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BCIT Citations Collection

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Energy rating of polyurethane spray foamed walls
Proceedings of 4th International Building Physics Conference: 15 June 2009, Istanbul, Turkey. This is the first of a series of papers to present the results of this major project. In this paper, an overview of the project, its objectives and the theoretical approach to determine the WER are presented. A description of air leakage and R-value test procedures, wall samples construction and the experimental results of two walls and a sample of the analytical results of the same two walls will also be presented. Future papers will summa-rise the experimental and analytical results of the remaining walls, along with the results of the computer modeling of the air leakage and thermal performance of all the walls tested in this project., Conference paper, Published. A version of this document is published in: 4th International Building Physics Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, June 15-18, 2009, pp. 1-8.
Evaluation of the thermal performance of innovative pre-fabricated wall systems through field testing
Proceedings of the 3rd Building Enclosure Science & Technology (BEST3) Conference, Atlanta, USA, April 2-4, 2012. The thermal performance of two innovative pre-fabricated wood-frame wall systems was evaluated in comparison with a conventional 2x6 wood frame wall through one year’s field monitoring on BCIT’s Building Envelope Test Facility. Prefabricated wall system I has 4” Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) infill in the stud cavity with 1” additional EPS added on the interior side of 2x4 wood stud. Prefabricated wall system II has 4” EPS infill in the stud cavity only. The conventional 2x6 wood frame wall has 5-1/2” fiberglass insulation infill in the stud cavity. The effective thermal efficiency of these test walls is evaluated in terms of heat flux, effective in-situ R-values, and temperature distribution. The heat flux measurements show that, in comparison with the conventional 2x6 wood frame wall, prefabricated wall system I with 4” EPS infill in the stud cavity has 5.1% less heat loss and 16% less heat gain and the prefabricated wall system II with 1" extra EPS has 22.9% less heat loss and 37.5% less heat gain. The improvement of thermal efficiency in the prefabricated wall systems is mainly attributed to the significant improvement over the stud areas. Estimated effective R-values over the winter months from December 2008 to March 2009 show that the R-value over the stud area in prefabricated wall system I is improved by 32.7% while the R-value over the cavity area is reduced by 8.7%, resulting in a net improvement of effective wall R-value by 2.9%; and the R-value over the stud area in prefabricated wall system II is improved by 112.3% with only a 2.6% improvement in the R-value over the cavity area, resulting in a net improvement of effective wall R-value by 26.5%. Temperature measurements show that the interior surface temperatures over the stud area in the conventional wall fluctuate much more and are higher during the summer months and lower during the winter months compared to the prefabricated systems, due to the thermal bridging effect of the stud., Conference paper, Published.
Evolution in silico of genes with multiple regulatory modules on the example of the Drosophila segmentation gene hunchback
Proceedings of 2012 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CIBCB) on 9-12 May 2012 in San Diego, CA, USA. We use in silico evolution to study the generation of gene regulatory structures. A particular area of interest in evolutionary development (evo-devo) is the correspondence between gene regulatory sequences on the DNA (cis-regulatory modules, CRMs) and the spatial expression of the genes. We use computation to investigate the incorporation of new CRMs into the genome. Simulations allow us to characterize different cases of CRM to spatial pattern correspondence. Many of these cases are seen in biological examples; our simulations indicate relative advantages of the different scenarios. We find that, in the absence of specific constraints on the CRM-pattern correspondence, CRMs controlling multiple spatial domains tend to evolve very quickly. Genes constrained to a one-to-one CRM-pattern domain correspondence evolve more slowly. Of these, systems in which pattern domains appear in a particular order in evolution, as in insect segmentation mechanisms, take the longest time in in silico evolutionary searches. For biological cases of this type, it is likely that other selective advantages outweigh the time costs., Conference paper, Published.
