BBBC 23 ran from June 19-23, 2023. Plans are already underway for BBBC24 next summer! To be the first to hear about BBBC24, send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
"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 23 ran from June 19-23, 2023. Plans are underway for BBBC24! To be the first to hear about BBBC24 - send us an email email@example.com.
Below is the general outline of how the BBBC program runs:
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.
Friday is about IDENTIFYING AND OVERCOMING OBSTACLES TO GREAT BUILDINGS
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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. 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 give you independent and free advice on how to make your building better, reach out to email@example.com to tell us about your building!
BBBC23 focused on 320 Assiniboine, a 19-story building housing approximately 230 people composed of a mix of single graduate students and graduate students with their partners and/or children. It was built in 1972 and has a laundry room and lockers for units without storage.
Experience how we can take a building like this and turn it into one that is net positive in both environmental and human terms. It starts by getting to know the building. Here are the original drawings of the building: Assiniboine Drawings.
Here are some photos & videos of our recent site visit
Below are the awesome subject matter experts who spoke at BBBC23. If you are interested in joining our team, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org Please see our statement at the bottom of this page about SBC's ongoing commitment to recruitment.
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.
Below is the schedule for BBBC23. If you scroll to the week of June 19-23, 2023 you will see all sessions. Within each session are links to videos of these sessions and presentation materials shared by our experts.
Feel free to reach out!
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 runs for one week each summer. 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 everyone 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 conference. 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?
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 here 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 and projects.
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 email@example.com 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.
BBBC TEAM PRESENTATIONS
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:
- 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..
- 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.
- Friday consists of sessions on identifying and overcoming obstacles to great buildings, including a presentation on two City of Toronto programs to support better buildings, a panel discussion of the Ken Soble project in Hamilton, student Team presentations of YOUR recommendations to the project building team, and an opportunity for volunteer students to present your own areas of interest or expertise to the Boot Camp community (more on this in a separate document!)
This document outlines:
- A description of this year’s building
- An outline of what is expected of your Team
- A primer on how to collaborate in a team
- The self/peer assessment form
DESCRIPTION OF BBBC23 PROJECT BUILDING
The client for the boot camp was York University and the project building was the Assiniboine Residence Building. The goal of the project was a deep energy retrofit of the building achieving net positive in both human and environmental terms. More information about the current building configuration is available in the Building tab of this section.
WHAT’S EXPECTED FROM BBBC STUDENTS AND TEAMS
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 PRIMER ON COLLABORATING IN TEAMS
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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
- 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:
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