Meet The Experts: Greening Your Real Estate

Next Tuesday evening, we are hosting a panel discussion at Edmonton Public Library’s historic Strathcona branch on Greening Your Real Estate, and we are so excited to introduce our unsectored panel of experts who’ll be talking about all the ways your investment in your home can rest a bit lighter on the earth.



 Moderator: Christy Boulter, HomeLife Guaranteed Realty

Christy is a Green Realtor® and pioneer in bringing sustainable real estate options to Edmonton. She’s a natural connector and collaborator who encourages & supports sustainable lifestyles using her deep knowledge of green housing technologies and Edmonton’s sustainable building community. Christy is also involved with Junior League of Edmonton, North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, Edmonton & Area Land Trust,  CaGBC (Canada Green Building Council) Alberta Chapter,  Edmonton and Area Realtors Community Foundation, and many local art and theatre groups.


randallbensonRandall Benson, Gridworks Energy Group Inc.

Randall is a master electrician and principal of Gridworks Energy Group, an Edmonton-based firm who consult, design, supply, and install grid-connected photovoltaics (solar electricity) and wind power systems. Randall not only provides turn-key custom-designed PV systems, but also trains other professionals and non-professionals on PV design and installation practices (His next 5-day intensive is being offered in May.). A member of the Solar Energy Society of Alberta with 13 years in the business, Randall has cemented his position as an industry leader and mentor.



Chris Buyze, Battle Lake Design Group

Chris is a past Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40 honoree, current president of the Downtown Edmonton Community League, and a partner in Battle Lake Design Group, a full-service residential design firm specializing in design and development of sustainable residential and smaller-scale mixed-use buildings. Chris works with both rural and urban clients to design energy-efficient ‘modern vernacular’ homes that are not only functional, sustainable and possible, but aesthetically beautiful in design and material use. BLDG use a wide range of proven sustainable materials, but are known in Western Canada for their expertise in straw bale building design and construction. BLDG’s work beautifully combines contemporary residential architecture and a sense of place to lift straw bale construction from its rural, grassroots origins into an urban context, and was recently featured in the Homes section of the Edmonton Journal.

Shafraaz is a partner and architect at Manasc Isaac, a member of the Alberta Association of Architects and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and holds Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies and Master of Architecture degrees from Dalhousie University. Manasc Isaac are known for cutting-edge sustainable architecture for extreme climates and their stewardship of numerous successful LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects through collaborative, integrated planning and construction processes. Their goal is the creation of beautiful, healthy, sustainable, climate-adaptive and net-zero buildings that make positive contributions to their communities.
Shafraaz is also a past Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40 honoree, and a founding member of both Media, Art, and Design Exposed (M.A.D.E.) In Edmonton Society, who create public design events, and the Edmonton Design Committee, who review projects for downtown Edmonton. His work has taken him from Canada to London and Pakistan, and he has written for the Edmonton Journal, Canadian Architect, AZURE, Canadian Interiors and Avenue Magazine, as well as his blog Chasing Net Zero on the construction of his own home. 
duncan-kinneyDuncan Kinney, Green Energy Futures
Duncan is the editor and production manager for Green Energy Futures, the president of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society, and a member of the Oliver Community League. A graduate of Mount Royal College (now University’s) journalism program, he has written about sustainability, renewable energy, and community for newspapers, magazines and the web, including Alberta Venture magazine and sustainable design firm EcoAmmo‘s blog.
Green Energy Futures is an environmental journalism project that shares the stories of Canadian sustainability pioneers who are doing amazing work not being covered by conventional media, and their work has appeared in newspapers, on CKUA, and the Huffington Post. Their videos and blog posts have profiled projects including Enmax’s Generate Choice solar program, C Returns’ home energy audits and residential retrofits, and Manasc Issac’s Reimagine office building retrofits, and such technologies as the Nest programmable thermostat,  sustainable lighting choices, geothermal heating systems, and the full spectrum of renewable electrical generation options. 
Carbon Environmental Boutique is an eco store in downtown Edmonton committed to offering only non-toxic, sustainable, ethical and local products. As Carbon’s founder and head researcher, Allison will outline the differences between green home renovation products and conventional products on the market, comparing how health and planetary impacts can be reduced when remodeling your home. 
Statistics show that the air inside an average home is 6 to 10 times more polluted than the air outside because many home products on the market today contain toxic elements, harsh volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carcinogenic substances. With the preservation of indoor air quality as her top priority, Allison will discuss paint, plaster, flooring, carpets and countertops. By making a few simple changes to renovation plans and careful furnishing choices, your beautiful home can go from harmful to healthy.

