CEO Letter – March

Good news! Passive House Canada (PHC) continues to grow – a reflection of our efforts to help transform the building industry and make it Net Zero Ready. Interest and awareness, especially in central Canada, continues to grow. Thank you to all our advocates across Canada who continue to push for the Passive House Institute building standard, globally recognized as the best standard for significantly reducing carbon from buildings.

PHC continues to add new courses to our roster of educational offerings to meet the growing and evolving needs of the Canadian building industry. Check out our complete list of courses here.

Passive House Canada is working with several governments at all levels to ensure that PHPP is accepted as energy modelling software. We have heard from project teams about the burden of building Passive House certified buildings because of the extra time and money required to navigate the building application process and requirements of the building code. We are exploring opportunities to streamline the process and have had good meetings with authorities. I can say that, in most cases, it is a matter of educating municipal officials. Stay tuned for updates.

In early March, I participated in a town hall hosted by Toronto City Councillor James Pasternak. It was an opportunity to talk to constituents about Passive House principles and design. We recognize the importance of raising awareness of Passive House buildings among the general public, and that they have a key role to play in driving demand for both new builds and EnerPHit projects. If you aren’t aware, Toronto’s Green Building Standard will, fundamentally, require the use of the PHI building standard to get to its upper tiers. PHC continues to support the city, Passive House practitioners, and those who want to learn more.

The Metro Vancouver Zero Emission Innovation Centre (ZEIC), is a new low carbon innovation centre aimed at accelerating urban climate action. Passive House Canada is in discussion to play an important role in the building and retrofit space within this new group, which is seed-funded by the federal Municipal Green Fund and, eventually, B.C. partners. As this entity comes into its own, our role as co-founder and partner in the Vancouver Zero Emissions Building Exchange (ZEBx) winds down. ZEBx will eventually move under the jurisdiction of ZEIC, and as it re-emerges, we aim to continue our role in providing quality programming to the local building sector. Meanwhile, PHC will continue its webinars focused on topics dear to builders and officials in the Vancouver area.

In other ZEBx news, we’re thrilled with the response to our initial plan for a Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area ZEBx we submitted to The Atmospheric Fund. We’ll work with partners to try and make this happen. The need is great. A significant number of cities and regions, in B.C. and across Canada, have indicated a willingness to create their own ZEBx and to be part of the national and international movement to share high-performance, net-zero ready building expertise. Stay tuned as we work nationally and internationally.

Thank you to our Manufacturers and Suppliers Committee for a great meeting earlier this week. As PHC grows, we require a strong committee to work with us in education, government relations, stakeholder engagement, and communications. If you are a manufacturer of high-performance building products, please join PHC so that we can build a strong, high-performance building community right across our country. Together, we are stronger.

With Spring just a few days away and the promise of an end to this pandemic seemingly so close, stay safe, get vaccinated, and look forward to the days ahead when we can safely hug our friends and loved ones. If nothing more, this pandemic has reminded us of the human need for personal connection. That’s an important lesson for all of us in the building industry.