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Event graphic highlighting Ottawa Community Housing Deep Retrofit tur on Thursday October 21st at noon

Congrats to the team at Ottawa Community Housing for being honoured as one of Clean50's top projects!

We know that most of the buildings that will be standing in the coming decades have already been built. What approach is needed to make those buildings sustainable and energy-efficient? 

  • Building Name: Presland Net-Zero PEER
  • Building Location: Ottawa, Ontario
  • Year Built: 1960
  • Key Sustainable Feature: Net Zero Energy and Net-Zero GHG
  • Building Use: Residential

What are some of the barriers that this project needed to overcome? Was any special training required? What are the next steps for Ottawa Community Housing?

Join to get up close in the construction of a deep energy retrofit and to get your questions answered about the process.

TOUR GUIDES - Dan Dicaire - Ottawa Community Housing and Mark Carver - CanmetENERGY

Mark Carver is an R&D Project Lead at CanmetENERGY, Natural Resources Canada and a member of the building envelope team. He is the project manager for NRCan’s Preabricated Exterior Energy Retrofit and High-R, Thin Walls projects. His interests are in off-site construction and prefabrication for high-performance buildings, 3D scanning, imaging and advanced manufacturing, advanced insulation materials, climate-resilient, and low-carbon buildings. Mark has presented at conferences across North America on topics related to energy efficiency in housing.

Dan Dicaire has an undergraduate and a Master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Ottawa. He is a P. Eng and a Certified Energy Manager. He currently works for Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) as the Manager of Energy and Sustainability. Over the past 10 years, he has coordinated the installation of 500 kW of solar arrays on 36 different OCH sites and managed a portfolio-wide LED Lighting Retrofit which will save over 4.6 MWh of electricity annually. He is currently part of OCH’s development team which is building Canada’s largest Passive House building at 811 Gladstone as well as another 1000 units worth of passive house mid and high rises.

Thanks to event sponsor Duxton Windows for helping to make these tours happen.

Members get 50% off. Free for Student Members

Get your ticket for October 21st


Canada’s Clean50 annually offers recognition to Canada’s leaders in sustainability for their contributions over the prior two years.

The Clean50 Individual awards – or just “the Clean50” are selected from 16 diverse categories that transcend numerous industries, academia, different levels of government, thought leaders and advocates, and are based on accomplishments delivered over the prior two years.   The leader in each of the 16 categories is also declared to be part of the Clean16, depicting those 16 Honourees as the top contributor in their respective categories.

The Clean50 Top20 Projects annually recognize those projects completed in the prior two years based on their innovation, their ability to inform and inspire other Canadians.

The Clean50 Emerging Leaders are selected from amongst those 35 or under, whose contribution is outsized compared to their age, and otherwise based on essentially the same criteria as the Individual Clean50 awards.

Congratulations to Manitoban Amanda San Filippo from ioAirFlow for being recognized as an emerging leader!  You can watch her Lunch and Learn on Healthy Buildings, Healthy People here.

Congratulations also to Manitoban Shaun Loney from Encompass Coop for making the Clean50 list  See him speak at last year's Building Resilience Gathering about Indigenous sustainable building.

Tomorrow's SBM virtual sustainable building tour of Ottawa Community Housing retrofits was a project winner.  You can see the tour we did last year of their pre-fabrication facilities.  Congrats to them for this recognition.

Apologies if we missed any other Manitoban honoured by Clean 50 - it was not easy to search by region.  If we did, please let us know at
See all the honourees


For this year's fourth and final virtual building tour, we're going international and heading down to Minneapolis, Minnesota. For folks seeking alternatives to LEED certification, this is your chance to learn about the Living Building Challenge.

In the design of the studio, the decision to pursue the Materials Petal certification via the
Living Building Challenge arose out of the firm’s industry leadership on healthy and sustainable materials. MSR Design wanted every material choice in their industry to be a good choice and, in its advocacy, has developed guidelines around transparency, sustainability, and health for the firm’s own materials library.

The team set an initial embodied carbon target of 10 lbs/SF CO2e and was able to achieve 8.67 lbs/SF at the final calculation.

You'll also hear about the air-quality monitoring that took place during construction - something very relevant now in the age of COVID.

  • Building Name: 510 Marquette-MSR Design Studio
  • Building Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Year Built: 2019
  • Key Sustainable Feature: LBC Petal Certification: Materials, Beauty and Equity
  • Building Use: Workplace

Two Principles of the Living Building Challenge:

1. Living Building Challenge compliance is based on actual, rather than modelled or anticipated performance. Therefore, projects must be operational for at least twelve consecutive months prior to audit to verify Imperative compliance.

