What a summer it has been. The Passive House Canada team has been hard at work planning our next virtual Prefab Symposium, On the Rise, running September 21-23, which aims to increase awareness about the benefits of prefab construction.
This event will include identifying the opportunities, challenges and market innovations across new construction, retrofits, residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. The goal for this symposium is to ignite a larger conversation around prefabrication, which is key to developing a modern, net-zero construction industry, improving resource efficiency, building more affordable homes, managing the skilled-trades shortage and reducing carbon pollution. I am excited to take in all the sessions and, through this event, accelerate the development of the prefab building industry. I hope to see you all there.
New funding for energy efficiency
Last month, we had a very productive meeting with the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), where we advocated for performance standards aligned with Passive House for upcoming energy efficiency initiatives. NRCan has also announced a new funding opportunity: The Towards Net-Zero Homes and Communities program will fund projects that will increase residential energy-efficiency through three streams:
- Addressing barriers to the adoption of energy-efficient technologies
- Capacity building in support of net-zero energy-ready codes
- Facilitating home energy labelling and disclosure to encourage deep-energy retrofits
I hope to see our members harness this and upcoming NRCan programs, and I am excited to see what comes of this endeavor.
Extreme weather continues
The climate crisis is making itself felt around the world this summer. A few weeks ago, western Europe was hit with sweltering heat, with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius in the U.K. and higher in other countries. Deadly wildfires occurred in France, Portugal, Spain, and Greece, causing thousands to evacuate their homes. Canada has not been spared from the extreme weathers events this year either, with extreme heat hitting B.C. in July – with more heat expected across western Canada in August – as well as repeated tornado warnings in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec…and the summer is not over yet.
The world needs to start adapting to climate change to protect citizens. Last year’s B.C. heat dome taught us that, of the 619 persons who died that summer, “98% of deaths occurred indoors,” and “39% in multi-unit buildings.” (Read our response to the B.C. Coroner’s report here.)
We already know that Passive House structures ensure durable, healthy environments which will keep people comfortable during these ever-more-frequent climate events. With a Passive House, people will be able to shelter in place for several days during a heatwave, while still maintaining a livable temperature. Here at Passive House Canada, we will continue to push for the future we all need.