TSA Technical Series: Interior Retrofit Insulation Approaches

Retrofits are key to achieving our climate action goals—preserving our existing building stock, increasing energy efficiency and comfort, and extending the life of beloved masonry structures. But while doing a retrofit is a clear positive step towards climate action, how it is done can have a significant impact on how it will perform: from thermal performance to moisture control and the overall embodied carbon of the project.

In this event, Dr. Randy Van Straaten of Building Enclosure Labs Inc (BELi) will present a wide range of North American and European approaches to retrofitting insulating heavy masonry walls. Retrofits from mundane fibreglass batts between studs to European wood fibre insulation with cork lime plasters will be covered. A wall section, photo(s), and a discussion of installation process, components, and design variations will be presented for each approach. The pros and cons of each approach will be presented with regional and project specific considerations. The scope of Dr. Randy’s review will focus on thermal performance, moisture control and risks, and embodied carbon.

This workshop builds on the 2022 TSA Technical Series event “Heritage Masonry Retrofit Do’s and Don’t” by Eric Charron (DSA) and Dr. Randy Van Straaten (BELi). A recording of this lecture is available in our Past Lectures Library.



About the Speaker

Dr. Randy Van Straaten owns Building Enclosure Labs Inc (BELi) providing material testing, hygrothermal and thermal modelling, and field review for many projects often in partnership with other architectural and/or engineering firms.  BELi is one of the few labs that can effectively measure critical freeze thaw saturation.  Randy is an associate member in the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University regularly serving on review committees for graduate studies research masonry durability and he teaches Building Science for Retrofit at George Brown College.  Within his firm and in previous experience with RDH Building Science he has worked directly on over 50 project projects across North America ranging from field reviews of Toronto homes to highly involved investigations for some of North America’s most valuable building assets.


TSA Members
This event is free for TSA members using the discount code found in our most recent TSA Bulletin! Not a member yet? Membership is open to everyone and you can join here (student memberships are free!).

OAA Members
When registering, please include your full name as registered with the OAA to ensure your certificate of participation is credited properly. Please also include an email address you check frequently to ensure you receive our certificate in a timely manner.

This lecture forms part of the Building, Technology, Science and Technology (B.E.S.T.) Series and made possible thanks to the generous support of Rockwool.

Register Here

When 12:00 - 1:00 PM EST

Where Online via Zoom

Cost $15 General Admission + HST, Free for TSA Members using code in the TSA Bulletin