CEO Letter – October

Passive House Canada CEO Chris Ballard

Green doesn’t cost more 

With Fall in full swing, we are awaiting a finalized Canada Green Building Strategy from the federal government that should outline a clear path to net-zero emissions for new buildings and significant decarbonization of existing buildings. We know that some members of the building industry and provinces like to push back against what they claim will be an increase in costs because of new environmental building regulations – and this is especially sound-bite worthy as the country grapples with a housing affordability crisis — but their reluctance to embrace new ways of building just doesn’t hold weight. 

Several studies, from New York City Department of Housing, North American Passive House Network, AECOM and a Zebx BC study demonstrate the costs of constructing to the Passive House Standard are comparable to, or even lower than, conventional code-built structures. When the Total Cost of Building Ownership (TCBO) is calculated for Passive House buildings, significant operational carbon and costs can be saved.   

TCBO Analytics bridges the gap between reducing greenhouse gases and building economical buildings for everyone,” says Jim Nostedt, P.Eng. of SEEFAR Building Analytics. “We can show you that these are not mutually exclusive goals.”  

A high-performance building can save 30 to 40 per cent on the total cost of ownership, considering not just construction and utility costs, but also property taxes, insurance, mortgage interest, and maintenance. It’s true that first projects can cost more because of the learning curve – and that is why it is important to work with Passive House experts in an integrated design approach.  I look forward to government releasing its Green Building Strategy. It will be integral to Canada achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. 

More money for green careers 

The Ministry of Employment and Social Development Canada announced $111.4 million in funding to seven organizations across Canada to help create more training and career opportunities in the green economy. The intent for this funding is to help fill gaps in training and upskilling in the industries that prioritize environmental protection, sustainable natural resources management and the advancement of Canada’s low-carbon economy. We want this funding to reach more Canadians including Indigenous peoples across Canada to continue to upskill and train workers to build net-zero high-performance buildings.   

Pulse Vancouver Sold Out! 

Passive House Canada is excited to put on Pulse Vancouver on October 18th to discuss the exciting CURV Passive House building, which is now sold out. I am excited to see our Vancouver Passive House family and to hear from the team at CURV including Rick Gregory who is the Project Director for the CURV.  This month, we also have a profile on Rick – a true Canadian visionary and building innovator. 

While in-person attendance is sold out, we are recording the event so that you will be able to watch the presentation on this important, milestone building. 

National Climate Adaptation Summit Day 

I look forward to meeting with federal elected officials at Climate Proof Canada’s National Climate Adaptation Summit in Ottawa in early November. I’ll network with mayors, members of national Indigenous organizations and Members of Parliament to discuss the importance of resilient buildings, like Passive House, as the country addresses climate change adaptation and keeping Canadians safe. Passive house is, of course, an excellent building standard for both climate change mitigation and adaptation. It was that recognition by the coalition that led to Passive House Canada being invited to participate.