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Sam and Diana Scalia Sustainable Real Estate and Built Environment Program

Sam and Diana Scalia Sustainable Real Estate and Built Environment Program

As the future of the construction industry considers long-term consequences and eco-friendly buildings, Concordia’s Sam and Diana Scalia Sustainable Built Environment and Real Estate Program aims to address the role of sustainability in the industry. The program’s mandate is to research the benefits of green buildings and environmentally responsible real estate development. Most of the building materials that are currently in use have a negative environmental impact. For example, coal is used to smelt metal — and also to make glass — which releases pollutants into the atmosphere. The objective is to conduct research and develop solutions that can convince real estate developers to go green.

The David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise (DOCSE) invites proposals for research that address the following criteria:

  1. Explore the environmental benefits of green buildings
  2. Evaluate the case for wood as a structural base for mid-high rise construction in Canada
  3. Perform financial and environmental cost/benefit analyses of local vs. remote/foreign building material supplies
  4. Perform financial and environmental cost/benefit analyses of sustainable building methods for commercial and residential real estate developers
  5. Explore the benefits of sustainable community development (incl. co-housing/co-working arrangements) for the North American market with an emphasis on the social component of sustainable development
  6. Perform financial, communal, and societal cost/benefit analyses of large-scale retrofit projects
  7. Provide policy recommendations for government regulators who aim to encourage green building methods via fiscal stimuli and/or revised building codes
  8. Assess the efficacy of existing performance indicators in measuring building energy efficiency and identify the key performance indicators (KPIs)
  9. Study existing building certification systems and provide recommendations on improving their effectiveness and promoting wider adoption
  10. Address the challenge of achieving net zero energy standards for buildings in low energy cost regions such as Quebec
  11. Compare and contrast municipal building regulations, policies and by-laws across Montreal and Quebec with the aim of identifying optimal policies

Explore the use of incentive systems for the regional and/or global financial sector to provide favorable funding conditions for sustainable real estate projects

Proposal evaluation

DOCSE’s Scientific Committee evaluates all proposals based on the criteria below.  Preference will be given to projects whose objectives relate most closely to DOCSE’s overall goals. 

Factors that will be considered in assessing proposals:

  • the scholarly merits of the proposed project,
  • the feasibility of successful completion,
  • the track record of the researcher,
  • how well-defined the project plan, deliverables, and budget are,
  • the potential for advancing the understanding of sustainable real estate,
  • the potential relevance of the research to Montreal’s and Quebec’s real estate market,
  • the applicability of the research to the real estate industry.

Grants will be capped at $10,000. Grants are intended as seed money to help scholars initiate studies and then apply for external funding on topics of interest to the Centre and the Program. Funding may be distributed in the context of an incentive system to reward publications and/or conference presentations. Recipients will be asked to provide updates on the progress of the research and may be invited to present the results of their work at JMSB.

Application eligibility

All proposals must have a full time JMSB faculty member as the primary investigator. Other full time Concordia faculty members, as well as JMSB part time faculty members and students are eligible to apply as co-applicants with a JMSB faculty member. Students must be in good academic standing (minimum 3.0 GPA).

Proposal format

The research proposal should adhere to accepted formatting guidelines (e.g., APA guidelines) and should include the following:

  1. a short abstract,
  2. a section outlining the objectives and the significance of the project,
  3. a method section including information about the data collection and analytical strategies,
  4. the expected implications of the proposed research,
  5. a section that outlines the proposed communication of findings to DOCSE, JMSB, and the broader academic community,
  6. a project plan, defined deliverables, and a pro-forma budget (according to FRQSC guidelines),
  7. an up to date curriculum vitae of the researcher(s) involved in the project.

The proposal should not exceed 4 pages of text (not including references, tables, appendices, and the curriculum vitae).  The budget should not include funding for travel to disseminate study results.  Applicants may apply for such travel separately from the main funding upon successful completion of the study.

For research involving human participants, the researchers will need to have their project approved by the University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).

Responsibilities for funded researchers

Researchers funded by DOCSE have the duty to maintain regular contact with DOCSE as to the progress of their project. Upon completion of the project, a written final report must be submitted to the Scientific Committee. Researchers are also expected to disseminate their results within JMSB, Concordia University, and the broader academic community. Research outputs (e.g., publications, research reports, conference presentations and proceedings, interviews, press releases, etc.) should acknowledge the contribution of the Sam and Diana Scalia Sustainable Built Environment and Real Estate Program to the research.

Proposal submission

Inquiries and proposals should be sent to the Centre Director, Dr. Thomas Walker.

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