Passive House Canada (PHC) held its annual conference in Victoria at the end of May, and what a success it was! I am so glad to have met so many of you and happy to see even more of you join us online. We also had the pleasure of hearing the City of Victoria’s Mayor Lisa Helps declare May 22-28 Passive House Canada Week. With several sessions extending over three days, we ended the conference with a bike tour around Victoria to see some stunning Passive Houses.
The conference gave us the perfect forum to learn about the challenges and successes of developing Passive House buildings of all shapes and sizes —such as UBC’s Okanagan Skeena Residence, the first student residence in Canada and second in North America to receive Passive House Certification. We also heard from PHC Board Member Jeremiah Point about creating affordable energy efficient homes for First Nation Peoples under a set budget, while facing complex and burdensome governance and policies. It was a presentation that I am sure will be remembered by many, as well as myself, and we hope will drive change for the future.
We also learned more about the performance of Passive House buildings during a prolonged power outage, the health impacts of fossil fuels, the climate leadership role municipalities are taking, the ins-and-outs of embodied carbon, how hard it was to find North American manufacturers with PHI-certified components, and so much more.
We heard loud and clear that we have more work to do with regards to communication, education and advocacy. After these tremendous few days of learning and exploring, I am – and I hope you are – energized to get back out there to tell the story of Passive House: the highest performing, fastest, and cheapest solution for the building sector to confront climate change. It’s the answer to the deep energy reductions we need to make in order to reduce carbon-forms of heating and to switch to clean electricity. We also need Passive House to bolster resilience in the time of increasing climatic shocks. Whether it’s extreme temperatures or bad air, a Passive House can help keep residents safe.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate Ontario Premier Ford on his re-election earlier this month. I hope Mr. Ford will acknowledge the pressing need to create and retrofit affordable, low-carbon, and climate-resilient buildings in Ontario, and the vital importance of meeting our climate goals ahead of 2030. As always, PHC stands ready to assist all levels of government in achieving Canada’s Paris Accord commitments by building and retrofitting to the Passive House International standard.