Category: Uncategorised

Holistic Sustainability

Sustainable Housing
John Godden

John Godden, Founding Board Member and current President of SHF. President of Clearsphere.

February 18, 2021

What does “sustainable” housing actually mean today and how has that definition changed over time? Is it energy efficiency? Is it resilient buildings? Is it water efficiency? Or, is it all of these things and more?  How do you measure and evaluate sustainability? Why is it important to be looking at these issues today and what does the future hold for the home building industry? Led by John Godden, Clearsphere.

Webinar starts at 10:30 AM Thursday Feb. 18, 2021 and will wrap up by noon.  The Zoom link will be emailed to you ahead of time.

This is the first of a three-part series of Webinars that the Sustainable Housing Foundation is hosting this winter. You can get more information about the other seminars by clicking the links below:


Cost Effective Durability

Long Lasting Building Materials
April 22, 2021


The topic of resiliency in housing has become a hot button issue for many municipalities who are struggling to address climate change, natural disasters, water shortages and other issues- not to mention energy. This webinar will look at this issue from the view point of structural sustainability, building science, and engineering principles. Led by Structural Engineer Travis Schiller

This is an online Zoom webinar on April 22, 2021 at 10:30 AM. Log on details will be emailed to all registered participants beforehand.

Register for this Webinar.

Being the Best We Can Be During a Pandemic

John Godden

John Godden, Founding Board Member and current President

May 29, 2020

If COVID-19 has done one thing, it has removed most distractions from our daily routines. More time to reflect has reminded me that I am not what I do or what I have done. It’s easy for us to define our identity by a job, a role or a position in a group of people. Each of us may have to redefine ourselves, in the new normal, after this pause.

“Being” is what is left when we pull away the content in our lives. Vision is looking forward to where we want to go, but revision is making changes, and that is actually a harder task. Human beings are built for survival for the short term. We’re not especially good at planning for the long term.

We have to figure out what is working with the old normal and apply those things to a new definition of our future. This process does not happen outside of each person. It happens by each person making the small changes they can in their own sphere of influence.

The Sustainable Housing Foundation has been around for approximately 15 years.  It seeks to engage people at the grass roots level, as individuals, who come together in a collective to change the aggregate.  As the foundation’s founder, I plan to continue to reach out virtually.  As soon as it is possible, we will start having our dinners and think tanks again.

We are the authors of our own destinies and the pandemic has provided us with a challenge where we can learn to work together to create a better future for the planet.

Stay safe and keep the faith.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.”  – Abraham Lincoln

Views from our Board

May 2020

The Sustainable Housing Foundation Board has continued to meet virtually since the Ontario lock down in March. Our Board members are uniquely positioned to reflect on how everything that is happening may impact the sustainable housing building sector in Ontario,

Annual Green Builder Golf Tournament

Golf Tournament
June 25, 2020

The Sustainable Housing Foundation, with careful planning, was able to hold its annual Green Builder Challenge Golf Tournament at Flemingdon Golf Course on Thursday June 25th, 2020. With great planning and assistance from the staff at the golf course we were able to host 9 teams of golfers with a boxed lunch, a drinks cart and best-ball round of nine-hole golf. By every measure the event was a terrific success and many participants enjoyed (finally) a get together with friends and colleagues at a COVID-appropriate distance.  The Awards for the golf tournament were presented virtually the next day along with the Awards for the RESNET/CRESNET Cross Border Challenge. These are the builders who have achieved the lowest HERS scores in a number of categories.

As golfer, and SHF Board member, Paul Lowes of BP Canada commented,

“the event helped bring industry friends and colleagues together after a prolonged period of isolation, to participate in the annual event. The weather was spectacular and Flemingdon Park Golf Club did an excellent job ensuring protocols were met by making modifications to the pins and catering a delicious boxed lunch for each player. It was evident that everyone felt comfortable with the safety standards implemented and happy to see each other.”

The winners of this year’s Tournament prizes were:

  • Women’s Longest Drive:  Jenifer Hurd
  • Men’s Longest Drive: Daryl Pirocchi
  • Closest To The Pin: Richard Lyall
  • Most Honest Team: Silvio Longo and team
  • Best Team: Frank Muto and team

Canadian Awards for the Cross Border Challenge were:

  • CRESNET President’s Award: Heathwood Homes
  • Lowest HERS score production builder: Brookfield Residential
  • Lowest HERS score mid-production: Campanale Homes
  • Lowest HERS score custom builder: Tribute Homes
  • Enbridge Innovation Award: Geranium Homes

Browse some photos of the golf teams below.

Resilient Housing- POSTPONED

THIS EVENT WILL BE RESCHEDULED IN THE FALL ONCE THINGS RETURN TO A NORMAL WORK ENVIRONMENT.  Resilient housing is the next step in future proofing the homes we build. It is more than energy and water efficiency; it is more than durable construction and solid foundations; it is the ultimate combination of building practices that will allow our homes to last into the future despite the extreme climate changes our planet is facing.

