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CA31 - Low Carbon Workshop
A summary of all the key take-aways from a day of low-carbon training
THE TOPIC - LOW CARBON WORKSHOP
The Canadian Green Building Council (CAGBC) launched its new training program created with the recent 7.8M from the federal government of Canada to upskill Canadians to design and build low-carbon buildings. I was fortunate to be at the first in-person workshop that was part of the RAIC 2023 Congress on Architecture held in Whistler BC last week. The CAGBC will be launching more FREE training courses for different professionals (engineers included) so make sure to check out their list here.
Although the content of the event was great, one of my favorite parts of the conference was getting to meet some of YOU! It’s really encouraging to attend these events and see and talk to you and hear what you are getting value from. If you see me next time - make sure to introduce yourself.
This week I wanted to share some of the key insights I gained from the 6 hours of panels and discussions. The full-day conference was broken down into the 4 modules below. Some felt more relevant to low-carbon design so I have focused more on those sections for this newsletter.
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Module 1 - Climate Literacy Foundations
First people groups are key to solving the climate crisis, they have been working with the land for centuries
Everything is connected - we cannot expect to solve the problem without listening to those who have come before us
We need to stop divorcing ourselves from nature by talking like we are distinct
Climate change is a generational problem - how will your grandkids be affected?
Canada is warming at 2x the global rate, the north of Canada is warming at 3x the global rate
We are not going back to the past - the future for our kids WILL look different
Checkout regional climate change maps at www.changingclimate.ca
We need to think about climate change as an equity issue. The poor will be the last ones to have climate rights unless we go beyond the norm
Module 2 - Climate Response Design Foundations
We need to start looking at Whole Life Carbon not just operational
Our buildings are like icebergs - 80%-90% of the embodied carbon is below-grade
Use less metal - metals are the worst materials for the environment - by far
Geography really matters - a brick made in Texas is totally different than a brick made in California - the electricity grid really matters
Source materials from site, use local labour, use stone for foundations
ClimateData.ca is a great resource for future weather data
Energy models should be using future weather data not current data
We need to go beyond net zero to resilient structures
Resilient = stability and resistance
We need to first become literate and then take action
Resilience thinking means - values thinking, complexity embracing, learning mindset, strategic foresight, understanding interdependence, land-based learning
Module 3 - Making the Case for Change
Making the case for change involves thinking about risk and the bigger picture of the future
Thinking about physical risks but also about social risks
Module 4 - Integrative Design Thinking & Regenerative Design
We need to use architecture to create meaningful relationships between people, places, planet
Regenerative design is putting life at the center of every decision
We need to stop fixating on the object of architecture and think bigger picture. How can architecture actually improve our environments
If you ask the right questions, you will get different answers
It is up to the design team to push projects in the right direction. If you don’t, nobody will.
1 PERSON TO FOLLOW
Leise is the co-founder of pathways, building climate intelligence for the built environment. She has have scaled up a venture in recycling and waste management systems in Indonesia and advised companies on strategy, sustainability and tech at McKinsey & Co. She is part of the Harvard Climate Leaders Program and Danish Sustainable Change Makers.
1 RESOURCE TO ACT ON
Demand is high for people with the right skills and knowledge. The Low Carbon Training Program will give you the edge you need as the industry shifts to low-carbon buildings. There is no cost to register, and no previous sustainability training is required. Register today for open courses and sign up to secure your spot and be notified when other courses open for registration.