2. All Living Building Challenge projects must be holistic—addressing aspects of all seven Petals through the Core Imperatives.

Join to see the materials selected up close. Learn about the planning, the role of embodied carbon calculations and more about the Living Building Challenge.

TOUR GUIDES - Traci Lesneski, Rhys MacPherson, Simona Fischer - MSR Design

Thanks to event sponsor Duxton Windows for helping to make these tours happen.

Members get 50% off. Free for Student Members

Get your ticket for October 28th


100 year comparison of canadian housing costs
Manitoba Building Trades's has an interesting feature outlining the case for smaller homes. The following is an excerpt from the article:

The size of the average Canadian family and the homes they occupy have been heading in opposite directions for over a century. The world’s second biggest country by landmass is effectively running out of space, and that has Canada on course for a reckoning.

Before considering solutions, we need to understand structural problems within the current housing market. First, our housing sizes cannot continue to grow as they have since the 1920s. In fact, our average footprint is already too big. For a nation as large as Canada, land scarcity in urban places we want to live and work has become a real issue.

Before considering solutions, we need to understand structural problems within the current housing market. First, our housing sizes cannot continue to grow as they have since the 1920s.   Second, the land scarcity factor has been compounded by an unparalleled and unbroken low interest regime since 2008 to fuel a historic buying frenzy. Low interest rates have attracted marginal home buyers and speculators alike to enter the market. For many Canadians, even the average multi-family unit is out of reach, and for Canadians who rent, monthly rental costs are leaving them precariously close to homelessness.

While Winnipeg occupies a much larger urban footprint than it did thirty years ago, it has significant infill pockets and a large stock of old housing in need of renewal and development. These spaces provide an opportunity to tackle affordable housing issues before the problem becomes too big to fix.

Micro homes are individual detached housing units under 500 SF. Communities across the world have started to experiment with tiny homes mainly to address homelessness and explore more sustainable housing options.

But for cities like Winnipeg, adding smaller homes and small home communities, like the proposed Village Project adjacent to Thunderbird House, can create an entirely new infill development option to satisfy demand for detached housing.

Opening infill spaces and smaller tracts of land for 400-600 SF homes could have a dramatic impact on affordability. Not only are smaller homes more suitable for the sizes of urban city lots, but some lots in older neighbourhoods also have the capacity to accommodate multiple small homes. Allowing a collection of small homes can also create more opportunities for shared amenities such as playgrounds, parking spaces and community gardens.

Winnipeg’s average residential construction cost currently sits at $190 per SF, making the construction costs of a 400-600 SF small home from $80,000 to $120,000. By modernizing its land use policies to make small house projects easier to execute, the city could create detached homeownership opportunities for under $200,000 for aspiring buyers in the competitive marketplace.

The solutions can no longer be limited to simply building more homes. We need to fully reconcile our expectations, practices and limitations and imagine solutions we have yet to explore. Adding micro homes and smaller infill homes to the inventory of solutions will not be a panacea for all of our housing problems, but they will create appealing, more sustainable options for a significant segment of aspiring homeowners – easing pressure on tight conditions for buyers and renters alike.

Housing is a core foundational determinant of economic, physical and mental health. Providing accessible home ownership options for more Canadians by creating alternatives can help us tackle urban sprawl while offering Canadians reliable, affordable and secure housing. Our economic and social well-being depends on thinking and working outside of the housing boxes that have left individuals insecure – or worse – unsheltered. It is time for Winnipeg to develop a better space for its citizens where communities can feel a deeper sense of financial security as well as a deeper sense of belonging.

Read the full story from Manitoba Building Trades


A new 3D model of Naawi-Oodena will help Manitobans visualize the $1.2-billion project set to replace the Kapyong barracks.

Culture is a key focus of the Treaty 1 First Nations-led plan. The corporation includes representatives from Long Plain, Peguis, Roseau River Anishinabe, Sagkeeng, Sandy Bay, Brokenhead Ojibway and Swan Lake.

According to the Master Plan, energy conservation and carbon reduction are key objectives of this Plan. The aim is to promote green building design and renewable energy systems that minimize, or even eliminate, the use of fossil fuels.

The 3D model of the site will be shared with Treaty 1 communities soon to gather additional feedback on the plans.

One of the first steps of the construction is expected to begin in 2022, largely involving sewer and water work. A few businesses could open up within the next two years.

That first phase of work will begin at the northeast corner of Kenaston Boulevard and Taylor Avenue, which will eventually include an office complex, apartment building, strip mall and gas bar. 

The former Kapyong barracks were left vacant 17 years ago when the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry moved to CFB Shilo. The remaining land on the site will be developed by the Canada Lands Company.

