Coming Soon: High Performance Design Meets Boots on the Ground VIII!

We’re pleased to announce our slate of presenters for October 10th! With their technical insights on issues facing high performance residential design and construction detailing, it’s a great place to learn and network from the leading edge. Adding to the excitement, we’re hosting at Propeller Coffee, a gorgeous venue in the west end that’s just for us! If all that wasn’t enough, we’re throwing in pizza so you can come hungry and quench your thirst with local craft brew! This by invitation only event has grown in popularity yet you’ll be pleased to know we’re keeping it focused on the best and brightest.

Dense Packed Double Stud Walls:  Architect D’Arcy Dunal shares his insights on a recent high performance build using Huber’s Zip Sheathing as an air barrier system covering a double stud wall assembly dense packed with cellulose. With some though wall timber elements, the house still managed sub 1ACH50 handily.

Deep Roxul Exterior Clad walls: Builder Mike Manning  (Greenbilt Homes ) shares his insights on using deep layers of Roxul on the outside of the sheathing.  With the help of Henry’s VP100 air barrier system, the home’s air barrier was easy to detail for air tightness.

 A Tale of Two Renos: Two sides of a double brick semi are renovated by the same builder with two different visions for energy performance. What were the metrics? Builder Kim Scott-Wood (Scottwood Construction) and architect Daniel Hall (TABC) share their insights on how two different visions can have drastic outcomes in energy performance.

Taking the Party out of the Party wall: Why controlling air leakage matters in semi-detached town and row houses. In this compelling presentation, BlueGreen Group’s Austin Todd shares his guarded testing insights on the consequences of air leakage through shared walls and floors. From noise, bedbugs, second hand smoke – take control of your renovation or new build and protect the volume!

And a BIG Thank You to our fall 2017 event sponsors so far:









Lunch and Learn Workshop on Fire Stops March 30th

Ever want to learn more about fire stops? Then join us for a free Hilti Fire Stop Life Safety seminar on Thursday March 30th between 12:00 – 1:30 pm. The workshop includes OAA Continuing Education Credits and a free lunch! Presented by one of Hilti Canada Senior Field Engineers, Salam Al-Oraibi will cover the following topics:

  1. Life Safety requirements
  2. Compartmentalization
  3. NBC Code requirements
  4. Firestop system definition and examples
  5. New Firestop technologies
  6. Sample of poor and good Firestop applications
  7. Liabilities

Please note that certificates will be issued to all registered attendees and OAA credits are available to registered architects.

Space is limited to 20 participants. To book your spot, email Salam ASAP!

The event will be held at our office at 215 Spadina Ave in the Alterna Room which is located on the 4th Floor.

About the Speaker: Salam Al-Oraibi, has a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering and spent the first 15 years of his career with structural consultant firms in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In his 4 years at Hilti, Salam’s primary responsibility is working with consultants, architects, contractors and authorities to provide technical support, training and seminars to the company’s personnel, to ensure the delivery of a high quality engineering support service at all times.

This Past March’s High Performance Design Meets Boots on the Ground VII was a BLAST!

Thank you to all those who came to our event from near and far. The speaker line-up for our 7th event couldn’t come at a better time with timely advice on successful air barrier approaches to Deep Energy Retrofits of heritage homes to making waves in social media. Passive Buildings Canada has promised to post recordings of the presentations for each of the presenters:


Patrick Scantlebury – of Jess-Don Dunford – has helped resolve many HVAC issues during his 10 years in hydronics sales and installation and 7 years of residential energy auditing. Though water conservation is an often ignored component of conservation in this province of plenty, with summer-time water restrictions in California and water bills on the rise in Ontario, Patrick will talk about solutions to help reduce water waste using recirculating devices.


3rd Generation high performance builder Mike McGonegal of Reeves Fine Homes has spent a lifetime sweating the building envelope details. Where air and vapour barriers have traditionally been one product doing double duty, Mike will make the argument that high performance houses go up more efficiently and predictably when the air and moisture control layers consist of separate and dedicated products. Learn how Huber’s Zip Wall panel system was part of a solution that worked really well for him. Come hear some of his ideas for incorporating a dedicated air barrier into a new home build.


Architect Christine Lolley of Solares in collaboration with Ben Polley’s Evolve Builders Group, will discuss a deep energy retrofit of a century old, solid masonry home located in Guelph Ontario. With a newly underpinned basement guest suite, a spacious master bedroom and Great Room, and an air tightness level of only 1.3ACH, this house hits all the marks of a beautiful, simple and elegant sustainable renovation, perfect for their retired, car-free clients.


If you’re frustrated or intimidated by social media or simply wondering how to put your best foot forward, builder Manny Neves of Hardcore Renos will give a talk on how to get traction that translates into sales! With a very engaged following Manny doesn’t miss a beat and will weigh the options for each platform, help you clearly define engagement, managing time requirements, deal with “Haters”, share posting tricks and tips that heighten brand awareness and produce leads for his renovation business; buckle up!

This event is for residential building professionals who are interested in pushing the envelop on high performance building in the GTA. If you are an architect or builder interested in attending, please contact us here.

And a BIG Thank You to our Spring 2017 BOG event sponsors!

