Sustainable Renovations Course

Endeavour’s Sustainable Renovations course is a unique, full time, hands-on sustainable building program that will put you at the forefront of the green renovations field.

You will find yourself at the centre of a renovation project that achieves the highest goals of green building:

Zero net energy use
– Zero embodied carbon
– Zero toxins
– Zero construction waste

You will work with teachers and practitioners who are leaders in the field and work with fellow participants who are motivated and enthusiastic.

It is a unique experience unlike any other construction program in the world!

2018 Program Dates: May 7 – September 28

Sustainable Renovations course testimonialFor 2018, our construction project will be the transformation of an unused urban building in downtown Peterborough, Ontario, into habitable, healthy, energy-efficient space.

Sustainable Renovations Course Overview

Our full-time Sustainable Renovations course involves you in every aspect of bringing an existing building up to the highest standards of energy efficiency, occupant health and carbon responsibility.

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.

Interacting with experienced builders and tradespeople, students work with designs, materials and technologies that are at the forefront of sustainable renovations.

The learning experience suits the seasoned building professional and the excited newcomer alike. The diversity of students in our classes creates a unique atmosphere of cooperation, shared learning and partnership.

This experience can put you on the path to a future in sustainable renovations, from first-time owner-builder to general contractor.

Sustainable Renovations course testimonial

Job Site Experience (70% of program)

Meaningful job site experience is at the heart of Endeavour’s Sustainable Renovations course. We believe in putting our students in roles of individual responsibility within a cooperative, team-based approach to construction. Working with our experienced instructors and licensed trade professionals, you will be involved in the complete renovation cycle of a high-performance building.

On the job site, you’ll learn about:

  • Assessing existing building conditions and formulating sustainable solutions
  • Choosing and installing a variety of structural options from foundations to walls to roofs, including rammed earth technologies, natural insulation types, wood framing and natural plasters
  • Creating energy efficient building enclosures, achieving air tightness and avoiding thermal bridges
  • Choosing and installing healthy, natural finishes including earthen floors, wood, natural plasters and paints
  • Choosing and installing efficient, low-carbon heating, cooling and ventilation systems
  • Choosing and installing renewable energy systems

Classroom Modules (30% of program)

What Is Sustainable Building?

  • Discovering the language, development and practices of sustainable building is an important beginning to the construction work that will follow. This module covers the history of the movement toward sustainable building, the working language and terminology of the field and a primer in the technologies currently in use to create sustainable buildings.
  • Learn about a wide variety of green building programs (from The Living Building Challenge to EnergyStar) and their philosophy, principles and rating systems.

Building Science

  • Successful sustainable buildings put good building science to use. This module introduces building science and provides the “thinking platform” that will inform our entire building process.
  • Learn about heat and moisture flows, energy modelling and a thorough building science approach to design and construction for highest performance levels, durability and occupant health and comfort.

Building Structure

  • Buildings are complex structural systems. This module examines structural principles and how we can put those into practice to create strong, durable buildings.
  • Learn about a wide range of natural building materials and approaches, from earthbag to straw bale to timber framing.

Renewable Energy & Mechanical Systems

  • Resilient buildings incorporate passive technologies with renewable energy to create buildings with minimal environmental impacts. This module takes a holistic approach to the design and integration of a building’s mechanical systems.
  • Learn about a wide range of renewable energy, heating, cooling, ventilation, water and waste strategies and systems.

Reading Construction Plans

  • The conversation between designer and builder is based on the construction drawings. This module helps to bring drawings to life and enables you to read, understand and modify drawings.
  • Learn about the complete construction plan process, from client interviews to drafting to material take-offs.

Building Inspection

  • As a sustainable renovator, you will need to be able to inspect existing buildings and determine construction styles and materials, and identify existing and potential problems with a building
  • Learn about typical residential construction methods of the past century, diagnose issues and propose solutions

Sustainable Design

  • Each student completes an extensive design assignment, generating a set of sustainable goals, an initial design proposal and a set of preliminary architectural drawing
  • Students learn to use Sketch-Up 3D design software
  • Design projects are for real-world clients, offering experience in client interaction and expectations

The Business of Sustainable Building

  • It will take dedicated sustainable builders to affect real change in our construction industry. This module brings professionalism and sustainable building together.
  • Learn how the construction business works, and how sustainable builders can make real change while earning a sustainable living.

Worksite Health & Safety

  • Health and safety are as important in sustainable building as in any kind of construction. This module offers several key safety certifications and training in job site procedure and safety.
  • Learn how to function safely in a wide variety of job site scenarios, from identifying hazardous materials to proper use of personal safety equipment and scaffolding.


Sustainable Renovation Course Entry Requirements

There are no formal prerequisites for the sustainable renovations course. The curriculum is designed to accommodate those with lots of construction experience as well as those with little or no building background. The selection process for participants is based on a cover letter you send with your application. We are looking for participants who are serious about pursuing a life path in sustainable and natural building.

Tuition Fee

$5,500 (CDN) + HST. Maximum class size: 12                          Apply Now!

After you graduate…

Graduates of Endeavour’s full time courses have found employment in a wide range of roles, in Canada and around the world. Some have gone on to become sustainable building contractors, others have specialized in sub-trades such as straw bale wall builders, earthen floor installers, natural plastering, renewable energy installation, green roofing and timber framing. Others have found roles in the design field and as consultants. A few graduates have gone on to build their own sustainable homes. Further training is also possible, with some graduates continuing their education in fields like architecture, building science, carpentry and electrical.

With Endeavour’s strong connections among sustainable builders and designers in Canada and around the world, many pathways open up for our graduates! Over 70% of our graduates have found work in their desired field.