Dev. Team



Senior Specialist

General Experience

Rick Quirouette is a senior building science specialist with over thirty years of experience in building research, design, construction and performance.  He is specialized in building envelope investigations, design review services for architects and engineers and has undertaken numerous research and development assignments for government and manufacturers. Assignments include projects in Canada, the USA and Australia.  He is an accomplished communicator through the many clinics, workshops and seminars presented across Canada.  He has also written extensively on most topics related to building envelope performance and durability to include air barrier technology, rain penetration control, the dynamic buffer zone (DBZ) and energy conservation. 



Rick has undertaken over two hundred on-site investigations on roofs, cladding and wall systems, windows and glazing  systems to determine precise causes and to develop cost effective remedial repairs.  Symptoms and damages investigated include the determination of the causes of rain penetration, the causes of air leakage through walls, windows and roofs, the causes of high energy use, poor temperature control and the causes of damages to exterior cladding and exterior wall elements.  This experience includes investigations on most types of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.  From time to time investigations lead to litigation.  Rick is experienced with documentation required as well as testifying in discoveries and at trial.


Design Development

The design development and/or review of a new building envelope, restoration, rehabilitation or remedial repair is a specialty service offered to owners, architects, engineers, builders and manufacturers.  From knowledge gained through investigations and continuing studies of envelope performance and durability, Rick may provide valuable assistance in the application of building science principles to the development and design of most types of envelope assemblies.  Wall systems expertise includes brick veneer steel studs, metal and glass curtain walls, architectural precast, stucco and EIFS claddings and metal buildings.  Review emphasis is usually directed to the detail design of joints, material and technology selection and compliance to part V of the National Building Code of Canada.


Research & Development 

Rick is often involved in building science research and a leader in the application of research findings to practice. He developed the basic principles of air barrier design in the early eighties while at IRC/NRC.  He further developed and explained the essential difference between vapour retarders and air barriers.  Since that time he has undertaken numerous research projects related to determining cost effective ways of developing air barrier details for various roof and exterior wall  applications, and how to determine the structural requirements of air barriers.  He has also explored and determined the effectiveness of the rainscreen principle applied to brick veneer claddings, the importance of compartmentalization and the necessity of the air barrier system to the performance of the rainscreen system.  Recently, he was engaged by PWGSC to develop the design requirements for a dynamic buffer zone (DBZ) application for existing masonry buildings required to provide high indoor humidity.


Technology Transfer

Rick is also involved in the transfer of technology.  The information gained from investigations and research is organized and presented to industry practicing members through clinics, workshops and seminars.  Clinics are 1/2 day programs on a topic of interest presented to owners, architects, engineers or manufacturers in the privacy of their offices.



 * B. Arch., Carleton University, 1973



* Graduate Associate Ontario Association of Architects

* Life member Alberta Building Envelope Council

* Past President, National Building Envelope Council

* Past Director, Building Envelope Council, Ottawa Region


Design Development & Review Assignments

Building envelope design is now recognized as an area of expertise requiring considerable building science knowledge as well as field experience with the performance of various wall, window, and roof systems.  With the multitude of difficulties arising with the performance of recent building projects, and specifically the rehabilitation of older buildings, it is prudent to involve a building envelope specialist on your team.  This would minimize the risk of envelope problems after completion of a project.  The knowledge that has been gained, through investigations as well as research and development, is made available for the production of quality building envelope detail design.  Rick's experience with design development and review includes:


(1) Camelot Court, Nepean, Ontario.  This project was designed by Pie & Richards Architects.  I was involved directly in the development of the air tightness and water penetration control details for the tilt-up precast (3 storey) connections as well as the windows and the roof connection details.  The project is currently under construction.


(2) Thunder Bay Airport.  This project was designed by IKOY Architects, Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Through Morrison Hershfield Limited, I have reviewed and modified the design of the metal and glass curtain wall joint connections to other parts of the building to include the roof/wall connection, the grade to curtain wall connection and curtain wall to architectural precast connection.  I also assisted in developing the performance as well as prescriptive requirements for the metal and glass curtain wall.


