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Today, October 6th is Energy Efficiency Day!  For any posts that you make, be sure to add the hashtag #EEDAY2021


screenshot of natural gas futures chart with the price rising significantly overtime
Above is a chart of the price of natural gas futures.  Not only is the IPCC report telling everyone that burning fossil fuels needs to stop, but rapidly rising, volatile prices create a financial imperative to do so. This spike in price reflects both supply and demand issues - meaning there is less supply and more demand. Currently there is a natural gas shortage in Europe forcing the price up.

From an equity lens, there are already far too many people experiencing energy poverty.  You are considered to be in energy poverty when more than 6% of your income is going towards paying for your energy use.  You can take a look at this map (really zoom in to see the neighbourhood level data) to see just how pervasive energy poverty is in Manitoba.

There have never been more reasons to reduce use of natural gas and one of the best ways to do so is to make buildings more energy-efficient!


Curious about what alternatives there are to Natural Gas?  The first building tour happening tomorrow is your chance to see a district heating plant powered by bio-fuel.

Members get 50% off. Free for Student Members

Northlands Dënesųłiné First Nation is a "winter road / diesel dependent" community. All of the heating and electricity in the community depends upon the arrival of truckloads of diesel fuel on the annual winter road.

The biofuel district heating system replaces about 30% of the heating fuel with burnt wood - wood from the surrounding area that has been killed by natural forest fire and harvested with local labour.

  • Building Name: Biomass / District Heating Plant & Harvesting Operation
  • Building Location: Northlands Dënesųłiné First Nation
  • Year Built: 2019
  • Key Sustainable Feature: Biofuel district heating system using local wood
  • Building Use: heating plant

Tour the site where harvested wood is piled and stored in the log yard adjacent to the biomass plant building. Go behind the scenes of the biomass building to get up close to the two boilers and pumps that move heated glycol to the school and other buildings in the district heating system.  Have questions?  This will be a great time to ask them.



TOUR GUIDE - Bruce Duggan - Boke Consulting

Bruce Duggan is an Associate Professor of Management at the Buller School of Business at Providence University College & Seminary.

He is the President of Boke Consulting and, in that role, is Project Lead for Aki Energy on ERAAES, an integrated soil remediation and alternative energy project for Northlands Dënesųłiné First Nation. He also helps lead the Waste & Derelict Scrap Metal Collection initiative for the Keewatin Tribal Council, Northlands Dënesųłiné First Nation, Barren Lands First Nation, and Sayisi Dene First Nation. He has also done studies on the feasibility of using biomass to heat community buildings in three other Manitoba First Nations. Bruce also a member of the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association and a Steering Committee member of 50by30.

Get your ticket for October 7th


The Federal government is doing some consultations on a Just Transition

SBM answered the call for feedback on their priorities.  Below is a summary of SBM's submission or you can read the whole submission on the website.
The Federal Government wanted Feedback on a Just Transition. A Just Transition is an approach to economic, environmental and social policy that aims to create an equitable and prosperous future for workers and communities as the world builds a low-carbon economy. No worker or community can be left behind, so government climate action must be focused on those workers What SBM told the government....
 SBM supports a Just Transition in Canada.  In Manitoba there is a major skills gap - so if the building codes were to change tomorrow to require net-zero buildings, workers would not have the skills to properly do the work.  Investing in training programs is a key piece of a Just Transition.
There is a need for clarity for workers on career paths within a Just Transition is critical for their engagement in additional training.   Too many workers have been burned by funding cycles ending and their sector drying up, rendering their investment in training useless.   The government must be aware of these feelings within the workforce and make every effort to show that there is longevity and potential for career advancement in order to secure worker commitment.
This work needed for a Just Transition is already underway by a number of groups and investing in existing projects and coalitions is recommended. In Manitoba, SBM has been working to form a coalition of organizations to work on this issue  These coalitions need funding - for real action people cannot keep having to do the work off the side of their desks on top of already full plates.
Support for Efficiency Canada, CAGBC and Canada Building Trades and the work they are doing nationally would also be helpful as a means of streamlining work and ensuring that training is transferable between provinces.     When feedback is required, the window must be big enough to get meaningful input.
When doing consultations, the government should listen to Canada Building Trades or their provincial counterparts like Manitoba Building Trades or even the leadership within the unions they represent but not stop there. It is important that the government consult directly with the workers to not only hear their views directly, but also to help get them on board.   No discussion about a Just Transition can be successful without centering the worker.
Legislation will be critical for ensuring that all new builds are net zero energy and zero-carbon, that existing buildings are retrofitted, and that our infrastructure is updated to be climate resilient.  Much can be learned from the BC Step Code about how to lay out plans so that everyone knows and understands what is coming.
Finally, throughout this process, a climate lens must be applied to decision making. This means that greenhouse gas emission reductions and carbon sequestration amounts should play a role in prioritizing actions.
Want to amplify the calls to action? Check out the thread on Twitter, the post made to Facebook and the one to LinkedIn.
Read the full submission


When it came time to build some new accommodations in Clearwater Manitoba the community took a look at their resources and worked with them. For example, cabins were built using the wood from a nearby old farmhouse. This meant that the wood was in specific dimensions that the design team had to work with.

  • Building Name: Clearwater Cabins & 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 the behind the scenes of the community of Clearwater and hear how it has been transformed over the past couple of decades and how that brought people together.

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

Robert grew up on a mixed farm North West of Clearwater, a small town in South West Manitoba. He has been involved with the Harvest Moon Festival since the beginning 20 years ago. Over the years he has been involved in 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


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 all four tours all in one place!