Join us for the Sustainable Housing Foundation’s Breakfast event on April 2nd at the Thornhill Club from 8:30 am to 11 am. The topic for the morning’s event is HOUSING RESILIENCY. WHAT BUILDERS NEED TO KNOW.

It is no longer enough to build quality, energy efficient homes. Municipalities, the Insurance industry and other levels of Government are demanding resilient homes that can withstand climate change events such as increased winds, rain, drought, and other severe weather changes.

Our panel of speakers will highlight what Builders need to be aware of and show them how to navigate the inevitable regulations that are coming and how to be ahead of the curve in making your homes more resilient.


  • 8:30 am  Breakfast Buffet
  • 9:00 am  Presentations begin
  • 10:00 am  Discussion and Q&A
  • 10:30 am  Cross Border Challenge Winners’ presentation



  • Arthur Lofsky, Director, Gov’t Relations and Climate Adaptation Lead, Ontario Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Glenn McGillivray, Managing Director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
  • Corrie McCambridge, Canadian Field Rep, APA- The Engineered Wood Association

 Builder Response:

  • A GTA Builder has been invited to respond to the issues raised by the speakers. TBC

Carbon Tax? What does it mean for the building industry?

carbon tax

With the Federal election coming this fall,  we hosted an industry event looking at what the various carbon tax/ cap and trade policies mean to the building industry. How do the mechanics of carbon taxing work in Canada? How much of an impact can the home building industry make?  What happens to the money collected and how will it affect housing prices?  These are just some of the questions that were addressed.

Michael Bernstein, ED Clean Prosperity

Our Keynote Speaker Michael Bernstein, Executive Director of Canadians for Clean Prosperity  provided a non-partisan overview of various proposals for carbon tax in Canada and its implications for the home building industry. The audience raised questions and got answers to help navigate your company through the changing carbon climate in Canada.  Following the presentation and dinner we played a fun interactive Q&A “game” where each of us had to examine what we really thought about some of the issues raised. What is the best way to change behavior? What really is the building industry’s contribution to global warming? And what can we do about it?

Read the interview with Michael in Better Builder magazine- Clean and Green on page 13.

Annual Green Builder Golf Tournament

golf tournament

The annual Sustainable Housing Foundation Green Builder Challenge golf tournament was held on a beautiful, sunny Thursday June 6, 2019 at Flemingdon Golf Club. 38 golfers participated and enjoyed a BBQ lunch and post-game prize awards.


Local Leadership

Rosehaven Homes leaders

Leadership drives change. Nothing happens in a vacuum and nothing great happens without great leadership.

Over 85 people attended this dinner event which featured speakers highlighting the importance of local leadership and collaboration in getting innovative, sustainable housing built.

This evening’s panel of speakers were:

  • the Mayor of East Gwillimbury, Virginia Hackson, who has taken a leadership role in her community to ensure that new homes built are innovative and sustainable and are brought to market in the most direct way.
  • There was a panel discussion entitled CLOSING THE GAP that included builders, municipal building officials and planning staff discussing how they can work together in a collaborative way to close the gap in developing innovative, sustainable housing in the most most efficient way possible.
  • Panel speakers included leaders from Rosehaven Homes, ICON and Lindvest and the municipal staff included building department staff from Pickering and East Gwillibury.  The moderator, and thought provoker, was John Godden, President of Clearsphere.
  • Also featured at this free dinner event were the Builders who have won recognition in the Cross Border Challenge of RESNET/CRESNET. These are the builders that have achieved the LOWEST HERS scores in one of several categories.

Total Water Solution: A Builder’s Approach

Water Solution

Water conservation is becoming increasingly important, even in water-rich Canada. Through water efficiency, like the reuse of greywater, each home contributes to a water-efficient community while reducing infrastructure costs.

A successful evening on September 20th for all involved! Over 80 people attended a dinner where we focused on a case study of one builder’s approach to achieving a total water solution.  Rosehaven Homes has been a leader in working with York Region and East Gwillimbury to exceed the sustainability checklist of East Gwillimbury. City Council is taking note and looking at some of the innovative ways this has been achieved.

The agenda for the evening was:

  • A look at a new way of how water efficiency is measured in the US using the HERS H2O water scale Steve Bade, Executive Director of RESNET
  • A look at a specific builder’s achievement of these water objectives and beyond in East Gwillimbury;
  • A discussion about how success is achieved and measured, including the new H2O Scale from RESNET
  • Looking under the hood at some of the technologies used to achieve a total water solution, including the new Greyter greywater recycling system;

The Sustainable Housing Foundation is generously supported by Enbridge and their Savings by Design program and by the manufacturers of sustainable building products and services that were on display at this event.