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Our awesome neighbourhood tool store Atlas Machine (on Queen Street West and now at Royal York) will have a builder draw for Nichigo G-Tape; this flashing tape sticks like crazy, but is equally forgiving in re-application to move or eliminate fish mouths in critical air barrier or sheathing membrane/flashing application:

Hear and see what professionals in the GTA are saying about this event:

Notes on Past Events:

Our 5th spring BOG session was a blast! Thanks to all the professionals who took the time to come together and to those who took part in the Passive Buildings Canada live webcast; thank you for joining us.

Click on the speaker image below for a link to what our presenters had to say:

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Veteran architect Ellen Allen talks about  Monaco Place, an affordable housing, 20 unit build on St. Claire West. The Monaco Place client looked to reduce energy costs and optimize indoor air quality and comfort.

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Kelsey Saunders will present results of their test hut where a simplified wall assembly  promises to cut labour costs and minimise assembly complexity to produce a cost effective wall assembly that dries well.

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Custom home builder Melinda Zytaruk talks about making money while adhering to the triple P bottom line: people, planet, profit. The concept of the “2nd mortgage” is one of the many arrows in her quiver she’ll introduce.

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Building Scientist Greg Labbé will demystify building air leakage metrics and standards so that you can talk nerdy about ELAs and distinguish an ACH50 from an ACHnat!

And a BIG Thank You to our spring 2016 event sponsors!

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Our Last Event

Our last High Performance Design Meets Boots on the Ground: October 6th, 2015!

The speaker line-up for our 4th ‘High [Performance] Design meets Boots on the Ground’ networking event was jam-packed with technically relevant and sustainable business insights! Click below to hear what they had to say:

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Andrew Hellebust and Maria Riedstra share the ‘homeowner experience’ in the design and construction process for their national prize-winning DER in East York.

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Ryerson University, Prof. Russell Richman gives us a sneak-peak at the new research data collected on historic double brick walls and the potential impact insulation has on their durability.

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Aerecura Rammed Earth builder Sylvia Cook shared some trade secrets on how to produce a stunning, high performance wall assembly for a building that needs no finishing on inside or out.


Missed the North American Passive House Conference in Chicago? We didn’t and Shervin Akhavi  collects, polishes and shares the highlights with you!

And a BIG Thank You to our fall 2015 event sponsors!

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Other Events

November 5th, 2015: NAFS Workshop for Architects and Engineers

The building code instructs us to use two new standards for specifying fenestration products and determining their performance requirements: NAFS—the North American Fenestration Standard, and the Canadian Supplement to NAFS. NAFS however does not apply to all fenestration products, and the simplified methods of the Canadian Supplement are not always the most appropriate way to determine the required Performance Grades.

This presentation given by RDH’s Al Jaugelis will focus on how these standards are referenced in Part 5 and Part 9, and will help responsible professionals to understand the appropriate use as well as the limitations of these standards, especially in the context of Part 5.

This free workshop qualifies for 2 CE ‘Core’ OAA Credits.

Space is limited for the November 5th session so register now for what promises to be an incredibly useful session for those who are tasked with complying with the new standard. Press on the logo below to link to RDH’s registration page:

December 2nd, 2015: Tech Talk at Construct Canada

For the 5thyear in a row, we’ll be at Construct Canada December 2nd, giving a talk on what we love best: optimising enclosure details for high performance buildings. Together with veteran Passive House designer and builder Ed Marion, we deliver an evolving presentation that covers the latest building science gamut for both renovations and new construction projects. This talk will qualify for CE credits, stay tuned for which!

We hope to see you there and for convenience, here’s the link to register:


December 3rd, 2015: Resilient Design at IIDEXCanada

December 3rd, we’ll be giving a seminar on what kinds of design priorities architects and designers should be focusing on to help homeowners ride through the rough patches in our changing climate. This talk will qualify for CE credits, stay tuned for which!

We hope to see you there and for convenience, here’s the link to register:

Past Events

A Fortnight of Presentations for TSA at Daniel’s School of Architecture

BGG was invited by the Toronto Society of Architects to give two Technical Series Lectures June 9 and 16th which were held at Daniels Faculty of Architecture. We’re pleased to report that both lectures were very well received – thank you to the wonderful audience of architects who welcomed us and to TSA for inviting us!

If you missed it, both lectures were recorded and at the very least the slide deck will be made available to those attending.

High Performance meets Boots on the Ground Events

Our last, 3rd ‘High [Performance] Design meets Boots on the Ground’ networking session held in March was a hit! Don’t feel bad if you missed it, you can click on the respective head shots below to watch the videos of each presenter. Ditto for the fall presentations further down.

On March 10 we had the honour of presenting the following speakers:

NetZero Energy home builder and engineer Steven Dennison will talk about building one of only a few off-grid yet spacious homes in this province.


High Performance Building Consultant Patrick Andres will talk about the challenges in making a vintage-shaped-looking building perform to near Passive House levels.


Engineering Technologist David Shephard from Monica E. Kuhn, Architect Inc. will walk us through a Deep Energy Retrofit of a 1890 heritage Toronto home.

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German engineer Shervin Akhavi on how a simple pre-drywall air tightness test just might save your reputation or at the very least ensure comfort and energy savings.


If you missed our 2014 Fall Event – Click on photos below to view the presentation videos:


Architect Tom Knezic will talk about the features of a Deep Energy Renovation of a 100-year-old Toronto home that achieved a 85% reduction in energy consumption.