Builders’ Talks: Building a Resilient Community

Sunday March 25th 2018 at 2:00-4:30pm
10C - 42 Carden Street (4th floor - accessible by elevator)

Come listen to five industry professionals talk about how we can start moving to more sustainable systems. Learn about renewable systems, sustainable building approaches, local clean energy, and more.



A Multi-Generational ‘Living Building Challenge’ Home – Gavin Baxter
“The Living Building Challenge is the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings. People from around the world use our regenerative design framework to create spaces that … give more than they take.”

Please join Gavin Baxter from S.H.E.D. to explore the process behind their prototype Multi-Generational Living Building Challenge Home. It’s our goal that at the end of this presentation / discussion attendees will want to re-imagine how their home can promote a greater sense of ‘agency’ in their lives. It is our intention that when attendees leave they may challenge the notion of their home as a ‘product’, rather than an essential ‘living system’ which nurtures us, shelters us and fosters a symbiotic relationship to our co-habitants, nature,
and our community.

Bio – Gavin Baxter is co-principal of S.H.E.D. (Strategic, Healthy, Ecological, Design) a full-service design-to- build organization providing adaptive, whole-systems approaches to projects in the Guelph community for over 9 years. Gavin focuses in the areas of scenario planning, whole systems integration, universal & strategic design, planning facilitation and project management. Gavin has worked in the design & construction industry for the past 20 years, is an architectural technologist and also completed a post-graduate certificate in
interdisciplinary design strategy from the Institute without Boundaries.


Pre-fabrication of Passive House Buildings – Rob Blakeney
The Passive House ultra-low energy standard represents an optimum balance between building envelope performance, energy consumption and upfront capital cost, producing buildings with the lowest overall cost of ownership. Prefabricating walls reduces the cost of Passive House construction while ensuring that Passive House build quality is consistently achieved. Join Rob as he shares his recent successes using the Build SMART Passive House-certified pre-fabricated wall system.

Bio – Rob Blakeney is an engineer providing Passive House consulting through his Guelph-based company Local Impact Design ( His career in the building industry spans 30 years, including 17 years focusing specifically on green buildings and energy efficiency as a consultant, contractor and developer. Rob is active within the green building industry, becoming a LEED Accredited Professional in 2004 and sitting on the Board of Directors for the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).


Simple Solar – Steve Dyck
Solar power let’s us dream of clean energy self sufficiency, resilient and local. And because the sun does not shine all the time, solar power is about community – we need to back each other up, share our power and stay connected. But mostly, solar power is about trust – trust that the sun will get up and that your solar equipment will last a long long time. The future of solar is wide open and it starts right here in Guelph. Come learn why.

Bio – Steve Dyck is the President of Guelph Solar. Steve enjoys politics, is active in Fair Vote Guelph, and has a gained a new community through sponsoring a refugee family. He enjoys spending time with his wife (Vera) and giving back to the community by being involved with Bridges Out of Poverty, and the Citizens Climate Lobby. Steve founded Guelph Solar in 2009 after a fulfilling career in the automotive industry. Steve’s hobbies are backyard chickens and soccer.


Guelph: 100% Renewable Energy? – Evan Ferrari
More than 1,000 communities around the world have committed to be powered with 100% renewable energy by 2050. What about Guelph? Evolving energy technology and policy landscape combined with growing concerns around climate change has opened up new opportunities for massive changes to our economy and energy systems. Can 100% renewable energy work right here in our community? eMERGE is building a roadmap to fight climate change in Guelph by energizing the community to commit to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050. They do this by helping people save money by reducing their impact on the environment. Through individual and community action, eMERGE highlights how smart behaviour, improved efficiency, and new technology will get us there.

Bio – Environmental stewardship and community development have been prominent themes throughout Evan’s life: from founding a water-pumping windmill project in Tanzania, changing legislation on wilderness conservation and paddling from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean. He is the Executive Director of eMERGE Guelph Sustainability.


Ben Polley – TBD

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