Form Follows Nature: Building a Net Positive Environment

October 5, 2017
Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre
The world’s most advanced buildings and cities are eliminating carbon and making positive contributions to energy, air and water.
Discover the processes, problems and solutions that result in projects that do more good than harm: retrofitting homes to net-zero in one day, tons of carbon sequestered in hybrid wood hi-rises, intensifying housing without towers, collaborative project delivery, transformative energy innovations and more.
Read an overview of this year’s highly successful Green Building Festival here, written by SBC’s Chair, Constantine Eliadis.
Relive the Festival programming on our YouTube Channel

Russell Acton photo

Russell Acton, Architect AIBC AAA SAA OAA FRAIC
Principal, Acton Ostry Architects Inc., Vancouver

Brock Commons Tallwood House: Mass Wood for the Masses

When completed this spring, the 18 storey Brock Commons Tallwood House student residence at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver will be the tallest contemporary mass wood building in the world! From a highly collaborative integrated design process, to a “Keep it Simple” design approach, learn how Brock Commons aspires to be a model for a future that features extraordinarily ordinary mass wood buildings for the masses.

Mark Cichy photo

Mark Cichy
Director of Computation and Research, DIALOG

Leveraging Computational Design for High Performance Building Envelopes

Mark has over 15 years’ experience leveraging Computational Design to create highly functional spaces that push the boundaries of form, transforming the improbable into the possible to create iconic structures. He has worked on some of the most noted buildings designed in Canada in recent years as well as significant projects internationally. As Director of Computational Design and Research, Mark helps all studios across North America design computational algorithms that interface with most AEC and PLM software platforms. He leads a research division within DIALOG that crosses disciplinary boundaries and goes beyond theory or form making for form’s sake. 

Bryn Davidson photo

Bryn DavidsonB.Eng. M.Arch, LEED-AP
Co-OwnerLanefab Design/Build.  

From Laneway Houses to Net Positive Development

In 2009 Lanefab designed and built the City of Vancouver’s first laneway house using R40 prefab walls and triple glazed windows. In the ensuing years the Lanefab team has completed more than 60 high performance homes (of all sizes) and are now working on a wide range of passive house projects in Vancouver & San Francisco. Lanefab’s projects have been featured in the New York Times, Gray Magazine, Western Living and the Vancouver Sun.

Bryn trained in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley before completing his Masters of Architecture at the University of British Columbia. His approach to Net Positive development was the topic of a TEDx talk in 2014. 

Bill Dunster photo

Prof. Bill Dunster, OBE, MA Hons
Principal, ZEDfactory (UK)

From BedZED to the ‘Zero Bills Home’: 20 years of architecture & masterplanning designing out fossil fuels

Bill set up ZEDfactory in 1999. As a practice ZEDfactory’s projects demonstrate a step change reduction in carbon footprint can be achieved at the same time as an increase in overall quality of life. ZEDfactory has experience working on a large range of architectural projects varying in size from large scale masterplanning to small residential refurbs. ZEDfactory has worked in Brazil, China, Korea, the Middle-East and Portugal as well as the UK, with particular emphasis on the holistic integration of zero carbon thinking into the place- making and transportation agenda.

Bill has taught at the Architectural Association, University College London, Kingston University, Harvard and EPFL in Lausanne. He also gives lectures, conducts workshops and speaks regularly at conferences globally as well as within the UK. He is currently a Visiting Professor of Zero Carbon Urbanism at UCL and at Cardi University. The ‘ZEDbook’ was co-written by Bill with eco footprint expert Craig Simmons and building physicist Bobby Gilbert – a manual for achieving zero carbon development at different densities and scales – which won the RIBA Research Award in 2008. In 2010, Bill received the OBE for services to Sustainable Housing Design.

Kevin Flanagan, PLP Architecture

Kevin Flanagan, MRAIC, AIA
Partner, PLP Architecture, London, UK

The Edge, Amsterdam and The Oakwood, London

Kevin Flanagan is a Partner at PLP Architecture and an architect with 30 years’ experience establishing a reputation for award-winning designs throughout major world cities His design solutions resolve both the city context and environmental concerns in a single bold concept; his designs are a response to the nature of place.

Amongst other projects, Kevin is currently working on PLP’s timber tower research project together with the University of Cambridge. The feasibility proposals imagine the future development of laminated timber tall buildings in central London, adding an 80-storey, 300-metre tower and additional levels of housing to the Barbican complex.

Donald Peckover photo

Donald Peckover, BArchSc, LEED AP
Architectural Designer, SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building (Toronto ON)

Net-Positive Development: Improving an Ecosystem

Donald Peckover is an Architectural Designer at SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building, a professional architecture practice in Toronto focusing not only on sustainable design but also on resilient buildings and community engagement. Donald has experience in designing and building homes and communities across North America - including disaster-prone areas such as the Atlantic coasts of Florida and Far Rockaway, New York - as well as environmentally-conscious designs for the Oak Ridges Moraine area in Ontario. In designing in these sensitive areas it is important to respect nature and the environment in order to reduce disaster risk and promote positive change in homes and neighbourhoods.

