CEO Letter – February 2023

Ontario Government Clarifies Bill 23 to Allow Municipal Green Standards

We are pleased to share that the Ontario government has clarified that Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, was “not intended to prevent municipalities from implementing green standards,” and that the government has made a number of amendments to the legislation. Through consultation with municipalities and industry stakeholders, we understand that the amendments preserve sufficient planning authorities for municipalities to continue with the use of green development standards.

I would like to thank all of you who contacted the government and participated in our campaign to preserve municipal green standards. Our collective voice resulted in these critically important amendments to Bill 23.

We will continue to work with Municipalities to advance high-performance building practices and to advocate for the use of green standards to reduce emissions in new buildings.

PHC Annual Conference to be held in Hamilton

Hamilton is at the forefront of high-performance building design and construction in Canada. The city declared a climate change emergency in 2019 and has since established a climate change task force and implemented a climate action strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. They have also implemented programs such as the Home Energy Retrofit Opportunity (HERO), which supports homeowners to undertake retrofits and reduce their energy consumption.

When it comes to high-performance Passive House projects, Hamilton businesses and social housing organizations are advancing the city further and faster. One such project, led by CityHousing Hamilton and ERA Architects is the Ken Soble Tower — certified as the world’s largest residential Passive House EnerPHit retrofit. CityHousing Hamilton is at the leading edge of high performance building adaptation as they work to update their aging building stock. There are many other exciting projects underway, including the Bay Cannon Passive House, a mid-rise affordable housing unit led by CityHousing Hamilton, and the Putman Family Housing, a mixed-use affordable housing building by the YWCA.

This is why we have chosen Hamilton as our location for our upcoming annual conference, Future Forward: Innovations in Passive House and Beyond. Advancement and adoption of Passive House design and construction is underway across Canada. Our conference will celebrate the successes to date and chart the path forward.

Codes Acceleration Fund Announced by NRCAN

I am also delighted to share that Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency has released the first batch of funding for building greener, the Codes Acceleration Fund (CAF). The CAF is intended to accelerate the adoption of and compliance with higher performance tiers set out in the 2020 national building codes, or with other high performance codes such as net-zero emissions codes. Please think about how your firm might qualify to fund a project to help accelerate Passive House level building.