Experimental determination of intrinsic drosophila embryo coordinates by evolutionary computation
Proceedings of 8th IAPR International Conference, PRIB 2013, Nice, France, June 17-20, 2013. Early fruit fly embryo development begins with the formation of a chemical blueprint that guides cellular movements and the development of organs and tissues. This blueprint sets the intrinsic spatial coordinates of the embryo. The coordinates are curvilinear from the start, becoming more curvilinear as cells start coherent movements several hours into development. This dynamic aspect of the curvature is an important characteristic of early embryogenesis: characterizing it is crucial for quantitative analysis and dynamic modeling of development. This presents a number of methodological problems for the elastic deformation of 3D and 4D data from confocal microscopy, to standardize images and follow temporal changes. The parameter searches for these deformations present hard optimization problems. Here we describe our evolutionary computation approaches to these problems. We outline some of the immediate applications of these techniques to crucial problems in Drosophila developmental biology., Conference paper, Published.
An explicit model of belief change for cryptographic protocol verification
Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Logical Formalizations of Commonsense Reasoning. Stanford, CA, 2007. Cryptographic protocols are structured sequences of messages that are used for exchanging information in a hostile environment. Many protocols have epistemic goals: a successful run of the protocol is intended to cause a participant to hold certain beliefs. As such, epistemic logics have been employed for the verification of cryptographic protocols. Although this approach to verification is explicitly concerned with changing beliefs, formal belief change operators have not been incorporated in previous work. In this preliminary paper, we introduce a new approach to protocol verification by combining a monotonic logic with a non-monotonic belief change operator. In this context, a protocol participant is able to retract beliefs in response to new information and a protocol participant is able to postulate the most plausible event explaining new information. Hence, protocol participants may draw conclusions from received messages in the same manner conclusions are drawn in formalizations of commonsense reasoning. We illustrate that this kind of reasoning is particularly important when protocol participants have incorrect beliefs., Conference paper, Published.
Exploiting known vulnerabilities of a smart thermostat
Proceedings of 2016 14th Annual Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST) in Auckland, New Zealand, 12-14 Dec. 2016. We address security vulnerabilities for a smart thermostat. As this kind of smart appliance is adopted in homes around the world, every user will be opening up a new avenue for cyber attack. Since these devices have known vulnerabilities and they are being managed by non-technical users, we anticipate that smart thermostats are likely to be targetted by unsophisticated attackers relying on publicly available exploits to take advantage of weakly protected devices. As such, in this paper, we take the role of a `script kiddy' and we assess the security of a smart thermostat by using Internet resources for attacks at both the physical level and the network level. We demonstrate that such attacks are unlikely to be effective without some additional social engineering to obtain user credentials. Moreover, we suggest that the vulnerability to attack can be further minimized by simply reducing the use of remote storage where possible., Conference paper
Exploring power storage profiles for vehicle to grid systems
Proceedings of the AAAI Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for Cities, Austin, USA, 2015. The Smart Grid allows users to monitor power usage through the use of Smart Meter technology. In principle, this information can be used to modify usage habits in a way that reduces consumer costs as well as greenhouse emissions. However, in an urban environment, many users are restricted by the same constaints: they work during the day, and they are home at night. This creates spikes in power cost at peak usage times, and it may also lead to increased emissions in scenarios where sustainable resources are limited. An individual user can avoid these spikes by using an electric car as a storage device; it can be charged at the cheapest times, and then discharged to the home at the most expensive times. While this idea is intuitively appealing, it turns out that the benefits vary greatly depending on the storage algorithm used. In this paper, we describe the Power Storage Simulator, a tool for experimenting with storage algorithms to improve the efficiency of vehicle to grid systems. We suggest that this tool is also useful for educating power consumers about load balancing on the Smart Grid through an engaging, visual simulation., Conference paper, Published.
