal in order to develop this insulated shutter that will reduce heat gains in the summer and heat loss in the winter, energy consumption and green house gas emissions. Construction La Ray will then be able to propose this new technology to its clients, affording them significant cost savings.

Denis R. Ouimette stands with the model of an insulated shutter. Its performance will be studied over the coming months.

Denis R. Ouimette stands with the model of an insulated shutter. Its performance will be studied over the coming months.

Research Partnership with Tooketree Passive Homes: The Eco-Digital Wall, a New Structural Insulated Panel

Tooketree Passive Homes has also partnered with the Collège Boréal team to conduct a feasibility study for a new structural insulated panel.

This second applied research project, led by Mr. Ouimette and his students, will study Tooketree Passive Homes’ eco-digital wall and aims to improve the fabrication process for homes.

“We will develop a structural insulated panel which uses renewable materials, digital fabrication, and construction which prioritizes the continuity of thermal insulation and vapour and wind barriers. The panels will be designed, fabricated and evaluated for their thermal and structural efficiency,” according to Mr. Ouimette.

Each of these applied research projects is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

We are thrilled to be in a position to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field of construction, in partnership with Collège Boréal. I have no doubt that we will succeed in developing a new product which will result in better energy performance and we hope to put the results to work in our future construction projects.
Tooketree Passive Homes is pleased to partner with Collège Boréal on this initiative. Given buildings are such a large contributor of greenhouse gases that cause climate change, this project is timely.  Developing a new sustainable structural insulated panel will allow builders to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of new buildings.  This can help transform the building industry from being a cause of climate change to becoming a solution to the climate crisis.
Collège Boréal is proud to be working with Construction La Ray and Tooketree Passive Homes to support the development of new green technology for the construction industry. These partnerships with innovative companies allow us to leverage our expertise in applied research and provide our students with opportunities to drive innovation in their chosen industry.
Experiential learning and partnerships with the private sector go hand in hand at Collège Boréal. This is one of the key strengths of our post-secondary and apprenticeship programs.


Established in 1995, Collège Boréal is a French language post-secondary training and learning institution dedicated to the development and growth of communities throughout Ontario.

Collège Boréal offers comprehensive programs and services in seven campuses and 38 sites located in 26 communities throughout the province. Since 1995, approximately 120,000 clients across Ontario have benefited from Collège Boréal’s expertise relating to post-secondary education, training programs, immigration and settlement services, and employment services. Collège Boréal has established over 120 articulation agreements with other post-secondary institutions.

According to the Key Performance Indicators recognized by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Collège Boréal holds the top rank in two of the five areas surveyed: graduation rate, and, for a fourth consecutive year, student satisfaction. These results are proof that investing in human capital is Boréal’s strength.

Construction La Ray is a family business that was established in 1987. Based in La Sarre, Québec, it has completed hundreds of residential, commercial and industrial construction projects of every size and scope in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.

Tooketree Passive Homes is committed to the health and sustainability of the communities where it operates. Tooketree builds homes that are made to last: high-performance homes that help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Learn more

To find out more about Collège Boréal’s programs and services, please visit our website at www.collegeboreal.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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