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Bianca Dahlman is the 2019 winner of the Students Leading Sustainability: Andy Kesteloo Memorial Project Award, granted by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

Architecture Co-op Student Earns National Green Building Award

June 13, 2019 — 

Bianca Dahlman is the 2019 winner of the Students Leading Sustainability: Andy Kesteloo Memorial Project Award, granted by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

This national award recognizes a student project that demonstrates leadership, innovation, inspiration and a creative vision for the future of sustainable design in the field of green building and communities.

Bianca is completing a 16-month work-term as an architectural assistant in the Technical Services Branch of Alberta Infrastructure. She will soon graduate with her Bachelor of Environmental Design degree, and commence the Master of Architecture program at the University of Manitoba in September 2019.   

Other Winnipeg CaGBC winners include Partners Program member Prairie Architects Inc., who earned a Green Building Excellence – Tenant Improvement Award for the LEED CI Platinum design of their own offices in the Exchange District. For a full list of recipients, see the CaGBC News Release.

Weaving Ecological Knowledge

Bianca Dahlman, Weave Cultural Centre.

Bianca Dahlman, Weave Cultural Centre. See also the CaGBC June publication.

Bianca was the only student honoured among other distinguished professionals from across Canada at the CaGBC Building Lasting Change conference and awards gala in Vancouver on May 28-30, 2019.

Her winning project, The Weave Cultural Centre, creates a multi-purpose space where the Anishinaabe community of Shoal Lake 40 can reconnect with their history and celebrate their culture through knowledge sharing across generations.

According to Bianca’s project description, Weave “embraces life cycle thinking by incorporating the harvest of local trees, the re-planting of those trees, local milling and construction labor… and engages the practice of Anishinaabe Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) through integrating the building and conserving of the structure into its programming.” The design also incorporates ground source heat pumps and a Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Insulation Structure Technique (PERSIST).

Bianca visited Shoal Lake 40 and produced Weave as part of an ED4 design studio course led by Assistant Professor and Indigenous Scholar Shawn Bailey, along with Adele Sinclair and Shawn Sinclair of Boreal Architecture Studio Inc.

Alberta Infrastructure

 Bianca further credits her green design development to Alberta Infrastructure, where she has been working as a Co-op student researching Net Zero Energy and zero carbon emission standards. As Bianca emphasizes, “To date, Alberta Infrastructure has 191 LEED certified projects in their portfolio and has been a past winner of the CaGBC’s Government Leadership Award. Needless to say, Alberta Infrastructure has played a key role in my development as a green building practitioner. I am grateful to my mentors for engaging me in this important work.”

Since May 2018, Bianca has been a Co-op student in the Technical Services Branch of Alberta Infrastructure in Edmonton, performing green building design reviews and collaborating with their climate leadership team.

“My experience at Alberta Infrastructure has been an absolute dream.”

As Bianca puts it, “My experience at Alberta Infrastructure has been an absolute dream.”

In addition to broadening knowledge in building codes and energy modeling, Bianca has studied federal and provincial energy regulations, plus renewable energy strategies and goals. She has served as a speaker and session host in the inaugural Alberta Infrastructure Climate Summit in September 2018; given several presentations on Net Zero Ready Schools; and earned the credentials of LEED Green Associate and LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design + Construction.

According to Bonnie Dong, Bianca’s supervisor and Senior Engineer at Alberta Infrastructure, “Bianca is a model for sustainability in her daily life and in support of the green building community.”

For her outstanding development, leadership and achievements, Bianca earned an honorable mention as University of Manitoba Co-op student of the year in March 2019.

Cooperative Education and the Faculty of Architecture

 The Faculty of Architecture’s Cooperative Education/Integrated Work program is now in its second year. Twenty students are on work term placements in summer 2019, up from 16 students in summer 2018. Work terms are open to undergraduate students in the third or fourth year of the Environmental Design Program, as well as graduate students in Architecture, City Planning, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture.

Work terms complement and enrich academic programs with work experience, providing students with practical experience, assistance in financing their education, and guidance for future career specialization.

As Bianca Dahlman has shown with her Canada Green Building Council Award, Co-op work terms can also amplify academic achievements to national profile and empower the next generation of design professionals to fight climate change via sustainable design.

To learn more about Cooperative Education and the Faculty of Architecture, visit the Co-op program webpage.

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