[From the McGill Reporter:]
On Tuesday, April 3, the McGill Office of Sustainability hosted its eighth annual Catalyst Awards Gala. Each spring, the Catalyst Awards recognize students, staff, and faculty who have made meaningful and enduring contributions to the sustainability movement at McGill University.
The Catalyst Award for Research & Education went to TeamMTL, a collaboration of students and faculty members from McGill and Concordia. TeamMTL participated in the international Solar Decathlon China 2018 competition, in which teams designed and built net-zero energy, single-family homes designed to the highest standards of sustainability. This project has brought together over 100 students from more than 10 departments working to design, prototype and build the next generation of urban housing.
The team’s proposal, the Deep Performance Dwelling, is a high-performance row house designed to address both quantitative and qualitative notions of sustainability. One of the team’s key priorities is raising awareness of climate change, renewable energy, and sustainable building innovation. Over the past two years, TeamMTL has continuously promoted its research efforts in achieving a more sustainable world through a series of events to educate both the universities’ student bodies and the general public on sustainable design.
More than 100 people gathered at the McCord Museum to celebrate both groups and individuals for their dedicated efforts to make the University more sustainable. The Gala itself achieved a gold certification from McGill Sustainable Events.
The evening began with opening remarks from Principal Suzanne Fortier. She highlighted a number of important sustainability initiatives on campus, including the recent announcement that McGill plans to ban all non-reusable plastic water bottles by May 2019. She then expressed gratitude towards the students spearheading sustainability projects on campus. “I would like to thank the students in particular who are working on these issues. You and your generation have really taken leadership on sustainability,” she said. Following remarks from the Principal, Office of Sustainability Director Francois Miller presented the seven awards.