Behind the science

As our industry continues to feel the impacts and adapt to the landscape created by the pandemic, researchers from diverse areas of study are looking at plumbing and HVAC systems to help track and prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

At Oshawa’s Ontario Tech University, researchers are monitoring wastewater in Durham Region with the goal of arming public health units with a early-warning system.

According to the school, wastewater epidemiological—the study and analysis of the distribution, patterns and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations—monitoring will provide reliable data for potential infections within a certain area, and in some cases up to five days before residents start to show symptoms of infection.

“The results obtained from this study could potentially add another useful tool in the surveillance and advanced identification of possible COVID-19 activity occurring within certain areas of the community,” says Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health.

On the ventilation side, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are hoping to reduce the potential risk for Canadians by developing testing equipment to measure how airborne viruses are transferred in building ventilation systems.

Engineering researcher Carey Simonson will focus on developing air exchangers which conserve energy without contaminating fresh air, using a barrier membrane to prevent viruses and other tiny pathogens from penetrating.

He expects to have preliminary results in six months, and if successful, effective membranes could be incorporated into air exchangers within a year.

“We want to see whether airborne viruses in the exhaust air of buildings are returned to the fresh supply air used to ventilate and reduce contaminants in buildings,” says Simonson.

“The research will improve indoor air quality, reducing the risk of spread of airborne pathogens in health-care facilities, seniors’ residences and transit systems where maintaining adequate social distancing may be difficult.”

The importance of both residential and commercial building systems in keeping homeowners and the public safe is reinforced by all this research. There is science behind everything.


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Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are hoping to reduce the potential risk for Canadians by developing testing equipment to measure how airborne viruses are transferred in building ventilation systems... Full story
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Investment in the construction industry has started to rebound over the last few months, with investment remaining slightly lower than February 2020 levels, before COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, reports Statistics Canada.... Full Story
AHR Expo postpones January show dates
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) have made the decision to postpone the AHR Expo, originally scheduled for Jan. 25-27.... Full Story
Building permits drop slightly in July
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Project to explore flexible ways for apprentices to document training
Canadian apprentices, including plumbers, will be part of a pilot project seeking to improve the way on-the-job training is documented... Full Story
Inverter ducted package
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Innovative VRF controls
Trane, Davidson, North Carolina, has announced their Tracer SC+ controls platform, which now integrates with the Trane/Mitsubishi Electric N-Generation City Multi variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology...more

Multi-position air handler
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The Buildings Show: a virtual event
December 2 - 4, 2020

Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Ontario. Please visit or call 416-512-0203 for more information

Postponed: 2021 AHR Expo
March 15 - 17, 2021

McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. Please visit for more information.

MCEE 2021
April 7 - 8, 2021

Palais des congrès de Montréal (Montreal Convention Centre), Montreal, Québec. Please email or phone 1-800-639-2474 for more information

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September 2020
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