Federal Investments Advance Energy Efficiency for Buildings across British Columbia
November 16, 2023 Vancouver, British Columbia Natural Resources Canada
Canadians are working hard to deploy innovative technologies that help to fight climate change and reduce costs. In the buildings sector, the Government of Canada is supporting innovation to decarbonize homes and other buildings while creating sustainable jobs and enhancing energy efficiency.
Today, Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced a combined federal investment of over $3 million for partners that are driving innovation for energy efficiency in buildings across British Columbia.
These investments include:
- $1,179,000 for Introba (formerly Integral Group) for a new construction demonstration program which is expected to result in the design and construction of eleven net-zero-energy–ready buildings across British Columbia. Additional support is being provided by the BC Ministry of Energy,
- $750,000 for the University of Victoria to develop, deploy and test an online platform to optimize design solutions for net-zero-energy–ready and high-performance buildings.
- $720,000 for the British Columbia Housing Management Commission to support a web-based database, thermalenvelope.ca, to reduce energy use in buildings by accurately calculating and reducing heat waste.
- $217,500 for QuadReal Property Group Limited Partnership to conduct a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study of a deep energy retrofit of a multi-unit high-rise residential building in Burnaby, British Columbia.
- $139,250 for the Greater Victoria Housing Society, and in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, to undertake a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study to identify cost-effective deep energy retrofit solutions for Sitkum Terrace, an affordable senior's multi-unit residential building in Victoria.
Federal funding is provided through the Green Infrastructure – Energy Efficient Buildings Program. This program supports improvements in the design, renovation and construction of homes and buildings. The government is advancing the development and implementation of building codes for existing buildings and new net-zero-energy–ready buildings through research, development and demonstration projects across the nation.
Investments like these are helping Canadians in line with the upcoming Canada Green Buildings Strategy. Minister Wilkinson launched consultations on the strategy in 2022, which seeks to accelerate deep building retrofits, enhance building climate resilience, transform space and water heating, and build net-zero and climate-resilient buildings from the start, as Canada advances to a net-zero future by 2050.
“The Government of Canada is investing in energy efficiency, which is critical to the development of a sustainable and prosperous future for our country. Today’s investments in energy-efficiency projects here in British Columbia will reduce emissions and help Canadians to reduce their energy costs while contributing to the fight against climate change.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
“Energy efficiency retrofits are a critical climate solution that helps our communities to save on energy costs while reducing emissions and enhancing the quality of our building stock for years to come. The Government of Canada is pleased to support this important work in British Columbia and across the country.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change,
“Our goal is to make British Columbian homes as energy-efficient, comfortable and affordable as possible, to use less energy and to reduce the environmental impact of existing buildings. We look forward to these federal programs working together with our provincial programs to decarbonize the buildings sector, which is critical to combating climate change and achieving a net-zero economy.”
The Honourable Josie Osborne
British Columbia’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
“Supporting high-performance new construction projects is key to demonstrating that energy-efficient and low-carbon projects can also provide comfortable, healthy environments that cost the same as, or less than, traditional buildings. When we consider the magnitude of the change needed to achieve our carbon targets, nearly every building will have to be an emissions-free building. Collaborating and sharing the lessons learned from these projects will help the building industry understand how to get there.”
“We are excited to be launching the Net-Zero Navigator project this fall, taking this cutting-edge tool from our research lab to the public domain. This online open-source platform will allow engineers, architects, policymakers and community members to understand how buildings like our schools, offices and apartments can get closer to net zero. It will provide an easy-to-use dashboard providing rapid design feedback underpinned by rigorous simulations. It uses the power of machine learning to unlock insights that would otherwise require weeks of calculation time.”
Dr. Ralph Evins
University of Victoria
“This is a comprehensive tool that seeks to transform the Canadian building market to realize more energy-efficient construction. We’re grateful for the support of NRCan to ensure this tool can have an impact on building design, construction, policy and the development of energy codes and standards in B.C. and other parts of the world. The result will be more energy-efficient buildings and a more sustainable future for generations to come.”
Esther de Vos
Executive Director, Research, BC Housing Management Commission
“At QuadReal, we strive to have a positive impact on our communities and the environment. With NRCan’s support, we will be able to further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while helping our residents do the same. This investment will not only help QuadReal achieve its net-zero targets, but also establish a roadmap to drive sustainable building performance across our residential portfolio and hopefully more broadly across Canada.”
Vice President, Investment Management, Residential, QuadReal Property Group
“The Greater Victoria Housing Society is grateful for this opportunity from Natural Resources Canada to help address energy consumption and livability in our existing affordable housing stock. With this step forward, we will be able to operate more efficiently and improve the comfort of our clients while keeping safe, clean and comfortable homes intact. The chance to renew existing inventory is a priority goal for us and the use of the reports and studies generated from this program will provide the insight and knowledge needed to address similar housing renewals in our portfolio and our community.”
Executive Director at the Greater Victoria Housing Society
The $48.4-million Energy Efficient Buildings Program is part of the $180-billion Investing in Canada Plan, supporting the reduction of buildings emissions nationally.
The Canada Green Buildings Strategy seeks to mobilize national action to reduce emissions by 37 percent from 2005 by 2030 and to create a net-zero-emissions buildings sector by 2050. The Strategy will focus on increasing the rate of building retrofits, ensuring buildings are resilient and net-zero from the start, and on transforming space and water heating. It will be backed by $150 million, as committed to in Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan.
The Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program will invest $35.5 million to pilot aggregated deep energy retrofit approaches in communities across Canada. Two calls for proposals have been launched since February 2023; the first call supports market development teams in their work to develop the market for aggregated deep energy retrofits at scale. The second call focuses on demonstration projects of aggregated deep energy retrofits of community housing at scale to validate the feasibility and cost effectiveness of this approach.
- Green Infrastructure – Energy Efficient Buildings Program
- The Canada Green Buildings Strategy
- 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy
- Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program
- Canadian Online Database of Building Envelope Details and Thermal Bridging Calculations: Design Tools for Energy Efficient Homes and Buildings (BC Housing Management Commission)
- Net-Zero Navigator Platform (University of Victoria)
- Net-Zero Energy Ready, New Construction Demonstration Program (Introba)
- Sitkum Lodge Seniors Apartment Deep Retrofit (Greater Victoria Housing Society)
- Demonstrating a Scalable, Low-carbon Deep Retrofit for High-Rise (QuadReal Property Group)
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada
- Date modified: