Canadian Contractor

John Bleasby   

Endeavour Centre increases their range of sustainable building workshops for 2018

Canadian Contractor

A Canadian learning facility focused on the leading edge of tomorrow’s housing techniques

Where do you go to develop the knowledge and skills required to design and build the sustainable homes of the future? The Endeavor Centre in Peterborough might be the place. Endeavor offers a range of weekend, week-long and multi-month, hands-on building and skills training courses on a wide range of topics, each one with a focus on the future of Canada’s housing technology. “We thrive on working with the most promising and innovative sustainable building materials and technology,” the Endeavor website says. “From simple natural materials to effective high-tech mechanical systems, our exploration of what’s available, possible, practical and affordable is our raisons d’être.”

Small class sizes and hands-on work from start to finish make Endeavor’s course a unique learning experience

Small groups, lots of hands-on experience guaranteed
Endeavor’s 2018 course schedule has been released, and their new Sustainable Renovations Course really jumps out, an exciting addition to their popular Sustainable New Building course which has run for several summers. Working in a group of no more than 12, enrollees will spend 70 per cent of their time actually working on a sustainable renovation project.  It’s all about, well, a lot of zero’s: zero net energy use, zero embodied carbon, zero toxins and zero construction waste. Class time focuses on building sciences, reading plans and renewable energy and mechanical systems. Endeavor’s website describes the course in more detail. “From simple natural building materials like straw and clay to state-of-the-art energy systems, you will experience the learning that comes from being responsible for all aspects of construction, from planning and budgeting to fine finishes and systems commissioning.”

Unique training in housing energy-efficiency
Chris Magwood, one of five Endeavor Centre co-founders, had been teaching a sustainable building course at Fleming College in Peterborough from 2005. “We had been looking at expanding that one course and decided it would probably work better if we worked outside the institution,” Magwood told Canadian Contractor. “It simply takes longer to initiate those types of programs inside a college like that and we thought we could be quick and nimble and start our own thing.” The Endeavor Centre was thus born in 2011, and has since expanded to more than 25 courses and workshops in design and building science that run almost 12 months a year.

The Endeavor Centre offers courses specifically for Women in Construction

Heavy on the hands-on
As Magwood explains, “By working hands-on from start to finish on actual projects, students in the Sustainable New Building and Sustainable Renovation courses experience the full arch of the build. They learn to use a number of materials and strategies that can be used to build a sustainable building.” Enrollees also learn to assess existing building conditions and formulating sustainable solutions, such as rammed earth, natural insulation, wood framing and natural plasters in real life situations. Air tightness and avoiding thermal bridges are also high on the list as well as the selection and installation of natural finishes and low carbon heating systems.


Endeavor’s Zero House was showcased to over 100,000 last fall in Toronto

The Zero House was built on campus by the Endeavor Centre, then reassembled at EDIT in Toronto, all with DeWalt FlexVolt cordless tools

The Endeavor Centre made a dramatic statement at the Expo for Design, Innovation & Technology (EDIT) held in last fall in Toronto when they showcased their Zero House project.  Built in collaboration with Ryerson University in Toronto, Zero House was a pre-fabricated 1,000 square foot, two story NZE home constructed during the summer at the Endeavor Centre’s Peterborough campus, and reassembled at the Expo. The event gave the Endeavor Centre exposure to over 100,000 visitors attending exhibits and lectures over a two week period. Power tool manufacture DeWalt was a major sponsor of the Zero House project, donating a full range of FlexVolt cordless power tools that were exclusively in the construction and reassembly of the Zero House.

Endeavor’s New Building and Renovation programs run from May 7 to September 28, with tuition of $5,500 plus HST.
Learn more about their full range of courses and workshops, some starting in February

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