Each tour will be an hour.

Book tickets to all four tours and get them for the price of two!

As always, members get an additional 50% off, so if they book all four tours, they get them for the price of one! 


Northlands – Biofuel for District Heating in Northern Communities with Bruce Duggan - Boke Consulting


OCTOBER 14th - 12 NOON

Clearwater Manitoba - Reclaiming Materials and Community with Robert Guilford - Harvest Moon Society & Lancelot Coar - University of Manitoba


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 four 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 4


On March 9th 2021 the City of Winnipeg passed a resolution that the Winnipeg Public Service be directed to report back
within 180 days on the following:
  1. A strategy and timeline to assist in achieving the City of Winnipeg’s Climate Action Plan targets by
    1. converting new and existing City-owned buildings and infrastructure to renewable energy; and
    2. requirements for new developments City-wide, both public and private, for the use of renewable energy
  2. A review of other Canadian municipalities carbon reduction strategies and timelines.
  3.  Feedback from other stakeholders regarding the use of renewable energy in new and existing pubic and private buildings, throughout the City of Winnipeg.
  4. An environmental assessment to determine existing City of Winnipeg assets that would provide the highest environmental benefit by converting to renewable energy, retrofit and/or other environmental upgrades that best reduces energy use.
The report has been completed and will be presented at Friday's Standing Policy Committee on Water and Wast, Riverbank Management and the Environment Regular Meeting Agenda.

The report's Executive Summary is:
"The Public Service is currently undergoing a project to identify and analyze actions needed to meet the goal of net zero community Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The project, the Community Energy Investment Roadmap (CEIR), will include detailed GHG and economic modelling to provide insights into the possible costs and benefits of implementing the Winnipeg Climate Action Plan and additional actions to meet net zero by 2050.

This project examines all sources of energy (natural gas, electricity, gasoline, etc.) and sector-based emissions (buildings, transportation, waste, etc.). This includes analysis of the use of renewable energy for City-owned buildings and infrastructure.

The results of the project, that will include the analysis of energy used in City-owned buildings, will be presented to Council in early 2022."

The report states that " Updates on the CEIR have previously been shared through the WCAP 2019 and 2020 reports."

In the spring of 2020 an RFP was put out for Consulting Services to Model Winnipeg's Community Energy Investment Roadmap (here are the documents for those without a Merx account).  The City's website has no information on who the RFP was awarded to (see June 8th 2020 ) and the website on the Climate Action Plan has not been updated since October 2018.  However, the 2020 Winnipeg's Climate Action Plan Annual Report can be found via the city's Decision Making Information System and was submitted to Council on June 26th, 2021.  That report says that the RFP was awarded to Sustainability Solutions Group Workers Cooperative on July 2, 2020, to provide:
  1. Updated community-wide energy and emissions inventory that aligns with the 2011 baseline year;
  2. Determination of additional mitigation measures or refinements to currently planned measures that will be required to take the city beyond 2030 and to net zero by 2050;
  3. Forecast of energy and emissions under two different scenarios: a) business as planned; and b) low carbon scenario (actions identified in The Plan with additional and refined actions beyond 2030 to reach net zero by 2050);
  4. Estimation of the costs and benefits of implementing the Plan (including additional and refined actions beyond 2030) and provision of recommended priorities.
Progress to date:
"As of December 2020, data collection activities were largely completed and the consultant is preparing to inventory baseline energy and emissions data. Internal and external stakeholder engagement will take place at strategic milestones through 2021, with the entire project expected to wrap up at the end of 2021. The outcomes of this work will inform City decision-making, contributing to departmental planning, programs and policies, and will inform the process of updating the Winnipeg Climate Action Plan in 2022."

TL;DR Although the resolution asked for a strategy and timeline, none are found in the report.  Focus has shifted to seeing the outcomes of the Community Energy Investment Roadmap (CEIR), which is expected to wrap up at the end of 2021


The Government of Manitoba has announced that it has awarded the contract for an Energy Policy Consultant to Dunsky Energy Consulting for $1,038,960.  The term of the agreement is June 15th 2021 to June 15th 2022 with an opportunity to extend.

Here is where to find the RFP which outlines the nature of the agreement:

The Government of Manitoba, as represented by the Minister of Conservation and Climate,Climate and Green Plan Implementation Office, seeks to select a qualified Consultant through this procurement process to provide policy analysis, advice and support services (including all
labour, materials, supplies and equipment) for developing a new long-term energy policy framework that would:
i) Respond to current and future energy market trends, and economic and environmental challenges facing industrial, commercial, and residential consumers and energy utilities;
ii) Capitalize on Manitoba‟s vast renewable electricity resources, such as hydro, wind, and solar;
iii) Recognise and respond to the reliance on imported fossil energy, and promote low carbon alternatives for Manitoba;
iv) Combat climate change and successfully achieve a clean and sustainable energy transition to a low carbon, net zero emissions future; and
v) Maximize the use of electricity and other forms of renewable energy to generate economic benefits for Manitoba.

Dunsky Energy Consulting is a Montreal-based firm specialized in the design, analysis and implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and policies. Their clients include leading utilities, government agencies, private firms and non-profit organizations throughout Canada and the U.S.

Dunsky Energy & Climate Advisors worked on Efficiency Manitoba's 3 year plan and 3 years ago they also did Manitoba Hydro's Action Plan.


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


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


The Evolve Green- What Funding is available in Canada for Renewable energy

Not a podcast this time, but a YouTube video on what funding is available in Canada for renewable energy from Manitoba's own The Evolve Green.

Watch 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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