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Our first tour was a great success!  It's almost time for the second virtual tour of the series, tomorrow, October 14, at noon.

When it came time to build some new accommodations in Clearwater, Manitoba, the community decided to work with their local resources. For example, cabins were built using wood from an old farmhouse that was nearby. This meant that the wood was already cut into specific dimensions that the design team had to work with.

  • Building Name: Clearwater Cabins and more
  • Building Location: Clearwater, Manitoba
  • Year Built: 2014
  • Key Sustainable Feature: Recycled materials, community participation
  • Building Use: Visitor accommodations, restaurant, multipurpose

What was the process behind this decision? Were there any barriers? How does a project change when you involve the local community? How did connections with other communities help the process? How has food played a role in how things have developed?

Join the tour to see behind the scenes of the community of Clearwater and hear how it has been transformed over the past couple of decades.

TOUR GUIDES - Robert Guilford - Harvest Moon Society & Lancelot Coar - University of Manitoba

Robert grew up on a mixed farm northwest of Clearwater, a small town in southwest Manitoba. He has been involved with the Harvest Moon Festival since its beginning 20 years ago. Over the years he has been involved in a number of projects in Northern Manitoba including Chickens of the North and Meechim Project.

Lancelot Coar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and joined the Faculty of Architecture in 2006. He holds a M. Arch. from the University of California, Berkeley, and previously earned a B.S. in Architectural Engineering and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Drexel University. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in the Department of Architectural Engineering at Vrije University, Brussels.

Buy your ticket now for Oct 14th


Manitoba Hydro is feeling the pinch: a low amount of precipitation will impact the company's ability to generate power.

During a normal year, Hydro uses the excess power that it generates and sells it on the export market. But in 2021, that hasn't been the case.


Scott Powell, director of corporate communications for Hydro, said despite not having an excess amount of energy this year, the company is still working to ensure power will be available in the winter but that Manitobans shouldn't worry about the low production of energy this year and Hydro's system is designed to function off the lowest water conditions.

Manitoba Hydro’s consolidated net loss was $19 million for the first three months of 2021–22 compared to $26 million for the same period last year. These decreases in net loss were partially offset by higher finance expense and depreciation expense largely due to the first three units of Keeyask being placed into service as well as higher fuel and power purchases as a result of the full quarter impact of costs associated with the in-service of the 500 kV transmission interconnection to the U.S. The increase in the cost of natural gas is a flow-through cost passed onto customers through rates approved by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and therefore does not impact net income.

Read the full story
Read Manitoba Hydro's first quarterly report


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

A significant number of 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 Prefabricated 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.

Members get 50% off. Free for Student Members

Get your ticket for October 21st


The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) has released The Case for the Core: Provocations for the Future of Canada’s Downtowns, affirming the critical roles of central business districts to national recovery after COVID-19. Developed through consultation and research undertaken with leading international urbanists, community leaders and downtown-builders from across the country, the report presents three possible scenarios for Canada’s downtowns to provoke a sharp re-thinking, spur dialogue and inspire bold action.

The report highlights how there is " potential for collective action across urban Canada, to differentiate how this country emerges from COVID-19 economically more prosperous, environmentally more sustainable and socially more just."

Winnipeg is one of the cities included in the report.

Read the full report


Event poster: Text Every Thursday in October Sustainable Building Virtual Tours noon on Zoom Thnaks to event sponsor duxton windows and doors.  Picture of all 4 tour locations also on poster.

It's not too late to get your tickets for remaining tours all in one place!

If the rest of the tours are looking good to you it still makes sense to get one ticket for them all!

Book tickets for the rest of the 3 tours and get them for the price of two!

OCTOBER 21st - 12 NOON

Ottawa Community Housing - Deep Retrofit Process with Dan DicaireOCH and Mark Carver - NRCan

  • 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


OCTOBER 28th - 12 NOON

MSR Design Studio Tour - Living Building Challenge & Building Materials with Traci Lesneski, Rhys MacPherson & Simona Fischer - MSR Design

  • 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


Memberships are $50 and free for students.

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

Book tickets to all three remaining tours and get them for the price of two or for the price of one if you're a member!


Get your tickets for all three!


BC Hydro was given an explicit electrification mandate in the form of a $260-million five-year plan from the Province of BC a few weeks ago.

In British Columbia, 98% of the province's electricity comes from renewable sources, including hydropower.  However three-quarters of the total energy used in the province comes from burning fossil fuels.  Similar to Manitoba, the use of fossil fuels is predominantly for transportation and heating.

What can Manitoba learn from this plan as another hydro powered province?

Buildings: Residential and commercial buildings in B.C. represent almost 11 percent of the province’s total emissions —mostly due to heating. They're encouraging a shift towards renewable energy by introducing new heat pump rebates and working with different levels of government and standard-making bodies to increase energy efficiency standards and standards that advance electrification for builders and developers.

For context, in 2019, 18% of Manitoba's total GHG emissions came from stationary combustion (energy used for residential and commercial heating, in electricity generation, in the oil and gas industry, and in the manufacturing and construction industries).

How does B.C. plan to reduce the use of natural gas for building heat?

○ Build an understanding and raise awareness of heat pump technologies.
○ Support existing CleanBC programs like Better Homes and Better Buildings programs.
○ Expand Energy Manager program for commercial customers.
○ Increase study funding and implementation funding for commercial customers.
○ New BC Hydro activities that complement government efforts to support changes to policies, codes
and standards.
○ Up to $13 million in “top-up” offers for residential heat pumps up to $3,000 per household.
○ Up to $8 million in support for low income customers.
○ Over $5 million in incentives and other support for commercial building retrofits and electrification of new buildings.
Read the full report


Tomorrow - Thursday Oct 14, 2021 01:00 - 3PM PM

You have a unique opportunity to be part of a discussion seeking input on how to promote collaboration between Manitoba’s post-secondary educational institutions and industries in Sustainable Packaging and Systems.

Many manufacturers are looking at their packaging to reduce costs as well as creating less waste including negative environmental impacts. Sustainability has been a motivation for many consumers, industry, government and research for decades.

Join to explore these opportunities and bring together a diverse group of industry and academia to explore the current state of our Sustainability System. With the upcoming ban on single-use plastics, carbon tax, and extended producer, supplier and manufacturer responsibility, the business case will change and soon, the cost of disposal will exceed the cost of these new options. To move past our current state, many steps are required to ensure that Manitoba companies remain competitive and future-ready, we need to align on innovation and collaborate to ensure that Manitoba is a leader in this transition
Register Now


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 - 10AM 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


Stuff You Should Know - How Hydropower Works
57 min

Humans have been stealing energy from flowing water for at least two thousand years. It wasn’t until the advent of electricity that things really got cookin’. All we need to do now is to work out the harmful environmental impacts of this green energy.
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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