Are you passionate about sustainability?  Do you want to take part in a volunteer activity that could help improve Kingston’s environmental performance while improving living conditions for your fellow students?

Queen’s is working to support the City of Kingston in it’s new retrofitting program – Better Homes Kingston, which will allow residents to enter into a property loan program to complete renovations on their home that will increase comfort, affordability and cut greenhouse gas emissions.  The City would welcome student participation in this program; students can act as ambassadors for the program and help identify opportunities to improve the City’s housing stock.   

To take part in this program, you need to attend a FREE training session on high performance homes and building science principles, delivered by Building Knowledge Canada Inc.. The City is providing this course to local trade contractors and renovators, as well as students, to support the successful launch of the Better Homes Kingston program.

About Better Homes Kingston

Set to launch in April 2022, Better Homes Kingston is aimed at retrofitting existing single-family homes. Better Homes Kingston requires participants to reach a minimum of 20 per cent GHG emissions reductions for homes with fossil fuel heating system (oil, natural gas, and propane), or a 20 per cent reduction in energy consumption for electrically heated homes, and we need to ensure this work is done to the highest standard, so participants get access to available loans and incentives. Homeowners who participate in the program will qualify for up to $40,000 loans at 0 per cent interest, with the option for an initial 30 per cent upfront to pre-pay contractors for your services! To reach the program’s targets, the City wants to ensure homeowners receive the most up to date solutions from local contractors for improving their homes from an energy, emissions and cost perspective. This includes seeing the house holistically: including HVAC/DHW systems, the building envelope while considering suitable renewable energy solutions. The program may also support the installation of home electric vehicle charging systems and renovations that improve climate resiliency (e.g. flood prevention, energy storage/back-up power).

Why should I attend?

  • Learn for FREE - Typically, this foundational course on High Performance Homes and Building Science principles can cost hundreds of dollars, however the City is offering it to our students
  • Become eligible for volunteer experience – Students who have participated in this program will have the opportunity to complete volunteer hours for which they will receive official recognition from the City.
  • New skills and access to expertise - As a student passionate about this area, you likely know a fair bit about retrofitting challenges.  But you also know that technologies and standards are changing on a daily basis. After participating in this course you will walk away knowing the key elements of a high performance home; the EnerGuide Rating System program; the science of air, heat and moisture flow and the materials and methods to help control each, and; the benefits of seeing a home as an integrates system that can help ensure safety, comfort, durability and more!

How do I secure my spot?

RSVP for one of the two dates listed below.

March 16 | 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. via Zoom

March 23 | 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. via Zoom

Additional courses

In the coming months, the City will offer additional courses focused on specialized renovations. Stay tuned for updates.

Who is teaching the course?

A person smiling for the camera

Description automatically generated with low confidenceGord Cooke, President of Building Knowledge Canada, is a professional engineer, an educator, trainer and consultant with over 35 years of experience in the low and high-rise residential building and renovation industry. Gord has particular expertise in applied building science, energy efficient housing initiatives, innovative HVAC systems, ventilation and Indoor Air Quality. His goal is to assist builders, renovators, and their trades to provide their clients with better, more efficient, comfortable, and durable homes.