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Engineering, Sustainability, and Real Estate Development: A Deep Dive with Cara Sloat (3)

Cara Sloat, P.Eng (#3)

A Toronto-based mechanical engineer and principal at Hammershlag and Joffe, a M&E firm delivering work across Canada. She has more than 20 years of mechanical design experience and a focus on low-energy, decarbonized multi-unit residential and commercial buildings. Her experience in ventilation includes exploring innovations in fresh and clean air delivery.  She also serves on the board of Toronto’s 2030 District.

Cara Sloat - Real Estate Development Insights Podcast Guest

This episode features an insightful conversation with Cara Sloat, a mechanical engineer with over 20 years of experience, focusing on low-energy mechanical systems, decarbonization, and the importance of mechanical engineering in addressing climate change.

Cara discusses her background in philosophy and mechanical engineering, emphasizing the critical role of engineering in solving climate change and the philosophical underpinnings that guide her approach to sustainable engineering. 

The conversation covers several key topics, including the shift towards more sustainable building practices, the significance of heat pumps and energy recovery ventilators in reducing carbon emissions, and the vital role of air tightness in improving building efficiency.

Cara also touches on the evolving standards for high-performance design and the importance of considering both embodied and operational carbon. The episode concludes with a discussion on the potential impacts of government regulations, market forces, and the need for aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly mechanical systems.


Here are some highlights for this discussion:


  • Introduction to Cara and the Philosophy of Engineering
  • Cara’s Journey from Philosophy to Engineering
  • The Role of Engineers in Addressing Climate Change
  • Exploring Mechanical Engineering and Climate Solutions
  • The Importance of Early Engagement with Engineers in Development Projects
  • Navigating the Complexities of Mechanical Systems and Electrical Load
  • The Potential of Geothermal Systems for Sustainable Building
  • Innovations in Heat Pumps and the Challenge of Refrigerant Leaks
  • Exploring Hydronic Systems and Heat Pumps
  • The Environmental Impact of Heat Pumps vs. Natural Gas
  • Leveraging LEED and Other Standards for Sustainable Development
  • Innovative Construction Techniques and Modular Prefabrication
  • The Role of Energy Recovery Ventilators in Sustainable Building
  • The Importance of Air Tightness in Building Design
  • The Evolution of Building Design Towards Sustainability
  • Operational and Embodied Carbon in Building Design
  • The Potential of Wood as a Sustainable Building Material
  • Regulations, Market Forces, and the Future of Sustainable Building
Follw us
Payam Noursalehi
Payam Noursalehi

A Real Estate & Construction Professional with a passion for Mid-Rise projects. His experience comes from his exposure to multiple aspects of the industry, such as Engineering, Construction Management, Development Management, and Private Equity Investment.

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