(3) Supreme Court of Canada.  This project involved the  re-design of the roof system and third floor including the exterior wall to arrest further moisture damage and to upgrade the performance of the envelope to support higher indoor humidities.  I directed the development of all details related to the roof rehabilitation at Morrison Hershfield.  The new system currently under construction retains its architectural feature and heritage characteristics but should support fifty percent humidity in future use.


(4) Solicitor General Building, Ottawa, Ontario.  In this project, under Morrison Hershfield, I was retained by Public Works Canada to oversee the design development of the building envelope by the architects.  In particular it involved the roof system, the skylights and sloped glazing details, the architectural precast panels and the metal and glass curtain wall.  The project is currently under construction.


(5) Ottawa City Hall, Ottawa, Ontario.  This project was designed by Mosha Safdie Architects, with Murray and Murray Architects producing the working drawings.  I was involved with Murray and Murray to develop the conceptual and detail design for the exterior walls of the new city hall.  Design development also included, material selection for air and vapour barriers, insulation and rainscreen claddings.  The construction of this project was completed in 1992.


(6) Centre d'acceuil pour personnes agées, Buckingham, Québec.  This project involved the replacement of the existing roofs with a new system.  The replacement was designed by Kinmond Murfitt Architects.  Under Morrison Hershfield, I directed the development of the rainscreen roof system, based on the NRC double drained and vented concept.  The project was completed in 1991.


(7) Saskatoon General Hospital, Saskatoon, Manitoba.  In cooperation with Con-Force precasters, I was involved in a major review of the architectural details involving precast panels.  Dozens of modifications were presented to attain better air tightness performance but most important a maintenance free exterior wall and cladding system.


(8) Tiley Building, Ottawa, Ontario.  This building is 28 years old.  The exterior brick veneer was severely damaged from moisture.  The challenge was to rehabilitate the solid masonry wall with an insulated modern rainscreen brick veneer system without altering the architecture or other heritage characteristics.  The design of the wall system was successfully achieved within the budget and schedule provided.  The new technology for air barrier systems and for rainscreen technology were applied.  The project is nearing completion.


(9) Emcon Building, Nepean, Ontario.  Reviewed and recommended for the window system at EMCON.  Produced sketches of recommended repair and identified source/supplier of materials.


(10) Mur coupe feu, Michaud et Frères 1984 Inc.,Québec, Québec, Researched the fire resistance rating of two wall designs, also provided an interpretation of article of the 1985 Supplement to the National Building Code of Canada.


(11) Sir John Carling, Ottawa, Ontario.  Participated in a value management/brainstorming session (one day).  Determined the most cost effective solutions for the rehabilitation of the building envelope of the Sir John Carling building.


(12) Piscine Ste. Julie, Montréal, Québec, Reviewed preliminary conceptual drawings, also reviewed building envelope systems to include masonry wall details, window systems and roof system design.  Humidification and pressurization strategies were also discussed.


(13) Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario.  One day visit to undertake a cursory review of the design and construction of the rainscreen architectural precast wall system and of the construction documents and specifications.  I also undertook a sample review of the current site conditions of venting, drainage, the air barrier system and the details for compartmentalization.


(14) Secure Facility, Ottawa, Ontario.  I provided several services for the Barry Hobin Architects' office.  Consulted on ventilation strategy for the roof spaces. Reviewed letter regarding fire protection and roof ventilation, re-calculated and re-designed vent area openings required on basis of sealed soffits.  Provided many telephone consultation on this project.  Initiated building envelope design review.


(15) Overbrook Day Care, Ottawa, Ontario.  I provided consultation services on the envelope design of this addition to an existing school.


Investigation Assignments

When a problem occurs with a roof, wall or window, an owner or designer will usually call upon a contractor or a material supplier to diagnose the building envelope deficiency.  While this is a normal and reasonable approach, it usually results in expensive and costly repairs often not justified because the contractor or supplier is not skilled or paid for a diagnostic while he is skilled and paid for new construction and replacement repair.  It is for this reason that a building envelope problem should be investigated by a specialist in envelope performance and durability, if only to identify the correct cause and to recommend sensible cost effective repairs.  QBS has the knowledge, experience and expertise.  The projects that follow are a few of the investigation undertaken by Rick Quirouette and supporting staff.  A comprehensive list of all investigations is available upon request.


