Sustainable Infrastructure

Saskatchewan is characterized by extreme temperature variations from winter to summer and other extreme climatic conditions. This creates challenges for sustainable and efficient building design, especially one's that conserve energy. At the same time, the Saskatchewan prairies face significant water challenges and infrastructure costs associated with these water issues. Good housing is also central to people's well-being, their sense of belonging within a community, and their ability to sustain a livelihood. With the cold climate, Saskatchewan people must spend a considerable amount of time indoors creating a greater need for healthy homes and buildings.

Feeling at home in the prairie region in ways that economically provide for a high quality of life can help stem rural to urban migration and migration out of the province a historic challenge of the region. Buildings on the prairies have not traditionally been highly customized to local conditions nor make use of local materials. Education about what buildings and building materials are sustainable and how to build sustainably on the prairies creates livelihood opportunities in the region. Rural communities are also facing deteriorating infrastructure, especially water infrastructure, over the next 10 to 15 years that can be addressed by sustainable infrastructure initiatives. It also affords opportunities for cities to create more affordable housing and revitalized neighbourhoods. If communities are to become sustainable, citizens collectively need to be educated about the full life-cycle costs of their public and private infrastructure as opposed to merely upfront costs.