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Pembina Institute unGALA 2017

Sheena was at the Pembina Institute’s unGALA last Thursday.  It was held in he Fermenting Cellar in the distillery district: a beautiful example of post-and-beam architecture.   The theme was “Cowgirls and Cowboys ride herd on climate policy“ and there was certainly a lot to talk about what with an unusually mild — and grey […]

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Making Net-Zero Commercial Buildings a Reality – @ Construct Canada

This Thursday Sheena Sharp, a principal at Coolearth, and Trevor Nightingale, the Program Leader, High Performance Buildings at National Research Council will present a seminar entitled “Making Net-Zero Commercial Buildings a Reality”. From the Construct Canada Website: For the early adopters, it is typically not a simple ROI but rather there are often less tangible […]

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Visit Coolearth at Construct Canada

Coolearth will be presenting a seminar on our net-zero conversion of a semi-detached residential building as well as hosting a booth as part of the Passive House Canada Pavilion on November 30th. Our seminar will take place on November 30 from 9-10:15am. Look for us in the South Building (code w300).  The brief for the […]

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SBE16: Toronto – Arborus Consulting – Low Carbon Heating using Off-peak Electricity

The second post in our series re-capping the Sustainable Built Environment Conference September 19th and 20th in Toronto will feature a presentation by Arborus Consulting group’s R. Hutcheson, S. Jorens, and D. Knapp on  “Low carbon heating for commercial buildings using grid-supplied electricity during Off-peak periods.”  It is a very fascinating idea that holds a lot of potential (as our notes […]

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Occupant Behaviour and Net-zero Design

The focus of this blog post is on how occupant behaviour effects designing buildings for net-zero. The topic of user-behaviour and net-zero design came up when we were analyzing the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) energy modelling software for a net-zero energy envelope retrofit project this week.  We noticed that the clothes dryer used close to 20% of […]

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Changes to Ontario Building Code SB-12

New changes in the Supplementary SB-12 “Energy Efficiency for Housing” section of the Ontario Building Code were announced on  July 7, 2016. These changes,  which come into effect January 1st, 2017 and include:   – New prescriptive compliance packages that provide minimum 15 per cent energy efficiency improvement over existing packages – Drain water heat recovery units […]

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Ontario’s Climate Action Plan and Homes

“Climate change is a fact in our daily lives — raising the cost of our food, causing extreme weather that damages property and infrastructure, threatening outdoor activities we love, and melting winter roads that provide critical seasonal access to remote northern Indigenous communities. It affects every aspect of our lives, so it is our collective […]

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The Goal: Zero Greenhouse Gas Building, A Manifesto

Getting to the right vision, and expressing it simply, is not easy. Zero Green House Gas Emissions (GHG) is the right vision for us, because it says what we need to accomplish most succintly. 1.) Do we care about all Green House Gases? Yes. Therefore we need to stop burning gas entirely, starting now. The […]

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Designing for Future Ontario Climates – Homes and Cottages

Map showing the extreme daily maximum temperature change in degrees Climate change is topping national, provincial, and municipal conversations these days: and for good reason.  The fast few years have been the warmest on record (“NASA, NOAA Analyses Reveal Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures in 2015“) and the perils of business-as-usual become apparent. Ontario is implementing a Cap and […]

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Winter Stations and the Issue of Comfort in Homes

Yesterday German, Coolearth’s Building Science Specialist, went with some friends to check the winter stations design contest at the Beaches. This competition explores a winter design for the life guard stations that are not used in the winter with the goal of providing protection from the weather and in some cases providing a warm up […]

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