Neetika Sathe photo

Neetika Sathe
Director, Advanced Planning, Alectra Inc. 

Solar panels + battery storage + software = Canada’s first Virtual Power Plant

As Director, Advanced Planning at Alectra Inc., Neetika Sathe’s role is to identify, analyze and develop leading-edge innovative technologies and business opportunities. Prior to joining Alectra, Neetika was the Chief Marketing Manager at Nissan Canada responsible for the launch of the Nissan LEAF in Canada. 

She serves on the board of several industry associations such as SmartGrid Canada and Electric Mobility Canada, including Chairing the Board of NSERC Energy Storage Technology (NEST) Network.  Neetika was recognized by Energy Storage North America with the 2016 Champion Award for her leadership and exceptional achievement in advancing energy storage technology.

Neetika has a Masters degree in Physics from Panjab University, followed by an MBA from McMaster University.

Paul Savage photo

Paul Savage
CEO, Nextek Power Systems
Chairman & Co-Founder, EMerge Alliance

DC Microgrids and Buildings: Crucial Components of a Net Zero Environment

Paul Savage is the CEO of Nextek Power Systems, and the Chairman and Co-Founder of the EMerge Alliance, the first effort to establish harmonized dc power standards globally. Nextek’s flagship product, the Power hub Driver, or “PhD” was named a top-ten product of the year by BuildingGreen.com at the 2016 USBC GreenBuild event.

Birgit Siber photo

Birgit Siber, B. Arch OAA RAIC LEED AP
Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects

ecoMetrics – Energy Modeling for the Rest of Us

Ms. Siber is a principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects and has practiced architecture since 1987. Sustainability has been a constant focus in Birgit’s work; she chairs the office sustainable design committee and actively promotes green building design within the office, community and at sustainable design conferences. Birgit has been instrumental in developing ecoMetrics, an in-house tool to support energy literacy, inform energy benchmarking and forward sustainable design within the office and beyond. Birgit also serves as vice chair of the Toronto 2030 District Advisory Board.

In the role of project architect, Birgit has focused on a broad range of institutional and laboratory projects including the University of Guelph-Humber, which incorporates the first innovative large scale living bio-filter plant wall, CANMET Metallurgical Materials lab for the federal government that is LEED Platinum certified and recipient of the 2015 AIA COTE Top 10 Award and most recently, the newly opened Lazaridis Hall at Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Toronto Schools.

Tristan Truyens Senior Energy Analyst, DIALOG

Tristan Truyens
Senior Energy Analyst,
DIALOG

Leveraging Computational Design for High Performance Building Envelopes

Tristan began his career developing real-time simulations of nuclear power stations for the purpose of operator training. Through this experience, he developed strong background in simulation, energy analysis and the interaction between building mechanical, process and architectural systems. Since migrating to the world of sustainable design, Tristan has been focused on using energy modelling to reduce the energy intensity of our built environment through design analysis for new construction and retrofit analysis for existing buildings. Tristan has delivered presentations at ASHRAE/IBPSA Building Simulation Conferences, local IBSPSA chapter events as well as at each of DIALOG’s offices across Canada.

Mike Williams photo

Mike Williams, P.Eng, MSc., LEED AP
Principal, Sustainability, RWDI

ecoMetrics – Energy Modeling for the Rest of Us

Mike Williams brings over a decade of sustainable design experience to RWDI’s High Performance Buildings group. Clients benefit from his expertise in green standards compliance and in the development of carbon reduction and energy efficiency strategies. Mike has been a key contributor to some of Canada’s greenest buildings, including the CANMET Materials and Testing Laboratory in Hamilton and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation Headquarters in Toronto, both of which earned LEED Platinum certification and set new standards for sustainability in their respective communities. Mike has a strong record of in-house innovation and thought leadership, including the creation of COMPASS, a groundbreaking energy data visualization platform.

Michelle Xuereb photo

Michelle Xuereb, B.E.S., B.Arch., OAA, LEED AP BD+C,
Senior Associate, Sustainability Strategist,
Quadrangle Architects

Designing for Future Weather

Michelle is a licensed architect and Senior Associate at Quadrangle Architects Limited. Michelle joined Quadrangle in 2006 as an architect and the firm’s Sustainability Strategist, leading Quadrangle’s Green Team and working on over 30 LEED certified projects. Michelle is a specialist in complex projects including planning and phasing of the most nuanced renovation projects. Projects of note include 130 Bloor Street West, 700 Bay Street, ONroute service centres, Corus Entertainment and 80 Atlantic, a five storey wood office building. Michelle has been active in many local green initiatives, such as the consultation processes with the City of Toronto for the Toronto Green Standard, Bird Friendly Development Guidelines and the Green Roof By-law. Prior to joining the Board, Michelle was the architect for The Archetype Sustainable Condo Project and was the Past Secretary of the Canada Green Building Council Greater Toronto Chapter.

2017 Sponsors

Thank you to our valued Green Building Festival sponsors for their support

Platinum Sponsor:

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Silver Sponsors:

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Reception Sponsor:

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2017 Partners

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