The Better Buildings Boot Camp BBBC24 runs from May 13 – 17, 2024! Register by April 12th to reserve your spot! Sign-Up Here The Better Buildings Boot Camp is a free one-week, online summer program to demonstrate best practice in sustainable buildings.   Graduate and diploma students from Canadian universities and colleges from any field of study are welcome to attend. The Boot Camp consists of live webinar plenary sessions facilitated by professional and/or academic experts on topics relevant to the week’s project building. Sessions contain a variety of individual and panel style discussions and are interactive through the use of surveys, polls, chat, and contain links to additional information. Students are divided into cross-institutional and multi-disciplinary groups, and participate daily in on-line collaborative group discussions and activities, allowing students to engage directly with each other to determine their group’s recommendations for the building. Monday – Wednesday, students learn about a variety of topics relevant to sustainable buildings, providing them with sufficient background so that they can observe an actual professional workshop with the building project team on Thursday, and then present their own recommendations and ideas for improving the building design to the project team on Friday.


Students share what aspects of the program they find most valuable

“Building a new St. Lawrence Centre (STLC) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redefine a cultural destination in the centre of downtown Toronto. Sustainable Buildings Canada understood the complex and challenging project, bringing together subject matter experts and many stakeholder perspectives, including various agencies from the City of Toronto. The students brought creativity and intentionality when discussing sustainability and technology issues to ensure the new STLC will be future-proof. Thank you to Sustainable Buildings Canada and the students and the teachers for challenging our team to be Net positive!”

“The Better Buildings Bootcamp was an awesome experience, where I got the chance to connect with and collaborate with my fellow future change-makers, all while learning from a wide variety of experts in the industry. The interdisciplinary nature of the BBBC was wonderful and inspiring – I can’t recommend this experience enough!”
“Being able to work with people from various career backgrounds” “Networking with professionals, their presentations covering all aspects for retrofitting the building in question and their general experience.” “Getting to talk with students and experts from different educational backgrounds” “Getting different perspectives of sustainable building” “The Better Buildings Bootcamp was an awesome experience, where I got the chance to connect with and collaborate with my fellow future changemakers, all while learning from a wide variety of experts in the industry. The interdisciplinary nature of the BBBC was wonderful and inspiring – I can’t recommend this experience enough!”

BBBC is an intensive, one-week, on-line experience for graduate and diploma students to learn from experienced professionals in sustainable building.  

Monday is about setting GOALS.  Today you will…

  • learn about the goals of the boot camp
  • meet the project building team and learn about the project building
  • meet your TEAM!
  • learn about goal setting in the built environment from a variety of perspectives
  • learn about Opaque Assemblies (walls, roofs, etc) including a live Q&A with a professional subject matter expert in the field.

Tuesday is about TOOLS OF THE TRADE.  Today, you will:

  • learn about tools and frameworks used to make decisions about buildings (i.e. energy & parametric modelling, Integrated Project Design & Delivery, embodied carbon and approaches to circularity)
  • have time to meet with your TEAM to discuss your presentation on Friday (Day 5)
  • share what tools, vocabulary, frameworks you use in your field of study
  • learn about Fenestration (aka windows!) including a live Q&A with a professional subject matter expert in the field.

Wednesday is about HUMANS IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT.  Today, you will:

  • hear SBC’s approach to decolonization, inclusion, equity and diversity, anti-racism, anti-violence and accessibility in the built environment
  • meet a panel discussing accessibility in the built environment
  • learn about indoor environmental quality
  • learn about decolonizing the built environment
  • have time to meet with your TEAM
  • learn about Mechanical Systems (heating, cooling, ventilation, etc) including a live Q&A with a professional subject matter expert in the field.

Thursday you are invited to virtually observe the actual professional design workshop where professional experts and the project building team will discuss how to reach the project building’s sustainability goals.


  • you’ll learn about overcoming obstacles and identifying opportunities to sustainable buildings. 
  • each TEAM will present their recommendations to the project building team.
  • Shift & Share: volunteer students will share what their area of interest/study/work/research is and how it might be relevant to making better buildings.
  • Closing remarks and thanks.

Interested in attending BBBC24? Send us an email bootcamp@sbcanada.org

Every year, the BBBC focuses on a real-life project building: either a high-performance new build or one undergoing a deep energy retrofit.  

BBBC 2024 will focus on 500 University Avenue, a 10-story office and classroom building in the University of Toronto portfolio. The building was originally constructed in the 1950s as an office and retail space before being acquired by the school.  The goal is to do a deep energy retrofit with net positive outcomes for humans and the environment.   

