Better Building Speaker Series

Architect: Solterre I Image: Acorn Art Photography

We are pleased to announce that the Net Zero Speaker Series will continue under a new name: The Better Building Speaker Series

This new series of talks will kick off on February 21st, 2019 at the Halifax Central Library. The series will run every third Thursday of every month until Summer. 

The Road to Net Zero in Nova Scotia - Thursday, February 21st, 2019 at Halifax Central Library (BMO Room)


Register for your FREE ticket by clicking here! 


Donald Dodge

Donald Dodge is a Business Development Manager with Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation. Donald is responsible for ensuring that businesses are aware, and are taking advantage of the savings to be realized from working with Efficiency Nova Scotia.

Prior to joining Efficiency Nova Scotia, Donald was with Conserve Nova Scotia where he was responsible for the Energuide for Houses program and energy efficiency regulations through the adoption of codes and standards. He also spent several years with Clean Nova Scotia, a non-profit environmental education organization, where he was involved in all aspects of environmental programs, but with an emphasis on home and business energy conservation programs. He was a Certified Energy Advisor and trainer with the Energuide for Houses program and has personally performed over 400 home evaluations. Donald has an extensive background in energy having worked in the exploration business in Calgary and home energy sales for several years with Esso Home Comfort in Halifax.

Donald is a graduate of Acadia University with a Bachelor of Business Administration.


Edgar Lopez, P.Eng, CEM, LEED AP

Edgar is a graduate of Memorial University. During the last 12 years, Edgar has lived in three provinces and worked in various industries including offshore oil & gas, electric utilities, building sciences, but primarily energy management.

Edgar joined East Port Properties in 2015 where he has been tracking and analysing energy use as well as identifying and assessing energy reduction opportunities for existing properties and new developments in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.





Lara Ryan

Lara Ryan is the Regional Director, Atlantic for the Canada Green Building Council. In this role, she works with the organization’s senior management team and the local leadership board to advance the adoption of green building practices in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island though networking, education and advocacy. 

She has an extensive background in not-for profit management and corporate social responsibility consulting.  She has B.A from the University of King’s College and a BPR from Mount Saint Vincent University, she also holds a Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from the Conference Board of Canada and the University of St. Michael’s College.




How can we build better buildings in Nova Scotia?

Research shows that we could be constructing buildings that are more resilient, healthier and better for the environment. Regulations and policies are pushing us in that direction, with plans for a Net Zero Energy Ready building code introduced by 2030.

The Ecology Action Centre's Built Environment Committee and Energy Action team are hosting a broad spectrum of architects, engineers, custom builders, contractors, developers, educators, representatives of LEED, PASSIVE HAUS, ENERGuide programs and other industry representatives to discuss how prepared we are to meet the challenge and YOU are invited! 


We're asking, is Net Zero affordable and achievable for all?


All presentations will be hosted at the Halifax Central Library in the BMO Room.


Some local projects of interest:

  • The Heyday House - An off-grid homemade from strawbale, located in Scotch Village, Nova Scotia.


Past Presentations:

Commercial-Residential Projects
Natalie Leonard, Passive Haus - November 15, 2017 

Six-storey Midrise Wood Construction
Tom Emodi, TEAL Architects+Planners - October 18, 2017 

LEED Aiming for Net Zero and Carbon Zero Initiatives 
Lara Ryan, Canada Green Building Council, Atlantic -  September 20, 2017 

Nova Scotia Building Code Energy Efficiency  Requirements
Joe Rogers, Nova Scotia Building Code Coordinator - May 17, 2017 

Denim Homes and Net Zero
Caleb Howden, Nova Scotia Homebuilders Association - April 19, 2017

Aiming for Net Zero
Rochelle Owen, Director, Office of Sustainability, Dalhousie University, Chair of QUEST NS -  March 15, 2017 

Natural Building and Place-Based Experiential Learning 
Kim Thompson, Executive Director & Founder, The Deanery Project - February 15, 2017

Net Zero Energy Housing & Deep Energy Retrofits
Shawna Henderson, the CEO of BfreeHomes & Blue House Energy - January 18, 2017 

Getting to Net Zero: Reflections on EGSPA and Efficiency One
Bill Lahey, Chair Efficiency One and Marty Janowitz, Chair Minister‘s Round Table on Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity (EGSPA) - November 16, 2016 

EAC Housing Evolution
Stephen Crowell, Nova Scotia's original Net Zero builder - October 19, 2016 

R2000 RENOVATION Renovator Challenge & Opportunity
Stephen Crowell, Nova Scotia's original Net Zero builder - October 19, 2016 

Renewable Energy Builder Challenge & Opportunity
Stephen Crowell, Nova Scotia's original Net Zero builder - October 19, 2016 

Getting Back to Net Zero Energy
John Crace, Architect - September 23, 2016 

Net zero potential in custom residential construction
Don Roscoe, passive solar home builder - June 23, 2016 

Net Zero Housing in Canada: from the 70's to now
Keith Robertson, Solterre Design - May 12, 2016

New and renovated LEED PassiveHaus