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CAGBC unveils annual list of award winners

The awards cover two categories: Green Building Excellence and Green Building Leadership

Manitou a bi Bii daziigae at Red River College Polytechnic in Winnipeg. (Courtesy Canada Green Building Council)

The Canada Green Building Council unveiled the winners of its annual CAGBC Awards at the Building Lasting Change conference on June 1 in Vancouver.

There are two main categories of awards: Green Building Excellence, for Canada’s most impactful buildings and Green Building Leadership, for individuals or teams contributing to the success of Canada’s green building sector.

“As we begin our third decade, the CAGBC Awards showcase how green building has driven innovation in the industry from coast to coast,” CAGBC president and CEO Thomas Mueller said in a statement. 

“Celebrating leadership in advancing our thinking and our practices enables the green building community to recognize the progress we have made together. The commitment and innovation represented by these award winners is what we need to move the industry forward at scale.” 

REALPAC CEO Michael Brooks was also presented the 2023 Lifetime Achievement award.

Brooks has served on many committees and councils concerning real estate and sustainability in his 25 year career, including the Green Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark.  He currently is one of three business advisors to the Canadian government’s Sustainable Development Advisory Council and sits on the board of the World Green Building Council.

The CAGBC was founded in 2002 and now has 1,100 corporate members and 14,068 individual members. It offers third-party validation and quality assessments, custom-designed corporate education services and advisory support for greenhouse gas reductions.

The Green Building Excellence winners

The Collège Sainte-Anne campus project in Lachine, Que. won the Zero Carbon Design award. It includes the construction of two new pavilions that are certified with CAGBC’s Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard. The college is a private primary and secondary school.

This project also includes the renovation of an existing elementary pavilion. Energy modelling allowed designers to optimize the buildings’ overall efficiency through high-performance envelopes and passive heating features.

The Stack at 1133 Melville St. in Vancouver received an honourable mention. It is the tallest office tower in downtown Vancouver and among the first of its kind to obtain Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard certification, having been included in the pilot program. 

It was co-developed by Oxford Properties Group and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and designed in a collaboration between Vancouver-based James K.M. Cheng Architects and Toronto-based Adamson Associates Architects.

The Deep Carbon Retrofit award was given to Scotia Plaza’s 100 Yonge St. in Toronto, owned by KingSett Capital and AIMCo. The 148,658 square metre building is Canada’s third-largest skyscraper.

The owners upgraded outdated mechanical and HVAC systems and installed an air source heat pump, capable of operating at temperatures as low as -30°C. According to the CAGBC, these and other energy efficiency measures resulted in the complete elimination of fossil fuel consumption and an estimated annual reduction of 600 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. 

The award for a new construction was given to Manitou a bi Bii daziigae at the Red River College Polytechnic in Winnipeg, which translates from Anishinaabemowin to "where the creator sits and brings light.”

The 10,000 square foot building re-used the historically designated Scott Fruit building and created a four-storey addition connected to the college’s Roblin Centre. It installed a photovoltaic glass envelope – which is capable of generating energy and changing colour depending on the weather – and incorporates Indigenous design throughout.

The new seven-storey, 10,000 square metre Lauberivière shelter for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Quebec City won the Inspiring Home award. Designed by Lafond Côté Architectes, it includes a variety of housing accommodations, a medical clinic and community kitchen that served over 144,000 meals to community members in 2022 alone.

The building also achieved a 47.7 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from baseline by recovering heat from the kitchen’s refrigeration systems to pre-heat domestic hot water, a green roof and community garden and an aluminum cladding system that reduced the building’s embodied carbon.

The Green Building Leadership winners

Kathy Wardle, principal and director of sustainability at Toronto-based architecture firm Perkins & Will, took home the Green Champion award. Wardle recently chaired the Dar Group Sustainability Council, representing its global network of companies at COP 27. She is currently leading implementations of CAGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standard for several developers, including projects with the University of Calgary and University of British Columbia.

Hamilton, Ont.-based Nerva Energy Group Inc. was awarded the Green Visionary distinction for its AeroBarrier invention.

AeroBarrier is an interior-applied air sealing system that seals all building envelope leaks up to five eighths inches. It is GreenGuard Gold certified, has no volatile organic compounds and contains no toxic ingredients on the "Red List." It can be used in buildings applying for LEED, WELL or Fitwel certifications.

The Emerging Green Leader award was given to Hillary Geer, an energy specialist at Vaughan, Ont.-based EQ Building Performance. Geer was the lead energy consultant on several projects in Southwestern Ontario, including the Baker District redevelopment in Guelph and the Etobicoke Civic Centre in Toronto. The residential and commercial developments she works on have pursued LEED, Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard, WELL, One Planet Living, Toronto Green Standard and Passive House certifications.

André Cazelais, the head of the City of Montreal’s Ecological Transition and Innovation Department, was recognized for Government Leadership.

Cazelais helped launch Montreal’s 2009 Green Building Plan, requiring all new City buildings to obtain LEED Gold certification, resulting in almost 40 new LEED-Gold buildings. In 2020, Cazelais and his team reviewed and updated the existing policy to target the elimination of 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, aligning with the city’s 2020-2030 Climate Plan.

An honourable mention was given to Russel Horne, a supervisor with the City of Kingston’s Energy and Asset Management. According to the CAGBC, Horne led the development of Kingston’s 2019 Energy and Asset Management Plan, resulting in the creation of the Energy and Asset Management division in 2021.

He also implemented a retro-commissioning program targeting 60 facilities responsible for 90 per cent of the city's greenhouse gas emissions. Deep carbon reduction pathway studies for these facilities will identify energy conservation measures and capital improvement projects to reduce their emissions by a minimum of 80 per cent by 2040.

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