We are always on the lookout for project buildings for our next BBBC! If you would like a crack team of independent subject matter experts and a cross-section of highly motivated and interdisciplinary students to give you independent and free advice on how to make your building better, reach out to bootcamp@sbcanada.org to tell us about your building!

Below are the awesome subject matter experts who spoke at BBBC23.  If you are interested in joining our team, please reach out to bootcamp@sbcanada.org  Please see our statement at the bottom of this page about SBC’s ongoing commitment to recruitment.

Scott Armstrong
Enclosures Expert

Scott is as a subject matter expert on enclosures. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a Building Science Specialist (BSS), and Certified Engineering Technologist (CET). Scott successfully bridges the traditional gap between Architectural and Engineering disciplines and presents regularly on topics such as enclosure design, high performance building design, and existing building retrofits.

Nicole Arsenault
Program Director, Sustainability

Sustainability champion who is passionate about building a more innovative, just and sustainable world. Nicole Arsenault, York alumna and Program Director at the Office of Sustainability, believes sustainability should be embedded into everything we do.

Amal Awini
Director of Housing & Conference Services

Experienced, results-oriented, and strategic professional with over 25 years of experience in leading and building Housing, Residence Life and Conference operations in various institutions and provinces in Canada. A successful leader of diverse and achieved teams; and an effective driver of institutional change initiatives that enhance the student experience and support the University’s academic mission. Proven ability to build community relations, collaborate with partners, increase service quality and value, and enhance business processes efficiency in an educational environment with a focus on students’ success and enhancing the student experience.

Sebastián Carrizo​​
Energy and Sustainability Expert

Sebastián is a Senior Building Performance Consultant who joined DIALOG with extensive experience in energy simulation and analysis, over a range of market sectors including commercial, education, healthcare, and residential buildings. Sebastián’s focus is on the energy performance of buildings, including complying with local green building codes, attaining Net Zero or LEED certification, and hitting energy efficiency targets specific to an organization. He works closely with design teams from an early stage to create high performance buildings both for new construction or existing building retrofits.

Ryan Evans

Ryan is a specialist in high performance building design and operations. As principal of EVNA Engineering, Ryan and his team assist their clients with achieving their sustainability objectives in the built environment. From a young age, Ryan has loved to build things and solve problems. Today, that childhood passion is what drives him forward as he works on developing innovative solutions to combat the ever growing problem of climate change. Ryan holds a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering, is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario, a Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP), and is bilingual in English and French.

Charles Gillott
Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Sheffield

Dr. Charles Gillott researches circular economy in the built environment at The University of Sheffield, England. His work addresses multiple aspects of circularity across various spatial scales, including the reuse of buildings, components, and materials at the neighbourhood, city, and national level. Charles is currently working with Toronto Metropolitan University to better understand circular economy policy and its influence on construction-sector practice in different international contexts.

Bettina Hoar
Indoor Environmental Quality Expert

A Certified Sustainable Building Advisor, Bettina is one of the founding members of GreenBuilding LearningZone.org, a green building education collaborative and the creator and organizer of the Better Buildings Boot Camp, a week-long interdisciplinary, multi-institutional virtual boot camp for graduate students in Ontario.

Leslie Kulperger
Program Delivery and Evaluation Expert

Leslie a continuous improvement professional focused on the environment, sustainability, and energy conservation. For over 20 years, Leslie has developed expertise in several areas, including researching and developing regional, provincial, and national waste reduction, conservation, and energy efficiency programs, implementing and scaling programs across multiple jurisdictions, evaluating technologies and programs, managing the evaluation and audit for a large-scale portfolio of Demand-side Management offerings in Ontario, and integrating organizational systems (e.g., Environment, Health, and Safety management system into an organizational Operations system).

Haley Rae Lawson
Accessibility Specialist

Haley Rae helps to lead and develop inclusive design strategies and practices across multiple complex projects and various public forums. She primarily focuses on services such as consulting, certification and benchmarking, guidelines and standards, building audits, and training. She contributes her technical expertise on national, provincial and municipal accessibility requirements and better practices. She actively practices allyship, and draws on her lived, professional and volunteer experiences to advocate for inclusion, equity and accessibility. Haley Rae’s background in environmental design, and experience as a design educator at OCAD University, contribute to her unique perspective in accessibility consulting.

