The fundamental challenge of advanced sustainable design is not so much a technological issue, but rather a cultural one. The strategies, methods, and technology exist to make ultra-efficient buildings that can achieve 75 per cent less energy consumption than conventional buildings.
Amber Trails Community School in Winnipeg has won the annual Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC’s) Greenest School in Canada competition. The 7246-m2 (78,000-sf) building acts not just as a school, but also as an open and accessible hub within the community. The school was certified as Platinum under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program in 2016. Earlier this year, it won CaGBC’s Excellence in Green Building for New Construction (NC) award.
The Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) has earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Existing Building (EB) Platinum certification. It is the world’s first double LEED Platinum convention centre and the first v4 Platinum Existing Building project to be certified in Canada.
The country’s top sustainability projects were honoured at the seventh annual Clean50 Summit, held in late September in Toronto. The 2018 Canada’s Clean50 Top Projects list celebrates 20 enterprises by groups ranging from large corporations and municipalities to university students and individuals.
Wood’s renewability, ability to sequester carbon (CO2), and natural origins are among the features making it an attractive alternative to synthetic materials. At the same time, new technologies such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) have expanded the number of applications with which wood can be used.
The smoothest path to net zero is through passive building certification, because a passive building is a complete system with quality assurance built into the system, rather than a collection of discrete programs. The most common passive building certification in North America is PHIUS+.
Everyone wants ‘better’ things—better homes, better schools, and better quality of life—but defining what exactly constitutes an improvement is not always easy. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence, so attempts at making something better may not always yield the desired results.