Gene expression noise in embryonic spatial patterning
Proceedings of 2011 21st International Conference on Noise and Fluctuations in Toronto, ON, Canada on 12-16 June 2011. Fruit flies serve as a model for understanding the genetic regulation involved in specifying the complex body plans of higher animals. The head-to-tail (anterior-posterior) axis of the fly (Drosophila) is established in the first hours of development. Maternally supplied factors form concentration gradients which direct embryonic (zygotic) genes where to be activated to express proteins. These protein patterns specify the positions and cell types of the body's tissues. Recent research has shown, comparing between embryos, that the zygotic gene products are much more precisely positioned than the maternal gradients, indicating an embryonic error reduction mechanism. Within embryos, there is the additional aspect that DNA and mRNA operate at very low copy number, and the associated high relative noise has the potential to strongly affect protein expression patterns. In recent work, we have focused on the noise aspects of positional specification within individual embryos. We simulate activation of hunchback (hb), a primary target of the maternal Bicoid (Bcd) protein gradient, which forms an expression pattern dividing the embryo into anterior and posterior halves. We use a master equation approach to simulate the stochastic dynamics of hb regulation, using the known details of the hb promoter, the region of DNA responsible for transcribing hb mRNA. This includes the binding/unbinding of Bcd molecules at the promoter, hb transcription, subsequent translation to Hb protein, binding/unbinding of Hb at the promoter (self-regulation), and diffusion of the Bcd and Hb proteins. Model parameters were set by deterministically matching large scale pattern features for a series of experimental expression patterns: wild-type (WT) embryos; hb mutants lacking self-regulation; and constructs in which portions of the hb promoter were used to express a reporter gene (lacZ). The model was then solved stochastically to predict the noise output in these different experiments. In subsequent noise measurements we experimentally corroborated a number of the predictions. These include that mRNA is noisier than protein, and that Hb self-regulation reduces noise. Results indicate that WT (self-regulatory) Hb output noise is predominantly dependent on the transcription and translation dynamics of its own expression, and is uncorrelated with Bcd fluctuations. This contradicts prior work, which had assumed a complete dependence of Hb fluctuations on Bcd fluctuations. In the constructs and mutant, which lack self-regulation, we find that increasing the number and strength of Bcd binding sites (there are 6 in the core hb promoter) provides a rudimentary level of noise reduction. The model is robust to the various Bcd binding site numbers seen across different fly species. New directions in the project include incorporating a known inhibitor of hb, Krüppel, into the model to study its effect on the noise dynamics. Our study has identified particular ways in which hb output noise is controlled. Since these involve common modes of gene regulation (e.g. multiple regulatory sites, self-regulation), these results contribute to the general understanding of the reproducibility and determinacy of spatial patterning in early development., Conference paper, Published.
Hygrothermal modeling of aerated concrete wall and comparison with field experiment
Proceedings of 3rd International Building Physics Conference: 27 August 2006, Montreal, QC. A two-dimensional heat, air and moisture transport model called hygIRC is adapted to simulate a well-documented field exposure of an aerated concrete wall section. Difficulties are encountered due to a few missing information on boundary conditions of the exposure and hygrothermal properties of aerated con-crete. The paper presents how these inadequacies were overcome to simulate the hygrothermal behavior of the wall section. Appropriate assumptions were made due to justifiable reasons. Then the model provides temporal and spatial distributions of temperature and relative humidity for an extended period that are in ex-cellent agreement with the documented field data. The paper presents the justifications for the assumptions and the comparison of experimental and simulation results., Conference paper, Published. A version of this document is published in: 3rd International Building Physics Conference, Montreal, QC., August 27, 2006, pp. 321-328.
