“Hey! I Learned About That at School!”: How NAIT’s New Centre for Applied Technology Acts as a Living Lab for Sustainable Design (30 minutes)

NAIT’s Centre for Applied Technology (CAT) was conceived to address space pressures on campus and increase capacity for an additional 500 employees and 5,000 full-time students in health, business, engineering technologies, and sustainable building and environmental management programs.

A key design consideration for NAIT was creating a building that reflects their commitment to sustainability, everything from the planning and design to construction and operation was approached from a sustainable focus. CAT’s design makes use of several sustainable best practices including water efficiency, energy and atmosphere efficiency, materials efficiency, and some creative approaches to the landscape design. One of the most impressive feats of NAIT’s CAT was that more than 98% of waste generated during construction was diverted from the landfill and redirected to manufacturing processes or reused in other ways.

Join us in learning about the CAT’s features that help make it a sustainable building throughout design, construction, and operation.

A Small Footprint with Big Steps: An Evolution of Tiny Homes from a Fad to a Lasting Lifestyle (30 minutes)

Why live in an [obnoxiously] small house? Simple: because sometimes we all need to be reminded that there exists the world outside our Canadian bubble. For many people, the world of tiny homes is limited to the medium of HGTV and a couple hippy bloggers from the warmer climes of the United States, and for others, a tiny house is simply an unknown concept.

I represent one of the several budding construction companies in Alberta. The road to tiny home acceptance has been a difficult one and too often it is the ignorance and elitism of our forbearers that limits our ability to functionally live tiny… But why tiny? – So many reasons, but a few key points are these: people deserve the right to live environmentally reasonably, they also deserve the right to own a home that is not tied to a very precarious 30-year mortgage, and finally, people deserve the right to live within their means using modesty in their lifestyles.

In this session, we will undertake a journey about tiny homes; their merits, their limitations and their inevitable placement as a mainstream living option in our future.

So, come join us in this endeavor and let’s together embark on a new road to reasonable living and sustainability. We might make a tiny home believer out of you yet, and if you doubt this, then buck up and prove me wrong by showing up :)

A Sustainability Framework for Urban Density in Calgary (30 minutes)

Urban sprawl of many modern cities around the globe often leads to longer distances between urban functions, poor access to facilities and services, less efficient infrastructure provision, loss of open land, social segregation, as well as many other socio-economic impact. The City of Calgary has a plan to increase urban density with expected population growth.

This presentation is based on a project undertaken by Construction Project Management students from SAIT aimed at:

  • Developing a sustainability matric for urban densification
  • Identifying and recommending urban areas for densification within the City of Calgary

The study used criteria including but not limited to: usable residential land; population density; proximity to parks and green spaces; proximity to public schools; proximity to community centres; proximity to hospitals; proximity to commercial centres; public transit travel time to major activity centres; impact of commuting by automobile to ‘major activity centres. All the criteria used were weighted using concepts for sustainable living neighborhood to map out and rank the urban areas within the City for sustainable densification.

Acknowledgments: Frank Peters and Chris Boehme SAIT students involved in the project.

Alberta Green Building Innovation Showcase – Home Grown Advanced Materials for Green Buildings (60 minutes)

*Note: This is a 1 hour session. You will not be eligible to select a session at 10:45 am.

Home Grown Advanced Materials for Green Buildings – An Alberta Supply Chain Perspective

Across the supply chain, leading companies are taking steps to find safer alternatives for healthier and more environmentally responsible advanced green building materials. This panel discussion will bring together innovative local green building product manufacturers, designers, construction companies and occupants to examine from their various perspectives the challenges faced and creative solutions for getting new products to market in Alberta

Alberta Green Building Innovation Showcase: Intelligent Innovations for the Construction Sector (60 minutes)

*Note: This is a 1 hour session. You will not be eligible to select a session at 12:00 pm.

Intelligent Innovations for the Construction Sector – An Alberta Supply Chain Perspective

Across the supply chain, leading companies are taking steps to leverage novel software and hardware solutions to build greener buildings. This panel discussion will bring together innovative local Alberta product designers,  product developers,  manufacturers, and coders to examine from their various perspectives the challenges faced in getting new products to market. Come see where Alberta high-tech innovation meets green buildings.

