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Better Buildings Boot Camp Information

What is the Better Buildings Boot Camp?

  • The Better Buildings Boot Camp (BBBC) is a free, week-long on-line interactive virtual conference
  • It is project-focused, centered around a particular building (St. Lawrence Center for the Arts), and theme (“positive”)
  • It is multi-disciplinary and cross-institutional, bringing together diploma and graduate students from a variety of institutions, and backgrounds
  • It is hands-on and collaborative: students, faculty, staff, and professionals will work together to shape the direction of the building.

2022 Project Description – The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (STLC)

  • The vision for the STLC is to create cultural infrastructure that is net positive in both human and environmental terms that simultaneously improves human wellbeing (e.g. health, productivity, happiness) and environmental circumstances (e.g. net positive on carbon, energy, and water).
  • STLC is poised to symbolize the future of sustainable cultural infrastructure on a global scale. Combining dynamic spaces driven by radical access, extreme usability, flexibility, and plug-and-play cultural production, this redevelopment aims to crystallize the architectural signature of downtown Toronto while accelerating a citywide transformation to climate positive outcomes.
  • This project has the potential to advance sustainable building practice in Toronto, but also find hidden leverage, foster civic engagement at an unprecedented scale, fill the city with a sense of optimism and possibility, and fuel our collective appetites for transformative change.

Who Should Participate?

  • The goal is to include students from a variety of backgrounds, institutions and fields of study, including but not limited to architecture, design, engineering, building science, and environment as well as business, social sciences, liberal and performing arts, construction, etc. 
  • All disciplines are welcome since we will all live and work in buildings and therefore have something to contribute.

Program Format

  • The Boot Camp will consist of live webinar plenary sessions facilitated by professional and/or academic experts on topics relevant to the building
  • These plenary sessions will contain a variety of individual and panel style discussions and will be interactive through the use of surveys, polls, chat, and contain links to additional information
  • students will be 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
  • On Thursday, August 25th, students will observe the actual professional workshop with the building project team, and students will have an opportunity to present their own recommendations and ideas for the project team on Friday, August 26th
  • The program format will mirror an extended integrated design workshop, providing students with hands-on experience of preparing for and participating in this process. The program will run from August 22-26, 8:30 am to 3 pm.

Learn more about the 2022 BBBC here!

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.