Dedicated to sustainable,
high performance building

The winning projects of 2020 Canadian Green Building Awards

We are pleased to announce the nine winning projects of the 13th annual Canadian Green Building Awards, a program of Sustainable Architecture & Building [SABMag]. The winners, which include new and adaptive re-use projects from most regions of the country, represent some of the best examples of sustainable, high-performance building design in Canada. We congratulate all of the winners.

Our special thanks to our 2020 Sponsors!


The Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute represents precast concrete manufacturers across Canada. It is the prime source of technical information about precast prestressed concrete in Canada, and has recently released its Wall Thermal Performance Calculator software, the Fifth Edition of the CPCI Design Manual, and the Architectural Precast Concrete Walls: Best Practice Guide. It has completed a third-party Life Cycle Analysis of its members` products, and has achieved third-party-verified Environmental Product Declarations. It also has implemented a Sustainable Plant Program to minimize the environmental impact of precast concrete at the manufacturing level, while creating a culture of sustainability within its industry.

For nearly 100 years the legacy companies of our national sponsor Masonite Architectural – which include Algoma™, Baillargeon®, Harring®, Marshfield™, Mohawk®, Graham and Maiman– have been building unique and differentiated capabilities in the architectural wood door industry. Masonite Architectural strives to be the most comprehensive resource for eco-friendly door solutions. Its doors have the ability to contribute to multiple LEED credits such as Recycled Content — Certified Wood — Environmental Product Declarations – and Low-Emitting Materials, to name a few. Masonite Architectural doors are third-party certified as low-emitting through SCS Global Services.  Masonite Architectural is committed to being a positive contributor to Green Building in Canada and globally.

Residential [Large] Award


Existing Building Upgrade Award

Commercial/Industrial [Large] Award

Thanks to our 2020 Jury!

The members of the 2020 Canadian Green Building Awards jury: Left to right: Shelley Craig, Principal, B.E.S, A.A.DIPL, MAIBC, FRAIC of Urban Arts Architecture and Urban DesignAlan Murphy, Principal, BES, B.Arch., MRAIC, LEED® AP BD+C, WELL AP of Green Reason; and Claude Bourbeau, Senior Partner, OAQ, OAA, MIRAC, LEED AP of  Provencher_Roy. Photo: Roy Grogan.

Northern Lights College – Trades Training Centre

Institutional [Large] Award/Prix institutionnel (grande taille) – McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd.

The Trades Training Centre is a new 5,600 m2 facility for Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, BC. The building provides training workshops, including: carpentry, welding, plumbing, millwright, and wind turbine technology, as well as a new student commons, classrooms, and offices for teaching staff. Summers are brief and dry, while winters are severe with temperatures that regularly dip to -40 ̊C. This LEED Gold project, heated by biofuel, provides a model for sustainable trades college design in a cold climate.

Jury comment: 

“A remarkable response to the challenging industrial workshop program and an equally challenging climate. The result is a refined, restrained and beautiful building, with a great sense of warmth emanating from the exposed wood finishes and the high levels of natural light. The requirement for large expanses of solid wall is cleverly used for the collection of solar heat.  And, the overall performance metrics are impressive.”

The Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study and Research Building, Schulich School of Business, York University 

Baird Sampson Neuert Architects – Institutional [Large] Award/Prix institutionnel (grande taille)

The 65,000 sq. ft. Graduate Study and Research Building for the Schulich School of Business has its section and plan arranged around an atrium that organizes access to a cafe, three large flat-floor classrooms and four seminar rooms, which are clustered with associated breakout rooms to allow various teaching and peer to peer learning formats. The folded glass skin of the atrium “twists” the building from the street grid to reorient its south facade for optimal solar exposure, daylighting, and shade design. A curving single-storey wing of classrooms cradles a courtyard, buffering it from traffic.

Jury comments:

“Post-secondary institutions continue to lead the way in the implementation of advanced sustainable design practice. This academic research and classroom building incorporates climate-adapted design and advanced technology while also supporting occupant wellbeing and forging a strong connection to the surrounding campus. The solar chimney and the twist in plan to optimize building orientation were notable features of the design.”

Sifton Centre

Diamond Schmitt Architects – Commercial/Industrial [Large] Award/ Prix commercial/industriel (grande taille)

The building is divided programmatically to provide ideal site orientation for each program type: the retail area on the ground floor follows the street edges, while the offices on levels 2 and 3 are oriented east west to maximize the façade facing due south. The building envelope is comprised of high-performance insulated panels (effective R28) and roof systems (R40). Glazing accounts for less than 30% of the overall envelope area and is comprised of a mixture of triple-glazed vision windows with dynamic chromatic coating, light-diffusing insulated slab glazing and insulated spandrel glazing. Solar heat gain on the ground floor is controlled by generous building overhangs.

Jury comments:

“This is a really great case study building for commercial developers. The clever articulation of the form to reinforce the street at ground level, and to optimize solar exposure above, combined with a low window-to-wall ratio and the attention paid to indoor environmental quality are all strategies that are both affordable and effective. The abundant natural light, communal spaces, and a biofilter living wall to clean the air, all enhance occupant wellbeing. “

Covenant House 

NSDA Architects – Institutional [Small] Award/Prix institutionnel (petite taille)

Covenant House Vancouver (CHV) is the main provider of residential and outreach services for homeless and at-risk youth in Vancouver. This new building for CHV provides an expansion of existing programs including an enlarged drop-in program and a short-stay sanctuary program for youth in crisis. Covenant House achieves a significant level of environmental sustainability, and is registered to achieve LEED Gold (LEED Canada BD+C NC 2009). Sustainable design strategies include: Optimized exterior wall assemblies / low window-to-wall ratio; High degree of daylighting; Energy recovery ventilation; Reduced lighting power density; and  Reduced domestic water usage.