Tegan Martin-Drysdale, Redbrick Inc.

A LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) accredited civil engineer, Tegan has broad experience in how buildings come together from the perspectives of the designer, architect, contractor and supplier all the way through to the client. She has first-hand experience in structural engineering and project management of mixed use, commercial, and residential projects. Before forming RedBrick Real Estate Services, Tegan was a project manager with ProCura Real Estate Services.

Tegan was previously involved with the Riverdale Community League as their Sustainability Director and the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues as the organizer of the Edmonton Community Challenge. She believes strongly in working with local communities and engaging citizens on development projects and initiatives in their neighbourhoods. Tegan is also a past Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40 honoree, and serves as the Past Co-Chair of the Next Gen Committee. 


Michael Victoria Moore, Genesis Permaculture 
Permaculture follows patterns observed in the natural world to develop integrated systems that provide for our needs of food, shelter, energy and community in ways that are healthy, efficient and sustainable. Michael is a passionate permaculture teacher and designer who works all over Alberta establishing edible foodscapes and regenerative design solutions for urban and rural properties. After watching Geoff Lawton’s Greening The Desert video, Michael immersed herself in independent study and workshops, took her Permaculture Design Certification, and attended the 10th Biennial International Permaculture Conference and Convergence. This summer, Michael will be teaching her own Permaculture Design Certification program at Long Lake Wilderness Retreat. Michael will bring her expertise in landscaping for energy efficiency, rainwater harvesting, and food production to our panel.
AlexanderPolkovskyAlexander Polkovsky, NuEnergy Group Inc.
Alex is a Managing Partner with NuEnergy Group, an Edmonton-based multi-divisional energy and climate systems contractor who have implemented an extensive portfolio of renewable energy projects and high-performance climate control systems throughout Alberta.  He is also a Managing Partner of SynergEn Systems, who manufacture and distribute specialty energy recovery products for building applications. In his spare time, Alex serves as a volunteer on the Capital Region Board Economic Roadmap Steering Committee, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Environmental Task Force, and the Industry Advisory Committee for NAIT’s Alternative Energy Technology Program.
SONY DSCLaura-Belle Robinson,
An Interior Ecologist and Community Specialist, Laura-Belle brings an understanding of the symbiotic relationship between human beings and the environments they inhabit to her design work, integrating form with human and social factors. Her design innovations include Neighbourhoods as a Function of Health, The Biotechnology of Communities, and The Neighbourhood Report Card™.
Jason Ruhl, HouseDifferent 
HouseDifferent is a locally owned and operated firm which has been providing outstanding design and architectural consulting services to homeowners, contractors, and building professionals since 2003.  Backed by practical experience in a wide variety of construction types, principal Jason Ruhl is a strong believer in taking a holistic approach to building – looking at each project without making assumptions. Our favorite types of projects are those that challenge assumptions on what a house is made up of: spaces, places, and materials.

HouseDifferent’s primary experience deals with new construction infills, renovations, and some commercial and institutional work as well. We continue to challenge assumptions about ‘what makes a good building’ in each new project. We strive not to explain just ‘how’ in buildings, but also ‘why’.

brianBrian Scott, Communitas Group 
Brian is the Marketing, Technology & Research Director and Project Manager of the Communitas Group, a consulting firm who provide client groups with all the skills, management and knowledge required to develop affordable, sustainable multi-unit cooperative housing projects. The Communitas Group have collaborated with private developers and continuing housing cooperatives, home ownership cooperatives, mixed tenure cooperatives, community based land trusts, cohousing groups, non-profit companies and societies developing purpose built housing. Since the late 90’s, Communitas has brought together the concepts of affordable and environmentally sustainable and energy efficient design through the adoption of integrated design, life cycle costing, green loans and, most recently, Passivhaus design. Brian is  responsible for the technical research and development programs for building design and environmental quality, and he will share his knowledge of environmental building design and construction as part of our panel. 

Dave Turnbull is the Product Development Manager for the Landmark Group of Builders based out of Edmonton, Alberta. Dave has over 25 years in the homebuilding industry working in all areas from Trades to the supply chain. Landmark has always had sustainable development leanings and in 2007 Dave was charged with formalizing these into a program and moving Landmark into a leadership position for sustainability in the homebuilding industry.  In a market where EnerGuide 72-74 is the norm, Landmark has over 90% of its product line (1000 homes per year) over EnerGuide 82, and at market price. Dave also serves the industry as the President of Built Green Canada and locally as Chair of CHBA-Edmonton’s Environment Committee. Landmark Group have had some success in lowering the cost of of achieving Net Zero by using prefabrication techniques (described in a presentation archived here).

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