Before we got really going on the content, the curriculum was reviewed by Built Green Canada’s Technical Standards Committee.
Then, we reached out to our network of renovators and specialists to make sure we could have experts drilling down into details specific to typical assemblies and mechanicals throughout Canada.
Pan-Canadian Course Content for Retrofits
Here are the key areas we had our advisors hone in on in our discussions:
- Climate Response/Resiliency
- Regional Issues (excluding Northern)
- Heritage Buildings
- Northern Climates
- Upgrading and Replacing Mechanical Systems
- Planning & Phasing
The Whole House Energy Retrofit Advisory Group
We ended up with a 12-person advisory group. We met as a whole once, and then we had the group self-select their domains of expertise, and we met another 5 times to really focus on each of the key areas.
So who was in those sessions?
Some really fantastic and knowledgeable folks, we’ve gathered a little bio on each of them, presented to you here in alphabetical order:
Dara Bowser has been involved in residential HVAC systems and Energy Use in Buildings as a consultant, manufacturer, researcher and trainer for more than 40 years. Dara is the president of Bowser Technical Inc, a nationally recognized consultancy specializing in HVAC System Performance. Projects including Design, Research, Quality Assurance, Technical Writing, Fault Investigation and Dispute Resolution. Bowser Technical Inc also provides Advanced HVAC Design and Energy Evaluation services for residential projects in Ontario. Dara is a Certified Building Technologist and member of the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario.
Educated with a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (CEE) from the University of Illinois. Tommy has spent the past six years working as an Energy Advisor and has earned the title of Senior Energy Advisor and is now the General Manager with Capital Home Energy. Tommy has always been keen on giving back to Mother nature that has given the human race unconditional nurture. Having found the existence of energy advisors in the building science industry, he immediately fell in love with the thought of impacting home owners on their potential for energy savings from well-built homes. It is truly fulfilling to see the progress of energy efficiency for the betterment of both the environment and the human race.
Andy Cockburn is a Red Seal General Carpenter with practical experience in custom home building, panelized construction, timber framing, stair construction, architectural drafting, and historic restoration. After years of working in Eastern Ontario as a carpenter, Andy was brought into teaching with Algonquin College’s Perth Campus in their Construction Carpentry Advanced Housing program, where he stayed for 15+ years. During his tenure, he was the recipient of several awards including the NISOD Excellence Award and the Algonquin Student’s Association Award for Excellence in Teaching. Since 2012, Andy has been a member of the Lanark and Leeds Home Builders’ Association, serving on their Board of Directors, as well as taking on roles as vice president (2016 – 2017) and president (2017 through 2023). Andy became a Certified Passive House Consultant in 2017. That same year, Andy completed training in the CHBA’s Net Zero Building Science. As part of his work at NAIMA Canada, Andy serves on the Board of Directors with B.C.’s Home Performance Stakeholder Council, as well as on the Program Advisory Council for Techsploration in Ontario. His committee and board work includes participation in technical standards development with the ULC S700 (S702.1, S702.2 & S714) Committee(s) on Thermal Performance and Energy Use in the Built Environment and the CSA Technical Committee for Standard Z301 on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Apprenticeship Programs.
Andy was Shawna’s guest for Episode 42 of “This Must Be The Place”. Listen to the conversation here.
Stephen Collette is a Certified Building Biology Environmental Consultant based out of Lakefield, ON, Canada. Stephen is a retired straw bale builder, having worked on two dozen straw bale structures across Ontario and Quebec, from small cottages to 13,000 ft2 structures and everything in between. Stephen has an engineering background and became passionate about healthy housing when his family became ill due to exposure to mold. Stephen carries out indoor environmental inspections on houses and other buildings to determine health impactors based on building science and environmental health concerns. Stephen is a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional) from Canada Green Building Council. Stephen has a Building Science Certificate from the University of Toronto and is a certified Building Science Specialist of Ontario. As a consultant Stephen helps people make healthier, more environmentally friendlier building choices. Stephen is a published author who writes and lectures across North America on healthy, natural and green buildings. He was also principal of Your Healthy House until retiring in 2023.
The founder of Solar Homes Inc., Peter Darlington, started out in the construction industry in 1996 working with stucco and on the building envelope. Four years later, he started his own company called Peter’s Exterior Contracting. Over the last twenty years, he has successfully installed exterior cladding on hundreds of homes and commercial buildings. In 2014, Peter took interest in an online course by Marc Rosenbaum titled Zero Net Energy Homes and later also became accredited as a Certified Passive House Consultant. This launched what would be the next phase in Peter’s career. He soon founded Solar Homes Inc. in order to offer contracting and consulting services to those looking to reduce their environmental footprint. In order to prove his abilities, on September 1, 2015, Peter transformed his ordinary house into a Net Zero energy solar home.
