DCI will be hosting a speaker series focused on “net zero carbon” in the construction industry, and specifically net-zero buildings. Featured topics and speakers will include:

SEPTEMBER 23, 12pm-1pm


Steven Kemp, M.A.Sc, P.Eng, LEED AP BD+C, LEED Fellow, Principal, Senior Energy and Sustainability Specialist (RDH)

The minimum energy performance desired from buildings is rapidly changing. The National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) has committed to becoming a net zero energy ready minimum performance standard by its 2030 version. The Canadian jurisdictions of British Columbia, the City of Toronto, and soon the City of Ottawa have declared future looking and planned increases in a “step” or tiered fashion, minimum building energy performance.  These tiers clearly indicate the future minimum building energy performance and the timeline in which they will be achieved. At the same time the language used to describe sustainable building performance has quickly changed from net zero energy to Zero Carbon. This against a backdrop of jurisdictions and organizations declaring a carbon emergency. Carbon pricing has come to Canada to address the formerly externalized costs carbon emissions have on our climate and the recent extreme weather-related events. In this 60 Minute talk, how carbon pricing and the focus on low carbon design will impact the buildings we design will be reviewed and extrapolated for this rapidly developing landscape. 


OCTOBER 21, 12pm-1pm

VIRTUAL LUNCH & LEARN:  EMBODIED CARBON:  How heavy is your building? 

Keith Robertson, M.Arch., NSAA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal (Solterre Design) and 
Chelsea Code-MacNeil, Architectural Engineering Technician (Solterre Design)

As we work toward net-zero emissions for our building operations, this famous question from Buckminster Fuller is more relevant now than ever. While there is much discussion about how to design buildings for net-zero operational emissions, the embodied impact of the materials in a project remains a blindspot in the construction industry. Keith and Chelsea will walk you through the direction that the industry is moving, what to watch for, the tools that are being developed, and the challenges we are seeing in these early stages.


NOVEMBER 4, 12pm-1pm

VIRTUAL LUNCH & LEARN:  The Ins and Outs of Environmental Product Declarations

Chelsea Code-McNeil, Architectural Engineering Technician (Solterre Design)

EPDs are an important tool entering the industry, quantifying the environmental impacts of building products. How can designers use EPDs to reduce the carbon footprint of their projects?
Chelsea will walk us through the different types of EPDs, covering the main players involved, the information being communicated and how transparency is changing the way we chose products. Lastly, attempting to answer the elusive question: Are EPDs comparable? 

NOVEMBER 18, 12:30pm-5pm



1pm - 2pm:  ZERO CARBON BUILDING:  "Typically, we do it this way because…"

Judy Wall, President (Eastport Properties)

How do you prepare for the start of a new project? Do you come already armed with a number of solutions? Once the project is complete, how often do you return to it and make time to find out how everything worked out? Do you avoid designing an innovative system with the assumption that the operators will probably make a mess of it anyway? Do you avoid suggesting new ways because the owner probably won’t pay for it anyway? If you have some new ideas, how do you best present them to have them considered and adopted? Getting to net-zero means changing more than materials and equipment – first and foremost, it means changing habits.  How we plan, how we build, how we operate, how we use, and how we value assets.  Judy Wall wants you to see your next project as your way to be a 4-year old again – don’t be afraid to keep asking ‘why?’ until someone says, ‘I don’t know!’

2 pm - 2:20 pm:  COFFEE BREAK

2:20 pm - 3:20 pm:  High-Performance HVAC Options for the Zero Carbon World

William Marshall, P.Eng, LEED® AP, CMVP®, Partner (Equilibrium Engineering)

As the building industry embraces the low carbon transition designers are being asked to provide zero-carbon HVAC options that balance operational and fugitive emissions. The standardized approach has been to lean on the concept of electrification with the hope that national, provincial, and regional grids clean up their operations. Unfortunately, this approach is oversimplified and assumes that our electrical transmission and distribution systems can handle the push. During the session, we will explore the pros and cons of the electrification approach while discussing transition approaches that deliver high-performance HVAC functions without breaking the bank and our grid.

3:20 pm - 3:40 pm:  COFFEE BREAK

3:40 pm - 5 pm:  PANEL DISCUSSION:  Goal 2050 for Net Zero Buildings

Panelists:   Shannon Miedema, Energy and Environment Program Manager (Halifax Regional Municipality), John Esaiw, MBA, Chief Strategy and Technical Officer, (Efficiency Nova Scotia), 
Anne Lombardi, P. Eng., Lead Building Energy Analyst, New Construction, (Efficiency NS),

Jérôme Bilodeau, Acting Director, Buildings & Industry Division, Office of Energy Efficiency, Government of Canada   

The Government of Canada is committed to moving to net-zero emissions by 2050.  Panelists from all three levels of government will discuss their existing and innovative approaches to support this goal.

POST EVENT SOCIAL:  Details to be Announced