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DIALOG Net Zero Carbon Project Used in Canada Green Building Council Course Case Study

March 7, 2024

DIALOG has been invited by the University of Calgary Office of Sustainability and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) to contribute to a CaGBC course using the MacKimmie Tower and Hunter Student Commons, designed by DIALOG, as a case study.

The yet-to-be-released course, ‘CaGBC Low Carbon Training Foundations’, creates baseline knowledge for a variety of key professions in the building sector and equips participants with the knowledge needed to adopt low-carbon concepts in their roles.

DIALOG members selected to be a part of the conversation and share insights was partner John Souleles and associates Stephanie Fargas and Sebastián Carrizo, who all played critical roles in the project.

MacKimmie Tower and Hunter Student Commons designed by DIALOG.

The University of Calgary’s Hunter Student Commons and the MacKimmie Tower redevelopment, used to inspire course content, are zero-carbon certified, minimizing energy use by using passive climate techniques such as natural ventilation, thermal mass, heat recovery and solar exposure.

Modules in the course include: Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), Integrated Design Process (IDP), Operational Carbon, Embodied Carbon, and Transitional Planning.

DIALOG team members Stephanie Fargas (L) and Sebastián Carrizo (R) standing in front of the University of Calgary MacKimmie Tower and Hunter Student Commons.

The Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking sits on the top floor, including event space to promote engagement and networking. The hub provides a central space for the University to continue building entrepreneurial momentum on campus. The Registrar’s Office, Enrolment Services, and new Prospective Student Hub is situated on the second floor, a one-stop shop for access to student supports.

Designed to be a high-performance net-zero carbon building, the MacKimmie Complex comprises a fully renovated tower and block and a brand-new link that connects the two buildings by an atrium, surrounded by a redesigned outdoor gathering space. The project will enhance pedagogical and administrative environments, accommodate growth, and strengthen the sense of place and community in the heart of the University of Calgary’s main campus.

The building enhances modern-day learning in a way that goes beyond technology and programming. The building skin makes its energy-modelling systems tactile, or visible to the eye, as a way to make climate change conversations a permanent fixture in life on campus.

About CaGBC

The Canada Green Building Council supports the building sector’s transition to green buildings. Green buildings are powerful tools for positive change. By unlocking the value and potential of green buildings, Canada’s real estate sector can significantly reduce carbon emissions, eliminate environmental impacts, future-proof assets, and contribute to healthier and more resilient communities.