Carbon as the New Metric: CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standard

The objective is audacious: to eliminate emissions from buildings by 2050. The CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative will provide the clarity required for industry to move toward this goal, redefining what should be the top environmental consideration for building design and retrofit – and the benchmark for building operations. This session will explain the imperative of using carbon as the key metric for building performance, and introduce the new Zero Carbon Building Standard, which is the first of its kind in Canada.

City Of Edmonton – Remarks & 104th Avenue Tour Launch

Welcoming the launch of Edmonton’s Avenue of Green Walking Audio Tour.


Combining Sustainability With Musical Precision: Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre (30 minutes)

Imagine having to house a growing collection of musical artifacts with strict temperature and humidity requirements. Add to that the opportunity to design a new facility to serve as cultural and educational destination, including a permanent home for Canada’s Music Hall of Fame, and you have Studio Bell—a visionary project of epic musical, architectural and engineering proportions.

Come join us on the journey to incorporate sustainable design in a facility with incredibly unique Building Envelope and HVAC needs, preserving priceless artifacts that are susceptible to minor changes in temperature and humidity with a mechanical system that is virtually invisible to the occupants.

In our journey to achieve LEED® accreditation, we will discuss the challenges we encountered designing for a building with stringent mechanical requirements and our lessons learned that can be applied to projects with complex building requirements.

Community Resilience: TOD and The Power of Transit (60 minutes)

*Note: This is a 1 hour session. You will not be eligible to select a session at 3:30 pm.

How can we ensure the resiliency of new Transit Oriented Developments (TOD)? The answer lies in various strategies to accomplish a rich diversity in every community. This presentation uses Vancouver’s Cambie Corridor as a case study of a transit corridor with principles of sustainability and transit integration and focuses on two architectural projects that bookend the corridor to exemplify these principles.

Connecting School Infrastructure With Student Learning (30 minutes)

Every project to green school buildings is an opportunity for engaging educators and students in sustainable development. School buildings are much more than just infrastructure. Whether adding solar panels or introducing smart metres, schools are learning environments. This session will show green building professionals how to work more effectively with students to empower them as future sustainability leaders.

The Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE) collaborates with school boards across the province to advance environmental education and climate leadership. ACEE works with educators in capacity building, including making connections between infrastructure development and student learning about the environment. A panel of three specialists will share stories about successful projects where students’ appreciation for the environment was enhanced by engagement in green building initiatives.

Creativity, Community, Collaboration & Change: cSPACE King Edward (30 minutes)

Description coming soon…

Edmonton Clinic Health Academy: Green Building Tour (60 minutes)

*Note: This is a 1 hour session. You will not be eligible to select a session at 2:00 pm.

Join us as we explore the dynamic Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA), a LEED Silver certified building and winner of the 2014 TOBY award (BOMA Edmonton). ECHA is an interdisciplinary health research and education facility aimed at maximizing energy efficiency, while maintaining a healthy interior environment and minimizing environmental impact.

This walking tour will provide participants with an overview of its sustainable features such as green roofs, stair culture, ‘The Right to Light’, the mechanical penthouse and much more.

During the tour, participants will learn more about the project, which includes green building signage, an open and interdisciplinary design to help occupants to cooperate better and a high demand on installations to keep the medical facilities running.

  • Learning Outcome 1: Understand how the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy helps occupants to cooperate better through an open and interdisciplinary design.
  • Learning Outcome 2: Be exposed to the sustainability features of the building and experience how these affect the building occupants.
  • Learning Outcome 3: Discover how Green Building Signage was incorporated in the LEED submission and the building’s operations
  • Learning Outcome 4: Learn about the installations that create a healthy environment for building occupants and keep the building running

High Performance Building Operations: The Story Behind Rogers Place (30 minutes)

High performance building operations is a targeted building operational approach. The focus is on the triple bottom line from a sustainability point of view with the goal of reaching peak impact to social, environmental and financial corporate initiatives. Successful programs require top down strategic planning that encompass a holistic view of how the facility functions. Key to a successful program is bringing individual departments under a single umbrella towards the common objectives of increasing the guest experience, reducing environmental impact and improving the financial bottom line. This presentation will explore several different components that affect high performance building operations and if or how they are connected from a facility managers perspective.

Implementing Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy (60 minutes)

Unanimously approved by City Council in April 2015, Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy is a risk management strategy designed to transition Edmonton to a low carbon, sustainable energy future. The strategy outlines more than 150 tactics designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and generate more electricity locally. As the strategy moves forward into implementation, efforts to mitigate energy use in Edmonton’s buildings are critically important to achieving Edmonton’s climate targets. This session will dive into the details of several foundational policies and programs essential to the implementation of Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy, such as:

  • Large building energy benchmarking, reporting and disclosure program
  • Residential energy labelling and disclosure program
  • City of Edmonton’s corporate sustainable building policy

Integrative Design: The Story Behind Worthington Waterless WC (30 minutes)

The talk will include a brief description of our company and how we decided to develop the Worthington Water Closet. I will tell the story of prototyping a self contained solar powered water closet with ultra-low operating cost. The presentation will include a 90 second high quality video that was produced by Hoopla Media for the Emerald Foundation Award finalists. The presentation will end with a description of where we are going with this technology presently and into the future. This will leave time at the end to take questions.


KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: The 6000 Piece Puzzle that Creates the Larger Picture

Innovation is a dynamic term that is often associated with the next big idea. While product innovation is a major focus for Shaw Industries, the journey of agility to remain a sustainable leader in the flooring industry has been paved by the micro successes and failures which amass the larger scene.

Shaw Industries will share meaningful contributions that embraced the circular economy based on the Cradle to Cradle building blocks. They will discuss how these principles built an ethical framework that enriched their corporate culture, positively impacted their community and continues to nurture idea incubators that benefit the environment. This presentation will also discuss Shaw’s continued commitment and investment to initiatives that support integrative processes, critical connections for regenerative design and the fundamental drive to succeed in positive material flows.

LEED for Existing Buildings Version 4 and the Arc Performance Score – Case Studies (30 minutes)

LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB), the rating system that focuses on operations and maintenance, has a new iteration: version 4. All projects which did not register for certification (or recertification) prior to October 31, 2016 will need to use this version rather than the older version 2009. For those who were accustomed to version 2009, there will be an adjustment.

As well, the U.S. Green Building Council has created a new, alternative certification pathway known as the Arc Performance Score (formerly known as the LEED Dynamic Plaque). This alternative to “traditional” LEED-EB certification should require less application time and effort – there is an emphasis on simple, key performance indicators rather than extensive tracking and documentation. Proponents applaud the tool for allowing a building to continuously benchmark its performance and provide frequent feedback to engage occupants. In fact, the opinions of a building’s occupants play an important role in determining the project’s score, which is updated annually.  However, being “dynamic” may not be for everyone, in an industry accustomed to a more predictable or static LEED certification level.

This session will share challenges and lessons learned from real projects to compare and contrast the two certification paths. To encourage interaction, participants will be asked to divide into small groups and prepare an “elevator pitch” for one program or the other.

LEED ND: The Next Generation of Sustainable Communities (30 minutes)

Greg will Present and discuss the application of LEED ND throughout an infill planning, design and development process:

– Site analysis (identification constraints, opportunities, risks and strategies)
– Public engagement (telling the project “story” and identifying community concerns)
– Planning (advancing green neighbourhood design through policy and regulation)
– Design (leveraging and enhancing existing hard and soft infrastructure)
– The “business case” (how, when and why to pursue project certification)

Living, Working, and Playing in Downtown Edmonton (Tower E) (30 minutes)

What if home, work, and shopping were within one building? It would mean we would drive less and contribute more to our surrounding community. We present the new face of sustainable living in Edmonton’s downtown core. Tower E will be the tallest structure west of Toronto and is the epicenter of the City’s efforts to revitalize the downtown core.

