THIS DAY IN SCIENCE: Rideau Canal - Construction Begins in 1826

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This learning experience can be used as a culminating activity (in lieu of a final exam) or as a project that covers a number of strands. In an attempt to find out if it is possible to build a building (e.g. a home, school, office, shopping mall, etc.) that can be net-zero or reasonably close to, students will research the energy associated with different features of a building. Suggested buildings are houses or schools. In doing so, students will also gain an understanding of why the goal of net zero buildings is a good one. The end result will be that students will be able to compare the energy required to run a conventional building compared to a very efficient/net zero one. Students will also design or redesign the building of their choice with features that would lead to a net zero/carbon neutral building. The building can be presented in a number of formats and students can share their findings as well as report on their building more formally as in a report or less formally as in an interview. Since net zero focuses on energy consumption, the students can only focus on this aspect, but they can extend it to include water consumption, waste management and indoor air quality.

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