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This series is co-hosted by the KPL (Kitchener Public Library) and GVSA as a public lecture series about architecture and design in the Canadian context and beyond. 

85 Queen: Backyard Houses

The Architect Builders Collaborative Inc. 

Presented on March 31, 2022


Are you curious about Backyard Houses? Are you wondering:

  • Can I build one on my lot?

  • How large can a backyard house be?

  • How tall?

  • How many storeys?

  • Where can I build it?

  • Who can live there?

  • How do I provide water, drains, and power?

  • What about emergency access?

  • Can a backyard house be accessible?

  • How much will it cost?

  • What about climate change and green design?

  • What can a backyard house look like?

Get answers to all your questions in this presentation by local Architects and the City of Kitchener. Presented by The Architect Builders Collaborative Inc., recent winner of the City’s Backyard Homes Design Competition with their GAGA design. In partnership with the Grand Valley Society of Architects (GVSA).

The Next Green Shift: Innovation in Sustainable Design

Heather Dubbeldam, Principal, Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

Presented on November 26, 2020 via Zoom 


Heather Dubbeldam joins us to share her team’s ongoing Prix de Rome travel research, centered on Denmark, Sweden and Norway as leaders in sustainable design, and how that research has shaped the work of her practice in Toronto.

Lecture Abstract: Countries and municipalities are setting more aggressive goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy demands in new buildings to mitigate climate change. This represents a prime opportunity for architects to apply their skills and experience to lead the charge. However, sustainable high-performance and low-energy building is often still considered a technological discipline. In reality, real low energy results are achieved through the design and form of the building, and can be a generator for design innovation. Dubbeldam Architecture + Design, the recipients of the 2016 Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture from the Canada Council, have been exploring firsthand how Scandinavian architects set new standards for sustainable buildings in which energy efficiency and design merge seamlessly while achieving better environmental and socially sustainable outcomes in their built environments, from individual buildings to cities. 


What are Buildings: Art + Science Events? This new series, co-hosted by the Grand Valley Society of Architects and RDH Building Science, will delve into current issues in the building industry from different perspectives, highlighting architectural and building science challenges and solutions. 

The Arbour – The Growth of Tall Wood

Veronicca Madonna, Principal, Moriyama and Teshima Architects

Presented on November 13, 2019 at Lancaster Smokehouse


As one of the first tall wood buildings in Ontario, the design for the Arbour instills generous spaces for wellbeing and sustainability. The building's very name evokes green growth and shelter. Its form and façade will be shaped and refined to maximize access to natural light and fresh air. Two solar chimneys located on the east and west facades will be used to create a sustainable system of natural convection, drawing air up and through the building from operable windows. This presentation will review the methodologies of design including the sustainable and structural innovations that are inherent in The Arbour’s design.

Mass Timber + Moisture Protection

Jesse Moore, Building Science Engineer, RDH Building Science

Presented on November 13, 2019 at Lancaster Smokehouse


One advantage of wood as a building material is that it can dry out after wetting, but there are limits to this capacity. As we build more mass timber structures in Ontario, we need to consider protection from moisture exposure before, during, and after construction. Jesse will talk about wood wetting and drying and then discuss the steps that should be taken early in the project to integrate moisture protection into the design and construction process.

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