Rising over 820 feet above the ICE District, Tower E provides a total of 1,303,165 SF of space. The Tower’s design comprises 26 floors of office space, 320 luxury residential units and 1,258 below grade parking stalls.

Unlike a conventional office building, LEED® design must take into account a larger variety of spaces with differing sustainability requirements. Join us as we tell the story behind Canada’s latest marvel, standing as a beacon for sustainable revitalization in Edmonton’s downtown core.

Make the Local Global: I Say LEED, You Say Protect Mother Earth (30 minutes)

Too often governments or professionals apply a global solution with no consideration to the local requirements. In 1981, two identical schools were built for the two unique communities of Peerless Trout First Nation. No consideration was given for the identity of each community, resulting in schools that students do not have pride in. 35 years later, we held interactive engagement sessions among the First Nation representatives and design team, allowing the two different communities to be heard for two new schools that each reflect their unique values and views on sustainability. Come see how to make the local global.

Material Considerations in LEED v4 (30 minutes)

Materials and Resources is the most heavily revised category in LEED v4. Design professionals will have to relearn the requirements for credit compliance in order to implement the new strategies effectively.

This session will highlight the details, challenges, and key considerations for the new LEED v4 Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) and Low-emitting material requirements.  Presenter Marsha Gentile will highlight lessons learned from real project work in relation to LEED v4.

  • Learning Outcome 1:  Identify the requirements of the new BPDO and low-emitting materials credits in LEED v4.
  • Learning Outcome 2:  Recognize backup documentation that is required for LEED v4 material submittals
  • Learning Outcome 3:  Approach LEED v4 Materials and Resources credits with greater confidence and understanding

Net Zero, Net Zero Ready and Passive House: What Does it All Mean? (30 minutes)

There has been recent and renewed interest in Net Zero, Net Zero Ready and Passive House in the last year. With the City of Vancouver adopting Passive House as a path for demonstrating compliance with municipal bylaws, and municipalities (including Edmonton) looking to strengthen their sustainable building policies, more and more focus is being put on these concepts. Our presentation will focus the following aspects:

  1. Net Zero definitions – energy, on-site renewables, off-site renewables, carbon
  2. Passive House as a way to Net Zero readiness
  3. Considerations for Passive House – challenges, design considerations, cost implications, LCC implications
  4. Net Zero design considerations – dependent on definition, what to consider from an architectural point of view (energy conservation), what to consider from and M&E point of view
  5. Small case studie(s) of successful Net Zero projects in Canada with a focus on take-aways in terms of challenges and design considerations

PANEL DISCUSSION: Less Is More – Sustainability in Alberta

It has been 20 years since the first Sustainable Building Symposium launching a vision for a sustainable built environment. Join us to reflect on the journey of innovation on the path to a low carbon future – resiliency, efficiency, economic opportunity and diversification.

Redefining ‘Sustainability’ (30 minutes)

What does sustainability really mean? It is a term that is thrown around to describe a whole host of building processes and practices. We tend to focus on specific areas in building design – from energy and water use to transit and storm water systems to name a few – but not on other areas such as universal design and health that are inherently sustainable by nature. We also treat sustainability as an add-on and not as an integral part of the process, as if it’s optional in today’s current climate.

This presentation will explore other concepts that are inherently sustainable as well as how to integrate these concepts and apply sustainable systems thinking to your design and building process. With audience feedback, we will redefine what makes a project truly sustainable and identify key strategies to incorporate into your next project.

Reimagine (30 minutes)

We are at a point of opportunity. New office towers are under construction in every major urban centre. These towers, designed to achieve LEED® Gold or Platinum ratings, are attracting some of the largest and best tenants. The remaining building stock that filled our urban cores in the 1970s is reaching the 50-year mid-life point, and is becoming relatively less attractive to both owners and tenants.

So there is a choice – do we just patch up these older buildings until it’s time to tear them down and replace them with new ones? Or is there another way to frame this question?

Across North America, the typical approach to “old” buildings has been to tear them down and build something new. With land values increasing and innovative technologies enabling taller and more complex buildings with larger floorplates, we’ve long been able to argue for the economics of replacing buildings with newer “greener” ones. So what’s the “New and Improved” version of existing buildings?