Mike Layton
Chief Sustainability Officer,
York University

A former Toronto City Councillor, Mike has worked tirelessly to protect and improve City services that people depend on, and to preserve the diverse character of the city’s neighbourhoods. He has been a strong voice on City Council to make Toronto a world leader in the fight against climate change, circular economy and biodiversity. He has also championed building new affordable housing, investments in arts and culture, music, indigenous issues and reconciliation, public transit, and cycling infrastructure. A results-focused strategist with 17 years of experience developing, advancing and managing innovative policies, campaigns and government programs. Seeking a new opportunity to drive impactful change in the sustainability sector.

Josh Lewis
Active (Mechanical) Systems, Indoor Air Quality, and Building Automation Expert

As an electrical engineer, Josh has a deep knowledge of both the underlying fundamentals and practical application of world-class engineering principles, enabling him to holistically evaluate the design and operation of integrated systems.

Alex Lukachko
Building Enclosure Expert

Alex Lukachko has been in the building science field for over 20 years. He manages the RDH’s Ontario region and consults with clients in Canada and the United States, including building material manufacturers, constructors, and architecture firms. Alex also teaches the integration of energy, building science and design concepts in the architecture program at the University of Toronto. As a consultant, Alex is typically involved in early project stage consulting for high performance new construction or existing building retrofits, using an integrated approach to enclosure, mechanical system and energy performance design.

David MacMillan
Program Manager
City of Toronto

David MacMillan is a Program Manager with the City of Toronto’s Environment & Energy Division. He is a Community Energy Planning practitioner who is well-versed in land-use planning, climate change, and municipal policymaking. He holds a Masters in Environmental Studies with a specialization in Urban Planning.

Jayde Malam
Accessibility Consultant

Jayde is (among many things) a CPACC certified, Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certified professional who is passionate about using universal design practices to make inclusive, accessible spaces that can be enjoyed by all. She is always learning and obtaining new certifications to keep current.

Lori O’Malley

Lori has a unique role at PCL as well as in the construction industry. In her early years as licensed professional engineer she developed a passion for building envelopes and ensuring no water, air or other unwanted elements could penetrate a structure’s exterior or performance problems occur. As she rose through the ranks, Lori became one of only a handful of envelope engineering specialists in North America to work for a construction company instead of a consulting firm – a role PCL is proud to have. She assists with any project wanting to leverage her unique skills to make sure structures are sealed tight and is motivated to bring the best possible quality product to owners.

Nicole Parsons
Façade Engineering Specialist

Nicole Parsons is a Façade Specialist in the Building Sciences group in WSP’s Toronto office with a focus on new construction and deep retrofit. She enjoys seeing her projects through from conception to completion including the problem solving involved with working through challenging detailing to ensure the client is receiving the quality they expect. Nicole believes a successful project is dependent on effective communication between all team members; the consultants, the contractor and the owner. Nicole has worked in WSP’s Toronto, Calgary and Hamilton offices.

Patrick Saavedra
Director of Planning and Renovations

York University’s director of planning and renovations in Facilities Services, has been recognized as an industry leader with an Innovation Spotlight Award from the Canada BIM Council. Patrick Saavedra was the recipient of the Professional Achievement Award, which goes to the CanBIM member who has made a significant and meaningful contribution to the advancement of Canada’s digital transformation through the implementation of technology and innovation. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure

Marine Sanchez
Building Science Engineer

Chartered, bilingual building science engineer, Passive House designer and certifier at RDH Building Science. Marine is based in Toronto, and leads RDH’s Passive House services. Driven to make a positive impact with every project, she uses her passion and expertise to drive change in the industry to face this climate emergency.

Michael Singleton
Executive Director, Sustainable Buildings Canada

As Executive Director of Sustainable Buildings Canada (SBC) Michael Singleton has more than 20 years of experience as an economist focused on energy policy and resource planning. In his role as Executive Director of SBC, Michael manages all aspects of the organization’s operations, and delivers the SBC mandate. He has been involved extensively with energy policy, program design, delivery, and evaluation. His hands-on methods deliver results, and include the delivery of integrated design process workshops, training, education, and research. He also leads SBCs flagship event, the annual Green Building Festival.

Sean Sirgi
Building Performance Analyst

Sean has experience in new construction energy modelling, and model measurement and verification.  He has strong technical software skills as well as an excellent ability to apply new concepts when problem solving. During his undergraduate studies, Sean started to develop a keen interest in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and building science. Combining these concepts on a daily basis to help improve the built environment and it’s impact on our ecosystem through high performance building design became his passion. Today, Sean takes great pride in working with clients and industry professionals to find optimal solutions for energy conservation, while considering practical and financial feasibility.

