The SBC Blog: Green Building Thought Leaders: Learning from the experts

This September 19-20,  the 11th iteration of the Green Building Festival will take place over two days and includes the Sustainable Built Environment Conference of the Americas. The SBE series is well established globally and the addition of juried papers and workshops to the highly praised GBF content is an exciting development.

This year’s record-breaking winter underscores the need to move well beyond sustainability. Under the banner of “Resilient and Regenerative Urban Environments” we will explore advanced real-world solutions and exciting futuristic concepts intended to reverse the damage to our ecosystem.
SBE16Toronto speaker: Ontario Minister of Environment & Climate Change Glen Murray

We are pleased to welcome Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray and newly appointed Environmental Commissioner Dr. Dianne Saxe to kick off proceedings this year. Minister Murray is an outstanding speaker who has a deep understanding of sustainable built environments. Dr. Saxe has decades of environmental law experience and was Toronto’s first Environmental Lawyer of the Year, is considered Canada’s leading author on environmental law, and rated as one of the world’s top 25 environmental lawyers.

World-renowned Dr. Ray Cole will galvanize the proceedings with his energetic take on the state of built environment. Ray is the Academic Director of UBC’s Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) “an internationally recognized research institution that accelerates the adoption of sustainable building technologies and sustainable urban development practices in society”. Ray’s research at CIRS includes Urban Metabolism & Ecosystems Services, the Performance Gap, and Regenerative Neighbourhoods.

Princeton Architectural Press claims that Biomimicry is the fastest-growing movement in architecture and engineering. Professor Mark Swackhamer is head of the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota and author of Hypernatural: Architecture’s New Relationship with Nature. Marc will illustrate how “pioneers in the emerging biomimicry movement are developing design methods and materials to create intelligent buildings that emulate life itself (from) an international collection of forty-two case studies that illustrate astonishing new applications possible in this rapidly growing field” (Princeton Architectural Press).

Tom.w.Lloyd Alter
SBE16Toronto programming lead Tom Ponessa with speaker Lloyd Alter

Lloyd Alter is an architect, developer, teacher, speaker and writer. He won the 2014 USGBC Leadership award for writing on green building but he’s also an iconoclast who isn’t afraid to question our obsession with net-zero energy.  Lloyd is an advocate for simplifying design, local autonomy, consuming far fewer resources and engaging people with IEQ and comfort instead of energy reducing gizmos. He writes for MNN,, contributes to the Guardian, Corporate Knights Magazine and Azure Magazine.

The Green Building Festival portion of SBE16Toronto will continue its tradition of thought leadership with provocative content that covers climate change and design at an urban scale. We plan on covering carbon pricing, insurance issues, integrated project delivery, resilient planning, case studies of advanced buildings, energy and thermal innovations and more.

We are looking forward to an outstanding event that will engage, educate and inspire our delegates and give them new and effective tools for their own projects.

Tom Ponessa M Arch, LEED AP
Director of Programs
Sustainable Buildings Canada
416 655 3111