Learn more and see some photos


This week is BDC's Small Business week.

Three cheers to all our sponsors with a special shout out to those that are or started as small businesses!  Shout out to all the small businesses working to build a sustainable Manitoba!!


Construction Demolition & Renovation Waste with Mike Fernandex Thursday November 18th at noon via zoom
What are the issues, trends and opportunities around recycling and diversion of construction, renovation and demolition waste in Manitoba?

Join the next Lunch and Learn on Thursday, November 18th at noon via Zoom to identify and be able to pursue opportunities for reducing, recycling and/or diverting construction, renovation and demolition waste.


Building lasting change 2021 online register now october 26-28
Though the local chapters, including Manitoba, are no more, CaGBC continues to host Canada’s premier national green building conference, which will be held on October 26-28. Join green building leaders and innovators at Building Lasting Change, featuring three days of insightful conversation and actionable strategies to help you reach your sustainability goals.

Tuesday, October 26th to Thursday, October 28th - hosted online. 
More info and Registration


Building with nature offers us a more sustainable alternative to engineered or “grey” infrastructure. Its regenerative characteristics make it more efficient and less expensive to manage and maintain—it is much less carbon-intensive, it can help communities adapt to climate change, and it provides a wide range of additional benefits, from job creation to improved well-being for citizens.

In sum, nature-based infrastructure can provide valuable ecosystem services and adaptation benefits, all while supplying public services that generate sustainable patterns of development. Over the longer term, it offers long-term value for money—so why is the value of forests, mangroves, wetlands, grasslands, agricultural lands, trees, and green spaces so often overlooked?

Monday, October 25th 8:30 - 10 AM Central Time

More info and registration


Tuesday, November 2, 2021 (1pm~5pm) – Bus tour 1
MARR has arranged an exclusive and comprehensive tour of the City of Winnipeg’s integrated recycling, diversion and organic waste management operations. The guided tour will take participants through the Brady Road 4R depot, leaf and yard waste, and biosolids composting operations followed by a second stop at the City’s relatively new wood chipping, soil fabrication and prairie grassland reclamation site at Summit Road landfill. The tour offers participants a first-hand view of how the City is putting Circular Economy principles in practice.
Bus tour 1 price: MARR Members: $40 per person; Non-Members: $60 per person

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 – Full Day of Information, Workshops & Networking
CanadInns Polo Park (1405 St. Matthews Avenue, Winnipeg)
Topics and presenters are still being worked out and final details will be posted soon. You can expect another full line-up of knowledgeable speakers plus interactive panel discussions on topics to help you deliver efficient and effective recycling and waste reduction programs.
Price for Nov 3rd: MARR Members: $109 per person*; Non-Members: $169 per person
Register Now


Wednesday, November 24
8:00 am – 4:30 pm with cocktail reception to follow
Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park 1405 St Matthews Ave

Featuring Keynote Speaker Linda Coady, Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, this year’s conference will focus on pathways to a net-zero future, focusing on the following topics:

  • Environmental Social Governance
  • Economic and Environmental Recovery
  • Indigenous Pathways to Sustainability
  • The Next Generation: Students in Environmental Studies
  • Local Examples of Net-Zero and Carbon Greenhouse Gas Awareness
when registering let them know you're a member!
Register Now


The Purpose of This Conference:

March 16, 2022 (7:30am-4:00pm)
More info


The Last Environmentalist - Let My Buildings Grow: The Future of Sustainable Architecture

Eric Corey Freed is a sought after keynote speaker, sustainability expert, and the founder of Organic Architect. An 11-time author and award-winning architect, Eric is a visionary leader in biophilic and regenerative design. He was the Vice President of the International Living Future Institute and the Chief Community Officer of EcoDistricts. His accolades include being one of the Top 10 Most Influential Green Architects in 2012, and one of Fixr’s Top 200 Influencers in the Construction Industry in 2018.

Eric joins to discuss the state of the climate movement and the future of sustainable building at the leading edge of architecture, design, and engineering. He highlights how shareholders are holding companies accountable for their environmental footprint and shares exciting news on how bio-based materials are changing the way we build. He also shares how the way nature makes structures is inspiring the creation of these materials.


Listen here


Sustainable Building Manitoba Membership, building a community of solutions

SBM members are a critical part of the advocacy, education and promotional work on sustainable building in Manitoba.


Remind yourself of all the member benefits.


SBM is proud to be the independent voice for Sustainable Building in Manitoba - which is only possible with your participation.

Help build a strong and engaged sustainable building community. 
Click Here To Get Your Membership Now
For more events in our community that will expand your knowledge and add to your skills, please visit our events calendar.
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