CEO Letter – January

With 2020 finally behind us, we hold out great hope for 2021. With a Covid-19 vaccine in sight, things will be better this year.

Here at Passive House Canada, 2021 will be one of continued change as we evaluate just how our small, but influential organization can best support government and industry in the transition to high-performance building. Recent announcements by the federal government around its Greening Government strategy and updated Climate Change Action Plan demonstrate that the government is listening to those of us advocating for zero-emission buildings. But more can always be done by government and business – and faster, too. We will continue to advocate on those issues important to our members and critical to our environment.

Looking back, I clearly see advancements toward eradicating carbon emissions in the building industry. It shows what can be achieved when we all work together. We know change does not happen in isolation or when pursued by one group; it takes many working together. We will continue to grow our networks and carry our message to governments of all levels. We will continue to create advocates through our excellent training programs and continue to grow our organization across our country.

The successes that we have experienced are directly attributable to the dedication of industry professionals and elected officials who are passionate about sustainability.

While the organization’s reach has grown rapidly in the past few years, our mission remains the same: effective public policies, codes and standards, coupled with supporting government and the industry.

I am very proud of our organization and its ability to adapt to the Covid-19 reality. We were able to quickly move our courses online and expand our reach to every corner of our vast country. That was no easy task, and people are responding by joining us in many ways. Our newsletter subscription has quadrupled, our membership is up, more supporters are joining our advocacy efforts and hundreds of people are not only taking our courses, but are becoming certified practitioners. It is exciting to watch our website and social network statistics reflect this change, with visitors and followers from across the country.

Along with staff, our instructors play a major part in our success. Not only are they working professionals with day jobs, they also teach our courses and provide us with valuable feedback about challenges in the building industry. Their commitment is greatly appreciated.

Across Canada, the building industry is in transition, even if some are not aware of it or choose to ignore it. Our country’s commitment to its Paris Accord Climate Change Commitments means new building operational carbon must be driven to zero. It means retrofits can no longer be called a success if they achieve a paltry 15 percent reduction in energy use. The Passive House Building Standard, when combined with Passive House Canada training for the Canadian environment (climate), can help government and industry meet these critical targets.

And I am heartened by social housing providers across our country who are rapidly adopting the EnerPHit standard as their standard of choice, as funds flow from the federal government to support retrofitting old buildings.

So, 2020 may have been a horrible year in many ways, but it represented a turning point for Passive House Canada and those advocating for net zero buildings.

We wish you all the best in 2021. Stay healthy.