Cara Sloat
Sustainable Building Design

Cara is a Senior Mechanical Engineer and an active promoter and designer of sustainable buildings, with design experience in retrofits and new construction. Specializing in multi-unit residential, municipal, and commercial developments, but with broad interest in working with a variety of occupancy types and in district and community design.

Graeme Stewart
Principal at ERA Architects

Graeme has been involved in numerous urban design, cultural planning, conservation and architecture projects with particular focus on neighbourhood design and regional sustainability. Graeme was a key initiator of the Tower Renewal Partnership. Graeme is a founding director of the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal (CUG+R), an interdisciplinary urban research organization, working with NGOs, academic, government and community partners. CUG+R supports policy and action toward more equitable and resilient urban regions. Graeme is a member of the Toronto Community Housing Design Review Panel and a regular lecturer at universities in Canada and abroad.

Freedom Stone
OAA Intern | M.Arch | CPHD | MRAIC

Freedom Stone is working as a Project Lead and Intern Architect with Smoke Architecture Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Architectural Science with a concentration in Building Science, and a Master of Architecture from Toronto Metropolitan University. Freedom is passionate about sustainable design and has recently become certified as a Passive House Designer – making strides in her career toward understanding and applying principles of building performance and science. Being Anishinaabekwe and Jamaican, she is dedicated to creating spaces for BIPOC and other underrepresented communities by thinking critically about architecture in terms of how space is presented and represented.

Devon Stopps
Senior Engineer
Public Energy Initiatives

Entrepreneurial, leader with exceptional organizational skills, problem solver, jack of all trades, motivated self-starter, project and personnel manager, strong business & finance knowledge, able to communicate at many levels (and with a great bedside manner), hands-on designer/experimenter, research and analysis expertise.

Betty Tesfay
Building Performance Analyst, EVNA

Betty’s passion for green energy and sustainability has shaped her undergraduate education, her career, and her life. She is dedicated to expanding her knowledge about the green energy and sustainability industry and finding ways to contribute positively in the industry.

Marianne Touchie
Director of the Building Energy and Indoor Environment Lab

Marianne is the Director of the Building Energy and Indoor Environment Lab and Principal Investigator at the University of Toronto’s Hub for Advancing Buildings. Her research team focuses on improving the energy performance and indoor environmental quality of existing buildings to make them more comfortable, healthy and sustainable through comprehensive retrofits. This work includes field monitoring of building energy performance and indoor environmental parameters as well as occupant behaviours and perceptions through surveys and interviews. Most recently, she has initiated a number of interdisciplinary projects with colleagues in architecture, public health and the social sciences to evaluate how occupant wellbeing is influenced by campus, commercial and residential buildings.

Christian Tremblay
Assistant Director, Housing and Conferences

I am a seasoned administrator with over 20 years of service in various post-secondary sectors. I worked in student life, housing administration, residence life, facilities management, and human resources. I also have a passion for sustainability and innovation, which is reflected in how I work and live. I spent most of my career at the University of Alberta where I worked collaboratively with students and staff towards common objectives. Later in my career, I lead initiatives transforming how we work and communicate with students; improving our sustainable practices in the process. My passion for sustainability led me to make many changes in my personal life, such as how I commute and volunteer with a bicycle safety advocacy organization.

Steph Tzanis
EIT, MASc Building Science Candidate

Steph Tzanis studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto and has just completed their MASc in Building Science at Toronto Metropolitan University. Their wide range of professional and academic experiences, along with their passion for environmental sustainability, has brought them to the built environment. Under the supervision of Dr. Mark Gorgolewski, Steph’s research is focused on design for disassembly and determining how to attain widespread circular design practices in Ontario/Canada.
Sustainable Buildings Canada is committed to Decolonization, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism, Anti-Violence, and Accessibility. As such, we welcome, encourage, and invite people from diverse perspectives and lived experise to join our network of students, subject matter experts, consultanats, and organizational partnerships. 

The 2024 Better Buildings Bootcamp Schedule will be released soon. Stay tuned!

How do I sign up?
Applications will be posted here starting Feb. 1!
How do I contact you?

Feel free to reach out bootcamp@sbcanada.org

Who can attend?
The Boot Camp is open to graduate, certificate or diploma students from Canadian universities and colleges. We encourage students from any and all disciplines to apply! 