1) Investigation of Water Penetration and Sealed Unit Failures of the Newport Centre Curtain Wall System, Winnipeg, Manitoba, QBS Project #01i08a, June 2001.


2) Investigation of Moisture Damages to Exterior Walls of 520 Bronson Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, QBS Project #01i05a, February 2001.


3) Investigation of Personal Injury in the Parking Garage of the National Art Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, QBS Project #00i19a


4) Condensation Problems at the Hammerskjold High School, Thunder Bay, Ontario, QBS Project #00i04a, March 2000.


5) Conference Room High Humidity Design Options for the Exterior Walls of the 8th Floor of the Connaught Building, Ottawa, Ontario, QBS Project #00i03a, February 2000.


6) Investigation of the Mold and Mildew Problem in the Walls of the Days Inn, Fayetteville, NC, January 2000, QBS Project #99i17a.


7) Window Frame Condensation and Frosting at the Psychiatric Acute Care, Brandon General Hospital, Brandon, Manitoba, QBS Project #99i11a, October 1999.


8) Investigation of the Spandrel Glass Failures of the "Édifice La Laurentienne", 1100 René Levesque Blvd.", Montréal, Quebec, QBS Project #96i26a, March 1999.


9) Causes of Moisture Damage to the Exterior Walls of the Halifax Condominium Corporation No. 85, a 3 story Wood Framed Building, QBS Project No. 98i02a, July 1998.


10) Determination of the Pressure Equalization Wind Loads on the Precast Panels of One Financial Center, Boston Massachusetts, QBS Project No. 97i04b, January 1998.


11) Investigation of Exterior Sheathing Moisture Problems in Houses in Wilmington, North Carolina, Using Exterior Insulation Finish Systems, QBS Project No. 96i21a, March 16, 1998.


12) Investigation and Repair of the Roof Condensation Problems of the Aquatic Center in Sydney, Australia, QBS Project No. 97i22a, December 1997


13) Examination and Analysis of the Exterior Walls and Roof of the Glebe Community Center, a Wood Framed Heritage Building, Ottawa, Ontario, QBS project No. 97i21a, Oct. 1997.


14) Investigation and Repair of the Icicle Problems at the Hotel Inter-Continental in Montreal, Quebec, QBS Project No. 97i09e, Oct. 97.


15) Investigation of the Causes of the Moisture Damages to the Wit's End Condominium, a 4 Storey Wood Framed Building, Vancouver, BC., QBS Project No. 96i30a, October, 1996.


16) Investigation of Roof Dripping Problem at a the Hendersonville High School in Tennessee, USA, QBS Project No. 96i25a, July 1996.


17) Investigation of the Causes of the Icicle Formations on the Exterior Precast Panels of the Lester B. Pearson Building, Ottawa, Ontario, QBS Project No. 95i38a, November 1995.


18) Investigation of the Causes of the Water Penetration Problem Through EIFS Exterior Walls of the Sandy Hill Community Health Center, Ottawa, Ontario, QBS Project No. 95i28a, September 1995.


19) Investigation of Noise Control Problems in Units 1,2 and 3 of Block 3003, of the Barrhaven Condominium Building, Barrhaven, Ontario, QBS Project No. 95i20b, August 1995.


20) Investigation and  Condition Report on the Cladding and Exterior Walls of the Winnipeg Convention Center, Winnipeg, Manitoba, QBS Project No. 95i22a, June 1995.


21) Investigation of the Water Penetration Problems Through the Roof of the Scott Paper Warehouse, Hull, Québec, QBS Project  93i09a, December 1994.


22) Investigation of the Causes of Water Leaks Through the Exterior Walls and Windows of Building M-55 of the NRC, Ottawa, Ontario, QBS Project No. 94i60a, November 1994.


23) Investigation of the Heat Energy Loss Due to Wet and Damaged Insulation in the Roof of the Scott Paper Warehouse, Hull, Quebec, QBS Project 94i51a, October 1994.