Traditional analysis suggests that older buildings can’t function as well as new ones, or be as sustainable. But is that really the case? Is there another way to look at the business case?

The alternative to replacing aging buildings is to “reimagine” them. How to do that is becoming top of mind, for the owners, investors as well as tenants. There are three pillars to the reimagine strategy:

  • Enhanced Urban Design – the appearance of existing buildings can be dramatically improved by making modifications to the building façade and glazing.
  • Improved Energy Efficiency – Energy use can be reduced, by improving the building envelope, as well as the passive and active building control systems. This can result in smaller mechanical and electrical systems, and improved occupant behaviour and comfort.
  • Re-energized office interiors – Office space in existing buildings can be made more attractive by bringing in fresh air, increased natural light and using healthier materials.
    And the reimagine process can, if well handled, be completed with minimal disruption to existing tenants.


As environmental sustainability rises to the forefront of virtually every corporation, we are reminded of the 40% contribution of buildings, both in terms of operational energy use, carbon generation and embodied energy in the materials. The opportunity to enhance the performance of existing buildings represents “low-hanging fruit”. These benefits create a ripple effect, benefiting everyone from investors to owners to passers-by to occupants, as well as facility operations and management.


Description coming soon…

The Future of Buildings and Canada’s Role (30 minutes)

Existing buildings are key to a carbon-free future. They make up over 80% of Canada’s building stock which will continue to be in operations in 2030 and beyond. This presentation will showcase research findings that offer a roadmap for the role that large commercial, institutional and residential buildings can play in meeting climate change targets while fostering economic growth and energy savings. It will unpack the particular strategies that can be undertaken in Alberta to retrofit its existing building stock and set itself on the pathway to a low carbon future.

Three Successes & Three Challenges of the Canadian Charter LEED-ND TwinHills Calgary (30 minutes)

TwinHills was one of the original USGBC LEED-ND Charter Projects and one of the largest at 275 acres with Mixed Use, Transit Oriented SE17 Ave Corridor – Purpose Designed/Built as a Cyber WORK-LIVE Hub due to its energy resiliency, CRTC broadband speed and dependability, POP, close intermodal proximity to downtown, the airport, CP and CN Rail Terminal, and remains out of flood zones and flight paths. High Tech industries demand LEED or LEEDND globally recognized standards. The presentation will also include discovered gaps in LEED-ND theory and practice, such as errors with Google Maps – one of which involves incorrect land boundaries and lack of land titles.

Town of Devon’s Journey to Net Zero Future for 2050 (30 minutes)

The Town of Devon is located along the banks of the scenic North Saskatchewan River, approximately a 10 minute drive from the Edmonton International Airport and a 15 minute drive south of the City of Edmonton. The Town of Devon is an environmentally conscious community and Town Council has set an ambitious vision of becoming a Net Zero-Energy municipality by taking on sustainable initiatives that will reduce Devon’s environmental impact and have a positive influence on current and future generations.

The session will discuss this ambitious goal, potential opportunities, progress to date and Green Devon: The Town of Devon Green Strategy.

Walking the Talk as Sustainability Professionals (60 minutes)

*Note: This is a 1 hour session. You will not be eligible to select a session at 10:45 am.

Various credits in LEEDv4 encourage reporting of environmental impacts, with the goal of meeting national climate change targets. EPDs and CSR reports are two examples of environmental metrics. Until sustainability professionals actually practice reporting for their own organizations and reduce their footprint, these credits are at risk of being not much more than another checkmark on a LEED scorecard.

There is immense value in collecting environmental data and leveraging it to reduce carbon footprint and other kinds of environmental impacts. Professionals who understand the impacts of their own behaviour are more likely to motivate clients and colleagues to change theirs. The panel will review the different tools their organizations use to track environmental impacts and how they leverage this data to improve their performance from a social, environmental and economic perspective. Organizations that do the hard work of reporting are much more likely to meet national climate change targets, and they will meet them before 2030.