What are the dates & times of the program?
The Better Buildings Boot Camp will run from May 13-17th. Each day begins at 8:30 AM and ends at 3:30 PM. There may be additional time requirements for Team activities. It is important that you attend the full week and are able to participate fully in each day’s activities including presentations, workshops, and group activities. Please ensure you are able to commit to the full boot camp before you sign up.

What does it cost?
The BBBC is provided FREE by Sustainable Buildings Canada.

Do I have to attend all sessions?
In order to receive a Certificate of Completion you must attend the full Boot Camp. Please only sign up if you are able to commit to the full week.

What if I cannot attend one (or more) session(s) due to unforeseen circumstances?
We understand, of course, that sometimes emergencies happen. We ask that you contact us ASAP so we can advise your Team members of your absence and determine if you will still be eligible for the Certificate of Completion.

Why was the BBBC created?

The BBBC was created by Sustainable Buildings Canada in 2019 to fill gaps we identified as existing barriers to implementation of best practice for designing, building, and operating better buildings:
1) a paucity of opportunities for cross-institutional academic collaboration. To overcome this barrier, our academic advisory committee that helped to create, and continues to advise us, includes academics from Carleton University, George Brown College, Seneca College, University of Toronto, Toronto Metropolitan University and York University, 
2) a lack of multi-disciplinary collaboration amongst students from different fields of study and different institutions. In our case, the program is open to and has been attended so far by students from 10+ colleges and universities across Canada, from traditional building fields such as architecture, building science, engineering as well as non-building fields of study including strategic innovation and foresight, environmental science, anthropology and forestry, creative writing, etc; and 

3) a void between academic research and innovation and professional practice. Our program was also developed with input from SBC’s broad base of subject matter experts in sustainable building. A variety of academics and professionals participate in the camp.

Will participants receive a certificate?
Participants who complete the full week will receive a Certificate of Completion provided by Sustainable Buildings Canada.

What is the virtual platform?
Zoom will be used to deliver presentations from subject matter experts and work together with fellow students. A free Zoom user account is required to ensure Boot Camp meetings are secure. 

Where can I get more information?
Keep checking back to the BBBC webpage for further information about Boot Camp.

What is the format?
The Boot Camp is a week-long virtual course that consists of a combination of presentations, expert panel discussions, workshops, group discussions, observation of a professional workshop, and your team presentation. 

What will the presentations cover? 
Presentations will cover a broad range of building-related topics including building science, indoor environmental quality, energy generation, lighting design, heating/cooling/ventilation systems, sustainable design, windows and daylighting, energy modelling, community & placemaking, and more. 

Who are the presenters?
Presenters at the Better Buildings Boot Camp are subject matter experts from various disciplines within the building sector.  See the Speaker section for more information.

What level of interaction will participants have with presenters?
Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A period for students to ask their questions directly to speakers.

Expectations of microphones/cameras virtual etiquette?
It is expected that participants will engage as fully as possible within the technical capacity of their technology/internet connection. For group activities it is preferable to have cameras on whenever possible and microphones off when not speaking to minimize background noise and distractions.

Can participants receive copies of presentations/video recordings after the Boot Camp?
All sessions except the professional workshop will be recorded and available on SBC’s YouTube channel after the Boot Camp. When presenters agree to share their presentations, these will be shared with students.

What device/browser should I use?
Zoom can be accessed on most devices but participants will likely have the best experience if joining on a PC/Mac or full-function tablet (e.g. Apple iPad or Microsoft Surface Pro). Ad blockers may cause issues when connecting, if you experience any problems when joining the Boot Camp, try disabling any browser extensions and refreshing the page.

What is the preferred display name for participants?
First, Last, (pronouns)

Who can I reach out to if I’m having technical problems?
Prior to launch, please contact bootcamp@sbcanada.org for any support. During the Boot Camp, a contact will be provided for technical support and organizers can be reached through the platform-based chat.


The goal of the BBBC is for students to experience the collaborative aspect of making recommendations to an actual building project team using the integrated design and delivery process. There are three parts to the boot camp:

  1. Monday – Wednesday consists of preparatory learning: the sessions are tailored to familiarize you with the major topic areas relevant to the project building. The topics include an overview of the project building, setting goals for sustainable buildings, useful tools and vocabulary used in the built environment, overviews of the major areas of building design, construction and operations/maintenance, including fenestration (windows), opaque assemblies (walls/roofs, etc.), mechanical systems (heating/cooling/ventilation), indoor environments from a human perspective (accessibility, comfort, health & wellbeing, belonging), etc..
  2. Thursday consists of observing a professional workshop: the project team and our subject matter experts discuss and make recommendations about how to make the building better.
  3. Friday consists of sessions on identifying and overcoming obstacles to great buildings, student Team presentations of YOUR recommendations to the project building team, and Shift & Share: an opportunity for volunteer students to present your own areas of interest or expertise to the Boot Camp community.