24) Investigation of the Moisture Damages to the Exterior Masonry Walls of the Piscine Pavillion Univestrie, Sherbrooke, Québec, QBS Project 94i48a, August 1994.


25) Investigation of the Cause of the Water Leaks from the Roof of the Hydro Québec Building in Rouyn Noranda, Rouyn Noranda, Québec, QBS Project 93i02a, February 1994.


26) Investigation of the Causes of the Deterioration of the North Wall Parapet of the Constitution Building, Ottawa, Ontario, QBS Project 94i17a, February 1994.



1) Quirouette, R.L., “Glass and Aluminum Curtain Wall Systems”, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) article, June 15, 2001, QBS Project #01c01a.


2) Quirouette, R.L., “The Dynamic Buffer Zone Concept:  A Condensation Control Method For Cavities of the Building Envelope.”, Written for Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC) Convention, May 12, 2000.


3) Quirouette, R.L., Sandra Marshall and Jacques Rousseau, “Design Considerations for an Air Barrier System”, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) article, November 11, 2000.


4) Quirouette, R.L., “Article - Condensation Control for the Building Envelope:  The Dynamic Buffer Zone Concept”, Written for Enermodal Engineering, March 20, 2000, Kitchener, Ontario, QBS Project #00c12a


5) Quirouette, R.L., “Dynamic Buffer Zone (DBZ)”, article for the Construction Specifier, March 1997, QBS Project #97c06a.


6) Quirouette, R.L., “Review of 1990 CSC Tek-Aid Review”, presented to OAQ, QBS Project #96c34a.


7) Quirouette, R.L., “Review of the preliminary report by Siricon on the “Monitorage de l’enveloppe du Clos St-André - Rapport d’installation””, June 7, 1996, QBS Project #96c20a.


8) Quirouette, R.L., “Review of the Monitoring Plan for Le Clos Saint-André”, March 27, 1995, QBS Project #96c20a.


9) Quirouette, R.L. and Rousseau, J., “CMHC Article- Pressure Equalization and Compartmentalization of Exterior Walls for Rain Penetration Control”, January 8, 1996, QBS Project #95c12a.


10) Quirouette, R.L., "Technical Summaries (Synopsis)" to prepare synopsis of the technical presentations during the upcoming 1995 BECOR meetings, Ottawa, Ontario, 1995, QBS Report #95c02a.


11) Quirouette, R.L., “Rain Penetration Control”, Article written for the Construction Specifier Journal USA, November 1994, QBS Project #94c53a.


12) Quirouette, R.L., and Rousseau, J.,  " A Review of Pressure Equalization and Compartmentalization Studies of Exterior Walls for Rain Penetration Control", ASTM Stp 1314, page 47, presented at a Symposium on Water Leakage Through Building Facades, March 17, 1996.


13) Rousseau, J., and Quirouette, R.L., "A Rainscreen Computer Program", ASTM Stp 1314, page 57, presented at a Symposium on Water Leakage Through Building Facades, March 17, 1996.


14) Quirouette, R.L., "Rain Penetration Control", The Construction Specifier Advancement of Construction Technology, November 1994, Volume 47, No. 11, pp. 48-56.


15) Quirouette, R.L., "Building Envelope Design:  Roof Systems", Construction Canada, March 1994, pp. 38-43.


16) Quirouette, R.L., "Commissioning the Air Barrier System, "Construction Canada, September 1991, Vol. 33, No. 5, pp. 22 - 24.


17) Quirouette, R.L., “Technics - Air and Vapor Barriers”, Progressive Architecture, September 1991.


18) Quirouette, R.L., Lawton, M., CMHC Research Project "Testing of Air Barrier Construction Details II", MH Report # 30132.OR/2.


19) Quirouette, R.L., "The Position of the Air Barrier", Construction Canada, November/December 1990, Vol. 32, No. 5, pp. 48-51 (4 figures).


20) Quirouette, R.L., "The Bowing of Exterior Walls", Construction Canada, July/August 1989, Vol. 30, No. 3 pp. 31-32 (4 figures).


21) Quirouette R.L., James P. Thompson, Mike A Scott, "A Study of the Rainscreen Concept Applied to Cladding Systems on Wood Frame Walls", August 3, 1990, 43 p, figures, Printed and distributed by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Ottawa.


