The Nexus Between Buildings and Infrastructure

SBC Green Building Festival

Toronto June 18th 2024

2024 Green Building Festival

The next Green Building Festival will take place concurrently with the 1st North American SDEWES Conference on Tuesday June 18, 2024 and will feature both keynote speakers and panel sessions, (similar to previous years). Booths for GBF will be available on Tuesday during the festival, and logo, branded elements, signage, etc. will be provided to sponsors throughout the entire 4 day SDEWES conference.

For 17 years, Green Building Festival (GBF) programming has showcased the most inspiring forces driving sustainable and resilient buildings and cities, grounded in credible research and proven projects. During 2023, we will focus on year-round profile opportunities with our partners while ramping up for our joint SDEWES and GBF conference in summer 2024.

The Green Building Festival is one of the building industry’s 'must attend' events. It attracts a cross population of senior level building industry professionals from architects and engineers to utility companies, government policy makers and leading academics. SBC is partnering with the Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Centre (SDEWES) to bring their well-regarded SDEWES Conference to North America. 


Mark Z. Jacobson

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mark Z. Jacobson is Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment and of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

Doris Österreicher

Priv.Doz. DI Dr MSc

Doris Österreicher is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) at the Institute of Spatial Planning.

Julia McNally

Director of Climate Action at Toronto Hydro

Julia McNally is the Director of Climate Action at Toronto Hydro. In this role, Julia leads a team focused on helping Toronto Hydro’s customers to decarbonize.

GBF Panel Discussions

GBFest@SDEWES will include 4 panel sessions as described below.  These moderated sessions will feature experts in the various topic areas who can provide experiential insights including challenges and barriers and practical solutions that can be considered as part of a new paradigm for community energy systems.  A final list of panelists will be posted shortly.

The pathway for de-carbonizing any existing building leads to electrification.  Everything from replacing conventional gas boilers with electric heat pumps to integrating smart building features and installing electric car charging stations.  But how does the provincial grid and local electricity distributors meet the spike in demand for electricity?  What is the role of renewable and green energy and what promises do new building technologies hold? What is the projected ROI for implementing building optimization solutions?  These questions and more with be explored during this engaging panel discussion.

Buildings have the potential to be part of the energy supply solution.  Using A.I., and smart technologies, the building stock can simultaneously demand and supply energy.  When combined with novel energy storage systems, unique energy demand can be matched with unique energy supply.  This panel will explore new leading edge and disruptive solutions that will truly allow energy to flow both ways to and from the grid and to and from buildings and infrastructure.

Buildings have traditionally been designed as stand-alone entities with unitary HVAC systems and community design practices, coupled with municipal right of way bylaws, long development time lines and a siloed approach to infrastructure design have led to limited uptake of community energy systems.  The integrated design process approach and building as a system design philosophy has led to major improvements in building performance by breaking down the linear design approach and design professional silos.  How do we apply an integrated design approach across developers, planners, municipalities and communities to encourage and enable community energy systems that take advantage of efficiencies and emissions reductions only available through aggregated, optimized energy supply and demand.

Community energy systems, long the standard in European countries, have started to be developed in Canada outside of traditional, campus based central systems and into the urban fabric of growing smart cities.  With innovative ownership approaches and risk mitigating financial models, these systems are beginning to be deployed in both greenfield and urban in-fill examples. This session will examine some of the European successes, and recent Canadian efforts.

GBF 2024 Sponsors

Gold Level Sponsors

Silver Level Sponsors