This document outlines:

  1. A description of the building
  2. An outline of what is expected of you and your Team
  3. A primer on how to collaborate in a team
  4. The self/peer assessment form

 The BBBC24 building information will be uploaded soon.  Stay tuned for updates.



We expect your active attendance at all sessions and your full participation in the preparation of the Team presentation.  While there is Team time during the camp, most Teams will require additional time to meet outside of camp in order to prepare their recommendations to the Project Building team on Friday.

On the first day of the boot camp you will be placed in cross-curricular, multidisciplinary teams of students.  Each Team will have a unique combination of students from different institutions, fields of study, and levels of study.  Together, your Team’s unique perspective has the power to provide new insight to the client to help them determine the next steps for the project.  Pick your Team’s priority(s) for the building retrofit and recommend ways of achieving a net positive outcome(s) from your perspective.

On Friday, your team will have a 10 minute window in which to present your recommendation(s) directly to the Project Building Team.  Your time should allow for at least 3-5 minutes of Q&A by the client.  

Your presentation should clearly identify:

1) a very brief introduction of your Team,

2) a clear presentation of your Team’s top priority(s) and recommendation(s) for interventions into the building that will achieve net positive human and/or environmental outcomes.  What does YOUR team think is a key priority outcome for this project and how do you propose they approach it?

3) the rationale/support for choosing your recommendation(s).

The presentation will be live, via Zoom. Your presentation can take any format you wish. You will be able to share your screen to present slides, videos, animations, photos, etc.  You must stay within the 10 minute time frame permitted, including Q&A.  Your team must also submit your recommendations in written form (memo, powerpoint, etc.) to the client.  A minimum of two pages should include: 

  • an introduction of your Team members, 
  • a summary of your Team’s recommendations,
  • any additional recommendation(s) for the client (that you may not have discussed in your Friday presentation), and  
  • any relevant supporting documentation, links or attachments.

Separately, you will be asked by the BBBC Team to rate your own and your Team member’s participation to provide accountability for working together as a Team.  This will not be shared with the client, just used to confirm your eligibility for receiving the BBBC Certificate of Completion.  The self/peer assessment form is found at the end of this document.


A key to integrated design is the idea that everyone has something valuable to contribute.  You have been invited to join the BBBC because you have unique and valuable insight.  However, your Team only has a week to collaborate and come up with recommendation(s) for the building, so it is important that your Team meetings are effective.  To engage with and capture all your team has to offer together, it’s important to know how to collaborate in a team environment.  Our thanks to Professor John Robinson of the University of Toronto who generously provided us with the below resources and recommendations. 

1. Ensuring Positive and Productive Team Meetings

Team meetings are an important determinant of team project success. As such, you will need to find ways to ensure that your team meetings facilitate a positive and productive work environment.

1a. Positive Team Environment

Positive feelings facilitate productivity, which means that it is important that your team maintains a positive work environment. While there are many different strategies for motivating teams, most emphasize communicating openly so that the team shares a single organizational vision, ensuring that team members feel appreciated, supporting new ideas, challenging the team, and encouraging creativity. See, for example: this Huffington Post article, this article from Mind Tools, this Forbes article, and this Tech Republic article

1b. Meeting Productivity

While there is some scheduled Team time during the Boot Camp, you may find that you require additional Team meeting time outside of Boot Camp to determine and prepare your Team recommendation on Friday.  Your Team can determine whatever other platform you wish to use to communicate (Zoom/Skype/Teams, etc. meetings, etc.). For those meetings to be effective, the first step is to assign roles to your Team members.  Typical roles include Time Keeper, Agenda Maker, Facilitator, Researcher, Presenter, Notes Taker, etc.  Devising an agenda in advance of meetings, even just in simple outline form, is a key aspect of smooth meetings. The purpose of an agenda  is to ensure that you have defined an objective for your meeting. Additionally, it helps if you identify action items that team members will prepare for the meeting, goals for the outputs of each meeting and a confined time frame within which a meeting will take place. Disorganized or long meetings that drag can reduce team motivation and contribute to burnout, neither of which is conducive to delivering the best possible work. Many other sources – such as Entrepreneur, Mind Tools, 99U, and Forbes – provide additional tips for improving the productivity of meetings. 

1c. Managing and Learning from Conflict

Conflict will arise in your group at some point during the camp. During the initial stages of group formation, acknowledge that conflict will occur and discuss concrete, agreed upon steps that the group will engage in to work towards resolution. Decide how you will arrive at consensus, how difficult conversations will be managed and how to address communication breakdowns before they happen. You can find additional resources for managing conflict at the following link: https://learningcommons.ubc.ca/student-toolkits/working-in-groups/resolving-conflict/ 


2. Managing Information

Information sharing is crucial to delivering successful recommendations to the building project  team. The following are some strategies for sharing information during your presentation on Friday. 

2a. In Meetings

Given the breadth of information that you will have to cover, it might  make sense to divide research areas. If this is the strategy adopted by your team, it will be important to share information effectively. Often, this is best done through a combination of written and oral methods of information delivery: preparing short written briefs for the team can convey information and may be helpful for the final deliverable, while oral presentations of these briefings can ensure that the entire team understands the material and has the opportunity to pose questions, possibly uncovering areas for further exploration as well as research linkages. 

In addition to substantive information sharing during meetings, your team will need to keep note of action items and revisions to your plan of work as you advance throughout the week. A designated Note Taker responsible for managing these changes can be helpful.

2b. Over the Week

Students should consider how to manage information as early in the process as possible. While certain online data tools, such as Google Drive, can be useful, structures such as shared documents or folders should be in place to organize information so it can be drawn upon when needed. As well, it is advisable to decide on a process for indicating changes to any collaborative document, so that you can keep track of drafts as they change. Transparent editing processes will help to minimize stress within your teams, ensuring a positive group dynamic as the project advances. 

3. Contacting the Client: the TOLive Team

In order to prepare your design parameter recommendation(s), your team may have specific questions for the client. They are open to answering your questions, provided they are well prepared and cannot be easily answered through simple research/reading of materials previously provided.

3a. Contacting the Client

It is generally advised that Teams identify a single point of contact that will be responsible for contacting the client, arranging meeting logistics, and collecting and disseminating any materials for client meetings. In communications with the client, please ensure that you remain polite and professional at all times.  There is no requirement to contact the client.

3b. Preparing for Meetings

Preparing for meetings with your client is very important: you should have a clear idea of the material that you want to convey to your client as well as the information that you will solicit from them, and everyone should be on the same page about this plan. It is generally advisable to submit a meeting agenda, as well as any supplementary materials that you would like the client to review, at least 24 hours in advance of each client meeting. Where appropriate, you may also wish to prepare a slide deck for the meeting.

Self/Peer Assessment

Fill in the names of your team members in the headings of the table below. Then using the following scale, rate (not rank) each member of your team, including yourself, according to each characteristic (with 5 indicating those who are strong with respect to this characteristic and 1 indicating those who are weak with respect to this characteristic) by filling in the appropriate number in each box in the table.  At the end of the BBBC you will be asked to send the completed form to bootcamp@sbcanada.org.  This information will not be shared; it will only be used to confirm your Team participation in order to earn the BBBC Certificate of Completion.


Individual Characteristic

[Your name]

[Team member]

[Team member]

[Team member]

[Team member]

[Team member]

[Team member]

Attending team meetings


Meeting commitments and deadlines


Contributing to team assignments


Quality of work


Communicating and coordinating with other team members


Balancing other commitments with team participation



  1. Team Assessment

Using the following scale, please assess the overall strengths/weaknesses of your team by placing an X in the appropriate box for each of the listed characteristics, with 5 indicating that your team is very proficient at this characteristic and 1 indicating that the team is very weak:


Team Characteristic







Scheduling and attending meetings


Holding effective and efficient team meetings


Evenly distributing the work


Everyone doing his/her part


Following through on commitments and deadlines


Everyone producing high-quality work


Work styles blending effectively


Able to reach consensus in a timely manner


Managing strong personalities


Balancing other commitments with team participation


Shift and Share (S&S)

The idea behind Shift & Share is the following: whenever we learn, we are making connections to our own prior learning and experiences.  While participating in the BBBC, we know that some of you will be bursting with ideas and thoughts about how what YOU KNOW relates to what you’ve learned at camp.  You also realize that what you know, combined with what you’ve learned through BBBC, could be valuable to the building project team and your fellow learners.  We want you to SHARE your knowledge and those connections with the group!  Integrated divergent thinking has huge power to make projects better.  This session is a SHIFT from having experts sharing with students to students becoming the experts to SHARE their knowledge with all of us.