Jury comment:

“This project, which provides residential accommodation and a range of support services for youth at risk, balances its strong social agenda with a high level of environmental performance. On a tight urban infill site and an equally tight budget, the design nonetheless manages to achieve high levels of natural light throughout, as well as providing attractive communal spaces for its occupants and visitors. A low window to wall ratio and a high-performance envelope, underpin a durable, low maintenance solution that ensures maximum funds can be made available for youth programs.”

West Bay Passive House 

BattersbyHowat Architects Inc. – Residential [Small] Award/ Prix résidentiel (petite taille)

An innovative fusion of beauty and efficiency, Westbay Passive House in West Vancouver sets a new precedent for net zero energy buildings. The contemporary home sets the bar for architectural design with a high-performance envelope and efficient systems. The home achieved a Passive House Plus certification, an Energuide Rating of 0  tonnes of Green House Gas, and a 0 GJ of energy consumption rating. The mechanical system utilizes a high efficiency Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) which uses an integrated electric heat pump and hydronic coil to provide heating and cooling to the ventilation air ensuring optimum indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

Jury comment: 

“A beautiful example of how the transparency, openness and site-responsive character of traditional West coast Modern design can be integrated with the high-performance requirements of Passive House. The project is also notable for its prefabricated cross laminated timber structure. The project team also made a commendable effort to provide educational and other benefits for the community, creating a video series about the project and by donating demolition and surplus construction materials to Habitat for humanity.”

The Reach Guest House 

Kearns Mancini Architects – Residential [Small] Award/ Prix résidentiel (petite taille)

Originally a four bedroom, one‐bathroom house, this 19th century farmhouse was renovated to a two-bedroom, two‐bathroom house incorporating Passive House EnerPHit standards. The rear of the building was substantially rebuilt to accommodate a large, double height modern size kitchen, dining and living space. The original post and beam building was exposed and meticulously cleaned and sealed inside an airtight envelope. Structural Insulated Panels were used as a new building envelope, providing a continuous R43 insulation value in the walls. New roof trusses were added to the existing structure, surmounting the existing roof and walls. This allowed for a 600mm cavity to be filled with new cellulose insulation, providing a continuous insulating value of R67.

Jury comment: 

“A meticulous rehabilitation and upgrade project, that converts a 19th century four-bedroom farmhouse into a 2-bedroom guesthouse, with the original post and beam structure being enclosed in a new high-performance building envelope. The addition of a Passive House standard kitchen, dining and living area to the rear of the house integrates seamlessly with the original, being barely discernible as a new structure. An elegantly detailed project notable for its restraint. “

Bata Shoe Factory Revitalization

Architect of Record: Quadrangle, Collaborating Design Architect: Dubbeldam Architecture + Design – Residential [Large] Award/ Prix résidentiel (grande taille)

The renovation to the Bata Shoe Factory ) into a modern mixed use residential, commercial and community building is an ambitious adaptive re-use project located at the gateway to Batawa, east of Belleville, Ontario. The renovated building retains the original 1939 concrete structure, saving close to 80% of the embodied carbon from the original building; the HVAC systems are powered entirely through a geothermal energy source; and any new materials or systems are as sustainable as possible – the resulting renovated building is a model for increased housing density in a rural setting with the lightest impact on the environment and a focus on community and social sustainability.

Jury comment: 

“This conversion of the original 1939 Bata Shoe Factory provides the small town of Batawa with an amenity uncommon in a community of this size: mixed income rental accommodation with recreational amenities for residents, a daycare, and a community art space. The project is exemplary for its respectful adaptation of an important part of Ontario’s industrial heritage; its well-considered mixed-use program, and its rehabilitation of the former parking lot that surrounded the building. In addition to the carbon benefit of retaining the concrete structure, the project has very good energy performance.

Charter Telecom Headquarters

Waymark Architecture – Commercial/Industrial [Small] Award/ Prix commercial/industriel (petite taille)

The Charter Telecom headquarters building in Victoria is poised to be the first commercial office in North America to achieve Passive House Certification. The main motivations of the owner were not just sustainability, but also to create a quality working environment for their staff while also lowering operating and maintenance costs, and overall lower life cycle costs. The success of this project proves that significant improvement in energy performance is achievable in a commercial office building, on a challenging site, and with builders who did not have previous experience in high-performance buildings.

Jury comment:

“An unusual solution born from the creative response to site constraints, and a practical approach to a Passive House project that was a first-time challenge for all concerned. Covered at-grade parking has the potential to be used for future expansion of the building, or enhanced green space. The wall assembly and construction sequence were carefully considered so that the project could be competitively bid to local contractors. Exposed mass timber makes for an inviting interior.”

Cours Bayview Yards

Hobin Architecture Incorporated – Existing Building Upgrade Award/Prix amélioration/rénovation d’un bâtiment existant

The LEED Gold Cours Bayview Yards is Ottawa’s epicentre for entrepreneurial programs and services. The centre was developed within a 48,000ft2 industrial building originally built in the 1940s as a City Workshops facility. The project showcases the potential for the adaptive reuse of vacant industrial buildings, executed affordably and sustainably. Highlights include: retention of over 85% of the building’s original structure, maximized thermal performance through use of premium insulation and fenestration, and high-efficiency mechanical and electrical systems.

Jury comment:

“This conversion of a 1940s City Works Yard building into an Innovation Hub demonstrates how the careful and pragmatic adaptive reuse of an unprepossessing building can transform the dynamics of a neighbourhood, create a sense of place, and at the same time support social and cultural continuity. The act of preservation conserves embodied energy in the existing structure and avoids that associated with a new building. The LEED Gold certification is exemplary for an adaptive reuse project.