Peter was Shawna’s guest for Episode 9 of “This Must Be The Place”. Listen to the conversation here.
Don Fugler is an award-winning building science researcher who spent 25 years leading research projects for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in the areas of residential energy use, ventilation, and indoor air quality. His findings are some of the most important in building science research in the world.
Don was Shawna’s guest for Episode 38 of “This Must Be The Place”. Listen to the conversation here.
Growing up, Casey was always building - everything from Lego to tree forts. From his father he learned the importance of teamwork through competitive team sports. From his mother he learned the value of hardwork and dedication as he watched her grow and eventually sell her business. When Casey started his construction career at the age of 17, he put his childhood lessons to work and never looked back. When Casey first started his construction company, it was just like every other company. He just wanted to do good work and make a good living. It was not until he and his wife, Natasha, attended their first Tony Robbins event in 2012 that his mindset shifted and he started to ask himself "Why?" Then, when he and Natasha found out they were having a child, everything clicked. If he was going to tell this child that he could do anything he wanted and become whoever he wanted, he would have to lead by example. He wanted his son to be proud of him and look up to him. He wanted to be the hero in his son's eyes. That's when The Conscious Builder was born.
Casey was Shawna’s guest for Episode 21 of “This Must Be The Place”. Listen to the conversation here.
Gail Lawlor has been involved in residential energy efficiency, water management, and waste conservation for 40 years in various capacities, including an air-sealing contractor, indoor air quality auditor, retailer of energy and environmental products, program manager, and trainer. Gail was the project manager for the development of Community Energy Plans for Fort Albany, Kashechewan and Attawapiskat First Nations, focusing on housing policy development, local skills capacity, creating a culture of conservation, and renewable energy opportunities. Gail's background includes a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, an Adult Education Diploma, and practical experience as an air sealing contractor, energy auditor and environmental products retailer. She also has extensive experience with volunteer committees including the Recycling Council of Ontario, the Ontario Water Works Association and is a founding member of Durham Environmental Network (DEN) and Durham Conservation Centre (now Durham Sustain Ability). Through the Durham Conservation Centre, Gail administered the first depot and curbside recycling program in Pickering and the energy retrofit of the Commercial House in Brougham.
Gail was Shawna’s guest for Episode 39 of “This Must Be The Place”. Listen to the conversation here.
Cooper is the Production Manager at 4 Elements, based in Calgary, where the focus is sustainable building, from pre-construction through to final testing. Cooper and the 4 Elements team support project teams of builders, designers, developers and their clients find a pathway down the road to better built, better performing homes and buildings. He is one of a handful of Master Energy Advisors in Canada, and a LEED professional with many accolades to his name.
Vancouver-based architect, Richard Kadulski was inducted into the Greater Vancouver Homebuilders’ Association “Hall of Fame”, and in 2020, he was awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Canadian Home Builder’s Association. He is the author of ‘Solplan Review’, a monthly publication that focused on building science and cold climate housing from 1985 to 2015.
Richard was Shawna’s guest for Episode 40 of “This Must Be The Place”. Listen to the conversation here.
Bill Semple retired as Senior Researcher with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), where he worked on promoting the development of innovative building technologies, green building practices, and sustainable development with a focus on projects in the Canadian far north. Bill’s training is in architecture, construction, and planning, and has worked in the building industry for more than 25 years. Throughout his career, Bill has been a strong promoter of environmental and cultural sustainability, bringing these values to his work in design, construction, building science, and environmental planning projects. As a builder and consultant, Bill operated a business specializing in timber frame construction, passive solar and energy efficient buildings, and building research. As an architect, in addition to his work in Canada he has worked extensively on international development projects in Tibet, China, India, and Thailand. Bill has a bachelor degree in Environment and Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo, a masters degree in Architecture from the University of Calgary, and is a licensed carpenter. Bill is a research associate with the Arctic Institute of North America, and is a past member of the board of directors of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and the LEED for Homes Committee of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Gary Sharp is the President of Airtight Home Technologies Inc. Gary has been involved in the construction and renovation industry for over 30 years, working towards improving the energy efficiency of Canadian housing. Gary is a member of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) and has contributed to the industry by managing and writing the updates to the national CHBA Builders’ Manual for the last 5 editions. Every edition of the Builders’ Manual has achieved the status of a National Bestseller. Last year added the CHBA Renovators’ Manual to the CHBA offerings. Both the Renovators’ Manual and the Builders’ Manual provide students with a technical understanding of building science and the details of how to build or renovate homes to meet the Net Zero and Net Zero Ready technical requirements.
We want to thank them all for their time and contribution to this joint project between Blue House Energy and Built Green Canada.
Our goal, as always, is to improve the capacity of the industry through seriously enjoyable learning!