Category: Advocacy

Advancing market transformation, one step at a time.

As many of us shift from summer mode, ramping up for a busy fall season, let’s take a minute to look towards the future.  Canada has come a long way in a relatively short time developing a vision of what buildings should be.  While the concept of high performance buildings becoming the norm is only emerging in most circles, it is well defined in Build Smart: Canada’s Buildings Strategy.

And though the roll out of the strategy may seem frustratingly slow to those of us delivering high performance buildings today, the direction is clear. To advance Canada’s future vision of buildings, we have been working hard to partner with government bodies and industry leaders like you.

Before the release of Canada’s Buildings Strategy, we were deeply involved in the development of the UN Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency in Buildings.  Currently those guidelines are emerging as a global reference that also aligns well with Build Smart.  Our work continues as we work in conjunction with the Passive House Institute and other international agencies to implement the Framework Guidelines in regions across the globe.

Our goal is to develop a globally recognized level of performance that buildings should achieve to address climate change and meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which also address issues such as affordability, quality of life, and building resiliency.

These goals are supported by buildings achieving the Passive House standard and the pursuit of this strategy creates the opportunity to chart a new path for Passive House performance levels, enabling those design and construction practices to become mainstream.  In addition to directly benefiting from global knowledge and policy development, Canada has the true potential to be a global leader in the quest to deliver buildings that are better for people and the planet.

To reflect the work that the Canadian Passive House community, your community, has been doing, we decided to align our conference with the conferences of the national and global leaders with whom we have been Partnering for Transformation.

Attending our conference in November will give you an opportunity to connect with the global community of leading building scientists and policy makers addressing building performance and climate change.   It is an exciting time to be working with industry and government partners developing the shared vision outlined in Build Smart, a process you can connect with, and benefit from, regardless of where you live.

We encourage you to register to take advantage of the opportunity to hear from, and meet, those responsible for accelerating market transformation in Canada and internationally, in addition to learning from some of the industry’s top design and construction professionals. We look forward to staying in touch over the next several weeks as we continue to prepare for our conference and AGM.

Thank you for being part of this incredible community, for supporting Passive House Canada, and for all that you do in your day-to-day work to advance the transformation of Canada’s built environment. Together we have accomplished so much, which we could not have done without you.

Sincerely,

Rob Bernhardt
CEO, Passive House Canada

 

 

 


Passive House Canada and Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Exchange join international powers to drive global adoption of performance-based codes for buildings.

 

On July 10, 2018 Passive House Canada and Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Exchange (ZEBx), participated in the UNECE High Performance Building Initiative at UN Headquarters in New York to establish the International Centres of Excellence on High Performance Buildings. Also present were the UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, the City of Vancouver, representatives from Ireland, Penn State University and the North American Passive House Network.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, or UNECE, is one of the five United Nations Regional Commissions working to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2017 UNECE adopted the Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings which promotes the adoption of aggressive, performance-based codes for buildings.

To support deployment of the Framework Guidelines and to advance the performance of buildings broadly, UNECE is launching a global network of International Centres of Excellence on High Performance Buildings that will provide on-the-ground implementation assistance for building owners and developers, contractors, architects, engineers and planning officials.


Soon to open: Zero Emissions Building Centre of Excellence

ZEBCoE-image-for-OGBS-websiteVANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA), the City of Vancouver (the City), Passive House Canada and the Open Green Building Society are pleased to announce the launch of the Vancouver Zero Emissions Building Centre of Excellence (the Centre and/or ZEBCoE), a collaborative platform to strengthen the public, private and civic capacities to deliver zero emissions buildings.


March is Passive House month in Edmonton

 

Between speaking to representatives from cities around the world, presenting our Building Enclosures course to local industry, and presenting the latest policy and technical developments in cold-climate high-performance building, Passive House Canada will be spending much of March in Edmonton.


Reflection and anticipation: How far we’ve come and where we’re going

 

by Rob Bernhardt, CEO

The quiet softness falling snow in the night (or the thought of it) as the holiday season approaches seems to inspire reflection. Passive House Canada has experienced amazing growth this year in so many respects—in membership, in the number and complexity of projects we’ve undertaken, and in training and number of events held.


Incremental energy-efficiency targets set to transform buildings in municipalities

Phased-in performance-based energy-efficiency requirements for buildings are setting the course towards better buildings in the City of Toronto and municipalities across B.C. Local governments influence the building design and construction practice through municipal bylaws, zoning requirements and policy. Many municipalities have a history of encouraging energy efficiency in new construction that goes beyond provincial building codes.

In two regions in Canada, local governments are working with phased-in incremental building standards that aim to make high-performing energy-efficient Passive House-style buildings the norm by the early 2030s.


Buildings Energy Code change request for Passive House being developed

Passive House modelling software is currently not a recognized modelling tool to demonstrate compliance with the National Energy Code for Canada (NECB).  As a consequence, a project is required to complete a second energy model, at additional cost.  To address this, a formal submission to the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes is being prepared to consider adoption of Passive House as an alternative compliance path.  The objective is to align with the Commission’s Long-Term Strategy for Developing and Implementing More Ambitious Energy Codes.