Hygrothermal performance assessment of vented and ventilated wall systems
Proceedings of Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings XII International Conference, At Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA, December 2013. Based on analysis of the drying and wetting potentials of a particular local climate, designers choose wall systems with or without an air gap between a sheathing membrane and a cladding layer. In addition to the capillary break that the air gap provides, thereby reducing the moisture transfer from wet cladding to the interior of the wall, the airspace will add the thermal resistance of the wall system and reduce the heat flow across the wall system. These moisture and thermal performances are straightforward to understand if the air in the air cavity is assumed to be a “still air.” In this paper, an experimental study is undertaken to under-stand the impact of airflow through an air cavity on the moisture and thermal performance of wall systems. To achieve this objective three test panels are instrumented and monitored in the field-experimental setting: one with no air gap, another one with an air gap but restricted airflow, and the third one with an air gap and open for airflow. The second and third wall systems have the same air gap width but different top flashing designs creating vented and ventilated wall systems. For the wall systems’ orientation and boundary conditions considered in this study, the wall with no air gap accumulates relatively high moisture content on the sheathing board, stud, and bottom plate and also has high moisture content changes in a year cycle when compared to the vented and ventilated wall systems. In general, the hygrothermal performances of vented and ventilated wall systems are comparable. During the winter period when relatively high moisture accumulation occurs, the upper section of the ventilated wall system shows slightly lower moisture content compared to that of the vented wall system. The temperature readings of the sheathing boards in the vented and ventilated wall systems are slightly warmer than that of the wall with no air gap for 85.5% and 73% of the time (based on hourly data of a year), respectively. For the balance of a period of time, the sheathing boards in the walls with an air cavity are slightly cooler than that of the wall with an air gap. Although the low temperature on the sheathing board, which is caused by solar radiation-induced airflow, is beneficial during a cooling season, the air gap and the associated airflow may reduce the heat gain that may be obtained from solar radiation during the heating season. The implications of air cavity and flashing design (airflow rate) on the heating and cooling load calculations of different orientations, wall configurations, and climate require further investigation., Conference paper, Published.
Hygrothermal performance of exterior wall systems using an innovative vapour retarder in Canadian climate
Proceeding of the 4th International Building Physics Conference: 15 June 2009, Istanbul, Turkey. This paper provides highlights of the research work carried out at the National Research Council Canada, Institute for Research in Construction on assessing the hygrothermal performance of wall systems that included this innovative vapour retarder (Note: Vapour Barrier in Canadian terminology is equivalent to Vapor retarder in US terminology). The performance of walls was assessed when subjected to eastern coastal climate conditions of Halifax, one of the four Canadian climatic locations used in this study. A wood-framed stucco clad wall was the reference assembly. Results from different cases based on the variation of vapour control strategies and their effect on the hygrothermal performance of the wall systems are analysed. The results for the Halifax climate location indicate that the installation of a humidity controlled, innovative vapour retarder is a recommendable solution for the envelope design of residential buildings of these locations with moderate or high water vapour permeance of the interior paint. In this study, the advanced hygrothermal tool, hygIRC, was used to perform the hygrothermal performance analysis of the wall systems., Peer reviewed article, Published. A version of this document is published in: 4th International Building Physics Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, June 15-18, 2009, pp. 1-8.
Hygrothermal performance of RH-dependent vapour retarder in Canadian coastal climate
Proceedings of 12th Canadian Conference of Building Science and Technology: 06 May 2009, Montreal, QC. The hygrothermal performance of wood-frame wall with stucco cladding exposed to the coastal climate of Vancouver, BC, is studied. The primary objective of the study is to compare the moisture management performance of two vapour barriers: the relatively new SmartVapour Retarder (SVR) and commonly used Polyethylene sheet. For a reference purpose a wood-frame wall with no vapour barrier is considered as well. The performances of these three walls, which are exposed to the same indoor and outdoor climatic loads, are compared with respect to their dynamic responses to two simulation variables: interior moisture load (simulated water intrusion in the stud cavity) and paint on the interior gypsum board. The water intrusion is assumed to be through defect areas and the quantity is correlated with the amount of wind-driven rain that the wall is exposed to. The hygrothermal simulation results suggest that adoption of SVR as a vapour barrier yields better moisture management of the sheathing board (OSB) for any conditions considered in this paper including internal moisture load and interior paint. But, in coastal climate, it may have adverse effect on the moisture management of the interior gypsum board, in cases where water leaks into the cavity and the interior gypsum board is painted with low-vapour permeance paint., Peer reviewed article, Published. A version of this document is published in: 12th Canadian Conference of Building Science and Technology, Montreal, QC, May 6-8, 2009, pp. 1-12
