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The case for Green Schools graphic with pictures of the speakers

12 Noon via Zoom
Wednesday September 15th
The Case for Green Schools

Right now in Manitoba, we hear a lot about how our schools will be managed, but little about the buildings our kids will be learning in.

The school building is an important site of environmental exposure for children. Research suggests that there are significant health and learning benefits for students attending “green schools”: schools that are built to last and fill classrooms with natural light and freshly-circulated air, in addition to being energy-efficient. Speaker Donna Vakalis will bring together findings from multiple areas of research to outline the evidence for benefits, and identify potential pitfalls in school design.

In the era of COVID-19, ventilation is of key importance. Matthew Froese will review the ventilation recommendations for schools from ASHRAE for operation during the pandemic, and how those recommendations relate to established best practices for school ventilation. He’ll also share lessons learned from commissioning green schools in Manitoba and how our climate affects appropriate local solutions.

Lindsay Oster will provide an overview of Prairie Architects Inc.'s contribution to the landscape of sustainable schools in Manitoba, with specific focus on design features and performance metrics. Key projects such as the awarphoto of sunny interior of amber trailsd-winning, LEED Platinum Certified Amber Trails Community School, as well as more recently designed and constructed school buildings will be discussed.

Amber Trail principal Lorelei Bunkowsky will share how she became involved in sustainable schools, how she encouraged participation by students, staff, and parents, and the resulting user experiences. Lorelei will also touch on some of the lasting benefits that she witnessed in the school environment.

In 2017, Amber Trails Community School in Winnipeg won the Greenest School in Canada competition hosted by CaGBC. Under the Green Building Policy enacted by the province in 2007, 11 high-performance sustainable schools were constructed in Manitoba. These schools use an average of 50-70% less energy per year compared to conventional designs. A preliminary report suggests that just four of these new-generation green schools save 484 tonnes of carbon per year and significantly reduce operating costs at the same time.

For more background on the state of green schools, read SBM’s op-ed on the topic.

50% off for sustaining members and FREE for student members

Get your ticket now!


Canada Greener Homes Grant
With the release of the Canada Greener Homes Grant from the federal government, demand for Energy Advisors is increasing.

Manitoba answered the call and SBM was part of a group of stakeholders that developed the Energy Advisor Training at Red River College.
The program will be online with an in-person lab and in-field (work-integrated learning) components in Winnipeg for hand-on training (subject to pandemic-related health constrictions).

Relevant skills/experience include:

– Residential construction knowledge
– Some building science knowledge (but much is included in training)
– Communication and customer relation skills
– Administrative Skills
– Math skills
– IT skills (energy modelling software, spreadsheets, file management)

Info session at 6PM on Thursday September 2, 2021

Your organization may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 for training each new or existing employee. Find out if you qualify for the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant.

Find out more


HYBRIT, a Swedish company, has announced that it completed the world's first customer delivery of steel produced without using coal.

The HYBRIT technology replaces the traditional blast furnace process, which uses carbon and coke to remove the oxygen from iron ore, with a direct reduction process using fossil-free hydrogen produced from the electrolysis of water. Instead of carbon dioxide, water vapor is formed.

HYBRIT, a joint venture of SSAB, LKAB, and Vattenfall is dedicated to developing a fossil-free value chain for iron and steel production.
Read more


Prairie Architects is hiring a full-time Sustainable Buildings Coordinator. They seek a candidate with experience in sustainable certification processes and a passion for driving environmental change in architecture.
Graduate from a post-secondary program specializing in the environment.
Experience with sustainable certification processes preferred.
Experience in architecture and building industry an asset.

Description of Duties and Responsibilities

The Sustainable Building Coordinator is responsible for guiding the design and construction team through the sustainability certification process.

Some of the tasks will include:
Manage the certification process of all sustainable projects in the office. (i.e. LEED, Passive House, Net Zero, WELL, Efficiency Manitoba, etc.)
Oversee the status of all sustainable projects in the office and coordinate schedules on deliverables within the overall architectural delivery model.
Assist owners with coordination of sustainable grant applications
Register projects with the certifying entity and act as Client liaison
Assist the team in researching sustainable design strategies and review design and engineering systems as they relate to sustainable targets.
Create and regularly update sustainable tracking checklist throughout the design and construction process 
Work with Principals to identify and strategize long-term sustainable initiatives and services to complement and further support Prairies sustainable goals and philosophies.
Read Full Job Description


In June we postponed our annual sustainable building tours due to a last-minute scheduling conflict, along with a generally Zoom-fatigued membership.

Mark your calendars now for Thursdays at noon in October because we have a great mix of buildings to tour lined up for you!  You'll get to travel to other parts of Canada, Northern Manitoba, the USA, and Europe.

Mark your calendars now.


Lunch and Learns Second Thursday of the Month Mark your calendars now
Mark your calendars now for our exciting slate of Lunch and Learns.  Starting in November they will be the second Thursday of the month.

November 18: Building Waste
January 20: Made in Manitoba Materials
February 17: What does Resilience Look Like in Manitoba?
March: Building Resilience Gathering
April 21: Sustainability and Affordability
May 19: AGM

Building tours will be every Thursday in October at noon, and our first Lunch and Learn of the season will be Wednesday, September 15th.

These Lunch and Learns are part of the Building Resilience: Foundation Edition Project of the Manitoba Eco-Network in partnership with Sustainable Building Manitoba and funded by the Winnipeg Foundation.  SBM's work is only possible with the generous support of all our sponsors and members.

Please note that topics and dates may change.


Efficiency Manitoba’s Heat Pump Program is now accepting online applications ( for ground source heat pumps. Efficiency Manitoba will subsidize installations based on a prescriptive structure, outlined on the program's webpage. Applications must be submitted before work begins.

Eligible Installers
Installers must be an accredited Manitoba Geothermal Energy Alliance (MGEA) member and must also register with Efficiency Manitoba’s Supplier Network in order for customers to be eligible for the rebates. Customers can also use the Supplier Network to find supplier/installers in their part of the province.

Contact the MGEA to find out how to become an MGEA accredited installer, if you aren’t already.

You can find the full Heat Pump Program Guide online.


First Fuel - Common Wealth with Corey Diamond

Luke and Corey discuss the drivers for energy efficiency policy in Canada, the Canadian Government's recent, multi-billion dollar investments in energy efficiency across buildings and industry, and how Australia and Canada can work together to unlock their 'common wealth': the untapped energy efficiency resource that exists in both nations.

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.
Events Calendar!
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