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Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Re-Start Seminar Series – 2020

December 1, 2020 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Re-Start

As we respond to the acute shocks and stresses of 2020, this PICS-supported bi-weekly, online seminar series will focus on this crucial question being asked across British Columbia and around the world:

How can the restart be more sustainable, resilient and equitable?

These interlinked shocks and stresses include 1) the pandemic and public health concerns; 2) climate change impacts including flooding and forest fires; and 3) public outcry against racism equity and social justice.

We will address technical, policy, and scientific approaches in both the built and natural environment with local, national, and international speakers from academic, government, industry, and non-governmental organizations. This seminar series is a partnership between the University of Victoria and the UBC Sustainability Initiative, supported by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

Scheduled Seminars:


Diversity in Engineering: Synergies with Decarbonization and Building Science
December 1st, 2020, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Speaker: Brittany Coughlin

Join Brittany Coughlin for her presentation highlighting synergistic strategies for advancing energy efficient, low carbon building designs, alongside ideas for advancing diversity in the workplace.

Mitigating climate change is critical to a sustainable future. As the need for decarbonization grows, it is important that we expand the workforce and apply the brightest minds to solving these complex problems in British Columbia. An engineering workforce that promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion is central to this.

Past Seminars:

Canada’s Building Regulatory System: Transformative Drivers and Future Directions
September 8th, 2020, 12:30 – 1:30pm PDT

Speaker: Andrew Pape-Salmon, Executive Director of the BC Building and Safety Standards Branch, and Adjunct Professor with the Department of Civil Engineering at UVic.

This lecture serves as a primer on public policy for five levels of government (local, regional, Indigenous, provincial/territorial, federal), along with key drivers that contribute to government strategy, policy, legislation, regulations, programs and services.

Andrew Pape-Salmon will provide examples pertaining to the regulation of building construction and renewal, highlighting examples that support goals toward resilient, ultra-low energy buildings, decarbonization and the deep integration of renewables.

On Buildings, Energy, and Health in a Changing Climate
September 22, 2020, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM PDT

Speaker: Holly Samuelson, Assistant Professor of Architectural Technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design

Join us as Dr. Holly Samuelson presents research using building performance simulation among other methods to improve energy and environmental performance and human health in buildings and cities.

This includes improving modeling methods for urban context, stormwater, occupant behaviour, and occupant views, as well as investigating heat vulnerability at the building and city scale and moisture and mold performance of buildings in future climates.

COVID-19 Building Operations and Future Codes
October 6th, 2020, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Speaker: Laurence Schoen

Join Lawrence Schoen as he presents on how modes of disease transmission might be affected by engineering interventions, typically related to dilution ventilation, mechanical filtration and de-activation by ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). Two well-studied outbreaks will be used to illustrate the risk of aerosol transmission and how the risk of these unfortunate events can be reduced by compliance with current codes and standards.

Industrial Symbiosis – A Key Plank in a Circular Economy
October 20th, 2020, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Speaker: Timo Makinen

In an effort to practice business more sustainably, many regions are working towards circular economies. These economies aim to decouple economic growth from resource consumption by designing out waste and pollution; keeping products and materials in use rather than disposing of them; and by developing regenerative, natural systems.

Industrial symbiosis is an important aspect of this activity. It is the process by which wastes or by-products of an industry or industrial process become the raw materials or inputs for another.

Join us as Timo Makinen presents on the NISP® model for delivering industrial symbiosis. Benefits achieved using the NISP® model include waste reduction, improved resource efficiency, less materials sent to the landfill, and fewer GHGs and air pollutants, among others.

Legacies of Struggle & Resistance in the Fight Against Environmental Racism in Canada
November 3rd, 2020, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Speaker: Ingrid Waldron

Dr. Ingrid Waldron will discuss the legacy of struggle and resistance in the fight against environmental racism in Indigenous and Black communities in Canada. Using an anti-colonial feminist framework, she will highlight the specific ways in which Indigenous and Black women have been impacted by environmental racism, and share how they have been building grassroots environmental and social justice movements to challenge the legal, political, and corporate agendas that sanction and enable environmental racism and other forms of colonial gendered violence in their communities.

Dr. Waldron will conclude her presentation by providing an overview of how her Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project) has been addressing environmental racism through a multi-method, interdisciplinary, multi-sectoral and multi-media approach.

Infrastructure Resilience Under Climate Uncertainty
November 17th, 2020, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Speaker: Constantine Samaras

Join Dr. Costa Samaras in a discussion about how infrastructure managers, engineers, researchers, and policymakers can manage uncertainty and ensure climate-safe infrastructure systems for the 21st century and beyond.

Characterizing infrastructure vulnerability to climate change is essential given the long asset lives, criticality of services delivered, and high costs of upgrading and maintaining these systems.


December 1, 2020
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm