Sustainable New Construction

2018 Sustainable New Construction Program Dates: May-September

Endeavour’s Sustainable New Construction program is a full time immersion program, with participants taking part in the complete construction cycle of a high-performance building using natural and low-carbon building materials – and you will undertake the design of a project of your choosing. 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!

Clayton Linton endorsement 1
We are currently negotiating a contract for our 2018 project and will announce details as soon as they are available. Our projects are community-based buildings that feature a blend of natural and high performance materials and systems with a focus on low- and zero-carbon options.

If you would like to apply, please email an application to registration at endeavourcentre dot org, with a resume outlining your education and work experience to date, and a cover letter explaining why you’d be an ideal candidate for this program. For more information, contact us.

Course Overview

Our full-time Sustainable New Construction certificate program involves you in every aspect of making a highly sustainable building.

From simple natural building materials like straw and clay to state-of-the-art energy systems, our students experience the learning that comes from being responsible for all aspects of construction, from planning and budgeting to fine finishes and systems commissioning.Lara Tarroni endorsement

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

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 building, from first-time owner-builder to general contractor.Brian Tighe endorsement

Curriculum Outline

Our programs blend classroom time with full-time engagement on the construction site. Classroom sessions are taught by experienced instructors. Site time is led by three full time instructors and augmented by leading trades people and specialists.

Kara endorsement


Job Site Experience (70% of program)

Meaningful job site experience is at the heart of the SNC program. We believe in putting our students in roles of individual responsibility within a cooperative, team-based approach to construction. Students will have direct roles in building/installing structural components, working with licensed trade professionals, setting policies, selecting and purchasing materials.Kevin Karl endorsement

Roles for students in our projects include:


  • Budget coordination, purchasing, photo and video documentation, health and safety, site coordination, waste and recycling coordination, tool maintenance, media relations, web sites and blogging, managing rating systems, creating owner’s manuals, sourcing recycled building materials, and more.


  • A range of approaches to, and materials for, foundations, floors, exterior walls, plasters, roof framing and sheathing, windows, doors, trim and siding, insulation, flashings, interior partitions, cabinetry and fixtures, natural finishes and more.


  • Renewable energy, rain water collection, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, composting toilets, grey water treatment, air tightness and quality control, passive systems, lighting and more.Melissa Furukawa endorsement

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.Bart Glumineau endorsement

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.Gordon Magill endorsement

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.Daniaba Montesinos endorsement

The Art of Natural Building

  • Beauty is integral to building, and beautiful buildings are visually exciting, nurturing and inspiring. This module explores the pursuit of beauty in building in theory and in practice.
  • Learn an artistic approach to crafting materials, and many ways of using beautiful natural finishes.

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.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal prerequisites for the new construction program. 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.


$5,500 (CDN) + HST (subject to project confirmation)

Maximum class size: 12

Ben Bowman endorsement

Check out our most recent Sustainable New Construction project HERE.