22) Quirouette, R.L., Hospital Building Envelopes and the Air Leakage Problem.  Presented at the 10th I.F.H.E. Congress - July 17-22, 1988.  Edmonton, Alberta.


23) Ganguli, U. and Quirouette, R.L., Wind Pressure Distribution in a Wood Frame Wall. Presented at the CSCE Centennial Conference - May 1987. Montreal, Québec.


24) Ganguli, U. and Quirouette, R.L., Pressure Equalization Performance of a Metal and Glass Curtain Wall. Presented at the CSCE Centennial Conference - May 1987. Montréal, Québec.


25) Quirouette, R.L., The Air Barrier: A Misunderstood Element. Construction Canada. November/December 1986, Vol. 28. No. 6, pp. 12-16. (13 Figures)


26) Quirouette, R.L., The Difference Between a Vapour Barrier and an Air Barrier. July 1985. Building Practice Note No. 54. ISSN 0701-5216.


27) Ashton, H.E. and Quirouette, R.L., Caulkings, Sealants and Adhesives. Proceedings No. 11 - Building Science Insight '84: Performance of Materials in Service. May 1986, pp. 29-42. NRCC 24968.


28) Quirouette, R.L. and Rousseau M.Z., Precast Panel Wall Assemblies. Proceedings No. 6, - Building Science Forum '82; Exterior Walls: Understanding the Problems. April 1983, pp. 43-53. NRCC 21203.


29) Quirouette, R.L., Moisture Sources in Houses. Proceedings No. 7, - Building Science Insight: Humidity, Condensation and Ventilation in Houses. May 1984, pp. 15-27. NRCC 23293.


30) Quirouette, R.L., Metal Stud Walls. In Construction Details for Airtightness. Record of DBR Seminar/Workshop, October-November 1977 and January 1978. Proceedings No. 3, April 1980, pp. 21-23, NRCC 18291 (also available in French).


31) Quirouette, R.L., Energy Conservation and Building Design. May 1976, 8 pages, Building Research Note 110. (Also appeared in: Les Sources D'energie du Futur, Supplement aux Annales de L'acfas, Vol. 42, No. 3, 1975, pp. 175-190.)


32) Quirouette, R.L., The Mark XI Energy Research Project-Design and Construction. October, 1978, 13 pages, 6 figures. Building Research Note 131 (also available in French).


33) Quirouette, R.L., The Air Barrier Defined, An Air Barrier for the Building Envelope, Proceedings No. 13, January 1989.


34) Quirouette, R.L. and A.C.C. Warnock, Basics of Noise Control in Buildings, Proceedings of Building Science Insight '85, Proceedings No. 12, June 1987.


35) Quirouette, R.L., Glass and Metal Curtain Wall Systems, Proceedings of the Building Science Forum '82 October, November and December 1982, Proceedings No. 6, April 1983.


36) Quirouette, R.L., Building Envelope Design Using Metal and Glass Curtain Wall Systems. September 1982. 14 pages. Building Practice

Note 37.


37) Quirouette, R.L. and Scheuneman, E.C., Program for Hand Held Computer Estimating Energy Savings from Reinsulating Houses. July 1982, 12 pages. Building Practice Note 36.


38) Quirouette, R.L., Water Vapour as a Tracer Gas for Measuring Air Change Rates in Houses, presented at the "Building Science Conference" of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, Ontario region, 4-5 March 1982. Published in conference proceedings, pp. 68-83. (DBR Paper No. 1085) NRCC 21002.


39) Quirouette, R.L., Insulated Window Shutters. June 1980, 3 pages. Building Practice Note No. 17. (also available in French).


40) Quirouette, R.L. and Scheuneman, E.C., Estimating Energy Savings from reinsulating houses. May 1981, 37 pages. Building Practice Note 20.


41) Quirouette, R.L., Solar Heating-State of the art. October 1975, 11 pages. Building Research Note 102 (also available in French). 



Support Staff


The support staff includes Diane Quirouette and Nathalie (Quirouette) Beaudry B.A.Sc. (Civil Engineering).