Network Forms in Montreal to Research Solar for Buildings

The Solar Buildings Research Network, to be based at Montreal’s Concordia University, will provide a nationally accessible base for research and development into adapting and integrating new and existing solar and building technologies for the Canadian climate and marketplace.

“Solar energy is an important research topic for Canada,” said Dr. Claude Lajeunesse, the president of the University. “This Network, headed by Dr. Andreas Athienitis, brings together an exceptional team of experts in the field. Their research promises to revolutionize the energy efficiency of our buildings and aid the development of new government policies.” The Network will focus on integration of solar energy systems into buildings, use of solar thermal systems for heating and cooling, solar electricity generation in buildings, and simulation tools for solar building design. A majority of the funding is from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), which is providing $4.7 million of the $5.4 million federal contribution to the initiative. The Honorable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, said, “This is a great example of the kind of research and technology development that are essential to achieving economic benefits for all Canadians.” The Solar Buildings Research Network consists of 24 researchers from 10 Canadian universities: University of Calgary, Concordia University, Dalhousie University, McMaster University, University of New Brunswick, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Queen’s University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, and University of Waterloo. “This is the first time that Canada has undertaken such a concerted effort to develop and integrate solar technologies into buildings,” said Dr. Athienitis. “This unique effort will place Canada among the world leaders in the development of cost-effective, solar-optimized buildings, with net-zero annual energy consumption, and improve the competitiveness of our industry in the growing sustainable products sector.”

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