Hygrothermal performance of ventilated attic in marine climate under different ceiling air tightness
14th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate (Indoor Air 2016), July 3-8, 2016, Ghent, Belgium. An indoor to attic air leakage and vice-versa significantly affect indoor air, thermal comfort and the hygrothermal performance in both living space and unconditioned space. In cold and marine climates an air leakage from living space to an attic brings a relatively high relative humidity to the attic space. This effect is primarily responsible for condensation in attic structural parts such as roof sheathings. In this paper, the hygrothermal performance of a ventilated attic in wet costal climates under different ceiling air leakage is studied. A benchmarked whole building Heat-Air-Moisture model named HAMFit is used to study hygrothermal performance of ventilated attics in marine climates. The attic is modelled as 2-dimensional geometry with coupled heat transfer, moisture transport and a turbulence Computational Fluid Dynamics through attic space and porous structural parts of the attic. A vent ratio of 1/300 and three types normalized leakage area (tight, normal and leaky) are used to analyse how the moisture transport behaves in ventilated space. A winter weather data of city of Vancouver, BC is used to represent a wet marine climate. Our findings show specific locations in the attic structure are more exposed to moisture related problems and the air circulation and temperature distribution due to ventilation under multiple ceiling air leakage scenarios are presented. Hygrothermal performance of ventilated attic in marine climate under different ceiling air tightness., Conference paper, Published.
Hygrothermal properties of exterior claddings, sheathing boards, membranes and insulation materials for building envelope design
Proceedings of Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings X International Conference: 02 December 2007, Clearwater, Florida. Testing was conducted to determine those construction material properties that affect the movement of heat, air, and moisture in building envelopes. The paper reports the density, thermal conductivity, equilibrium moisture content, water vapor permeability, water absorption coefficient, liquid diffusivity, and air permeability of twenty-three building materials commonly used in North American including: exterior claddings, exterior sheathing boards, membranes and insulations. The paper also discusses the experimental and analytical procedures used to determine these properties., Conference paper, Published. A version of this document is published in: Proceedings of Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings X, Clearwater, Florida, Dec. 2-7, 2007, pp. 1-16.
Impact of V2G on real-time adaptive Volt/VAr optimization of distribution networks
Proceeding of IEEE ElectricalPower and Energy Conference (EPEC 2013), Aug. 2013, Halifax, Canada. Deployment of Smartgrid downstream features such as Smart Metering, pervasive control and Distributed Management Systems has brought great opportunities for distribution network planners to optimize the network in more precise methods. Moreover, the advent of Electric Vehicles (EVs) has brought more opportunities for grid optimization. Recent studies stipulate that EVs are able to inject reactive power into the grid by changing their inverter's operating mode. This paper primarily discusses a real-time adaptive Volt/VAr Optimization (VVO) engine, designed to minimize system apparent power losses, optimize voltage profiles, and reduce the operating costs of Switched Capacitor Banks of the grid. The paper goes on to study the impact of EVs on the distribution network VVO, taking into account different EV charging and penetration levels and checks the validity of the proposed algorithm by employing revised IEEE-37 Node Test Feeder in presence of various load types as a case study., Conference paper, Published.
Improving students' engagement with large-team software development projects
Proceedings from the 23rd Annual ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. Computer science and technology education should provide not only a strong theoretical foundation, but also problem solving, and communication and teamwork skills to prepare the students for careers. Including projects in curricula is a norm in many disciplines. However, projects are generally individual or based on small teams (two to five members). This paper presents my approach to teaching a capstone undergraduate computer technology course at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in the Computer System Technology (CST) Program in which a large class of students (maximum 22), organized into small teams work together and apply Agile software development practices to design, implement, integrate and test a large project. This model provides students with unique learning opportunities and experiences, as well as improving their soft skills, engagement and motivation., Peer reviewed, Conference paper, Published.

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