CEO Letter – December

Passive House Canada CEO Chris Ballard

Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2024

Hello everyone,

As we approach the end of the year, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on the strides Passive House Canada (PHC) has made in advancing high-performance building practices. Our efforts this year have continued to spread our training from coast to coast. We have not only broadened awareness among industry and government stakeholders but have also significantly expanded the PHC community. Education remains the foundation of our advocacy.  

A standout moment was our most attended Annual Conference in Hamilton this past May, with presentations by members from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the City of Hamilton, and the Federal Government. This year, we also announced our Building Performance Assurance Council to give project teams the tools they need to confidently and reliably deliver identified performance, climate resiliency, health and safety outcomes for both new construction and retrofits. You’ll be hearing more about this initiative in the months ahead. After long advocating for change, we were asked to sit on the Canadian Board of Harmonized Construction Codes’ (CBHCC) Advisory Committee, the body responsible for the development of Canada’s National Model Codes, where we are actively pushing for high-performing building standards.  

After continued pressure from PHC and stakeholders, the Ontario government announced a clarification to Bill 23 so it does not neuter Municipal Green Standards, a huge win for our industry. We also had many successful in-person Passive House Canada Pulse events across Canada and daily, our newsletter subscribers grow.  

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to our dedicated staff and the vibrant community we’ve cultivated. Your support and enthusiasm fuel our mission, and I eagerly anticipate the advancements we will make together in 2024. 

Building Emissions on the rise in the GTHA

The latest GTHA emissions inventory released by The Atmospheric Fund presents a stark reality: buildings were the largest emission contributors in 2022, accounting for 46% of the total emissions in the GTHA, surpassing pre-pandemic emission levels. This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for a robust national building strategy focused on electrification and energy efficiency in new constructions and existing buildings.

Fall Economic Statement Falls Flat

Last month, the Federal Government’s Fall Economic Statement, though featuring advancements in clean technology and green industrial strategies, fell short in addressing the critical intersection of affordability and sustainability in housing. As we face increasing emissions and intensifying climate impacts, it’s clear that building resilient, sustainable housing isn’t just preferable—it’s imperative. Although it was just released as we sent this email, the recent federal government announcement promising a returning to a post-WW II catalogue of homes as one answer to speed of construction and affordability holds promise. We need to do a deeper dive to ensure the “kits” are at least to the passive house standard. I come from a town where there are several Craftsman style homes built by kits supplied by Eatons and purchased by catalogue. Perhaps, in this case, everything old is new again. We’ll hold judgement for now.

Wishing you all a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year. Together, let’s make 2024 a year of impactful change and progress.