New partnership signals big step into tall buildings research

On the international scene, Canada is a respected leader for constructing tall buildings, especially for residential projects. And within this great country, Toronto is leading the way. A new partnership between academia, industry, and the government is going to take that role to another level through the recent creation of the Tall Buildings Research Centre, housed within the University of Toronto’s Department of Civil Engineering department.

The builders association that I represent, RESCON – the Residential Construction Council of Ontario – has signed up for this opportunity in a funding and advisory role, while the federal government has joined in a funding role through its Natural Sciences and Engineering Research (NSERC) program and its Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax-incentive program. This is yet another way that our industry is demonstrating its commitment to construction excellence: the research centre will focus on improving building productivity, performance of building-related systems, and energy performance.

In a study on tall buildings by Chicago-based research firm the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Canada stands eighth in the world behind only China, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Australia and Singapore for buildings over 150 metres (67, including 39 in Toronto). This is no small feat for a country of only 35 million people. RESCON wants our city, region, province and country to be at the forefront of current tall building research. And that’s why three of our respected board members – Sam Tassone, vice-president of high-rise for The Daniels Corporation; Joe Francavilla, senior vice-president, high-rise residential for Menkes Developments Ltd.; and Bruno Giancola, vice-president, project management for Tridel Corporation – have joined the research centre’s advisory board. We are thrilled to work with Brenda McCabe, the centre’s research director, and associate professor at U of T’s Department of Civil Engineering, who has set the vision and will direct the activities of the centre. The university will draw from its pool of engineering experts to direct graduate research projects. Ultimately, people who live, work, and play in tall buildings will reap the benefits of our combined efforts.

We can’t wait to get started. Thank you to our partners at the University of Toronto and the federal government for joining us on this knowledge-based journey. Let’s show the world how it’s done.

HI_RICHARD_LYALL-(web)Richard Lyall, president of RESCON, has represented residential construction in Ontario since 1991.

Contact him @RESCONprez or at


Leave a Reply
  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>