To encourage this kind of “out of the box” and integrated thinking, the kind folks at Enbridge have provided SBC with three (3) x $1,000 White Paper Awards.  Your 5-10 minute presentation will be your “pitch” to the Jury to be eligible to write one of these three White Papers for SBC.   These White Papers, once accepted, will be published on SBC’s website and circulated via our social media channels.

To participate: we need 5-8 volunteers to SHARE how your prior knowledge connects to what you learned at BBBC and to the the goals of the project building.  There will be a Jury of subject matter experts and members of the York team who will decide who is eligible for the three White Paper Awards.  Simply email bootcamp@sbcanada.org by end of day (3:30 p.m.) Thursday of Boot Camp to volunteer.  There will be further info and Q&A sessions throughout camp if you have questions about S&S, but don’t hesitate to reach out directly for further information.

Past White Paper Award winners have included:

Yusong (Bill) Tang: a paper recommending the creation of a digital twin of a project building, used from planning through operations of the building, that includes not just environmental data, but human measures of comfort and belonging.

Catherine Lu: the creation of a narrative map of users, developed through the creation and implementation of a self-guided tour using narrative fiction allowing people to imagine themselves in a space.

Anthony Ortiz: a paper detailing the importance of including structural engineering early in the integrated design process, in particular from an embodied carbon perspective.

Has your learning at BBBC inspired you to want to write a White Paper?  Sign up to Shift & Share by emailing bootcamp@sbcanada.org to pitch your idea at Friday’s Shift & Share session.  

Natalia Ortiz Moreno

Natalia Ortiz, student of Project Management Environmental (PME) program in Seneca Polytechnic, has an Environmental Engineering background completed at Universidad El Bosque in Colombia. She has always been involved in sustainability roles and projects that included Environmental Management Systems implementation, Water Treatment Systems’ design and operation, Hazardous and Conventional Waste management and minimization practices, as well as Ecosystem’s Conservation and Energy
Efficiency programs.

For the PME – Applied Project Management Course, Natalia developed a Green Roof Assessment Tool for Seneca Polytechnic’s Office of Sustainability, with the aim to provide green roof technology recommendations best suited to a particular scenario, taking into consideration multiple aspects of green roofs and buildings; infrastructure, design, materials, environmental factors, and costs, as well as the Toronto Municipal Code – Green Roof bylaw. Natalia also has a scientific journal publication as the main author of the project “Selection and sizing of industrial wastewater treatment units required at the
new maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) aircraft facility owned by Avianca S.A. in Rionegro Antioquia” in the El Bosque University Journal of Technology.

Natalia strongly believes there are several research topics left to be developed, and the importance of
working towards Sustainability from different backgrounds, knowledge, and cultures to build strong, productive, and resilient communities.
With the vision of growing cities and infrastructure along with nature, always preserving and respecting the ecosystems’ attributes and services, Natalia would like to keep researching and acquiring more experience in Sustainability roles.

Emily Smit

Emily is a second-year PhD student in Geography at the University of Toronto, and a co-operator of a small home renovation company, Magnus Home Improvements. Her research seeks to determine how single-family homes can quickly and best be retrofit to achieve Toronto’s emissions reductions targets – including net-zero by 2040 – as part of the TransformTO climate action plan. Specifically, she will assess the impact of municipal home energy reporting and disclosure programs, as well as produce recommendations for growing the retrofit labour force in ways that attend to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Further, her research seeks to understand how home retrofit activities can be regenerative and produce net-positive impacts for humans and the environment towards transformative, place-based sustainability. When not at her computer, Emily can be found cycling with her kids to and from school or making funky sounds on her analog synthesizer.

Bofa Udisi

Bofa is a sustainability professional with over seven years in the energy and environment industry. He has a Bachelor of Science in Energy and Petroleum Studies from Novena University in Nigeria and graduate certificates in Energy Management and Environmental Project Management from Seneca College in Toronto. In 2020, he graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Master of Environment and Business degree. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Building Science program at Toronto Metropolitan University, researching whole-life carbon reduction in new construction and building renovations.

Bofa‘s work experience is primarily in the built environment, working in the private and public sectors in roles that involve structural and environmental assessment of building structures, HVAC engineering design and sales, and facilities management. Bofa is a member of several industry associations, such as the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), the American Society for Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the Project Management Institute (PMI). SBC’s bursary will go a long way in supporting Bofa‘s research and his desire to learn.