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Canada’s First Zero Carbon Building Standard Unveiled

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Representatives from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) gathered with other innovators in the green building technology sector this week for the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Building Lasting Change 2017 conference in Vancouver.

David Silburn, Research Associate and General Manager of Green Building Technologies at SAIT, says there has never been a more exciting time for green technology.

“The World Green Buildings Council’s objective to reach net zero carbon for all new buildings by 2030 and net zero energy for all buildings by 2050 is an extremely ambitious target,” says Silburn.

SAIT’s Green Building Technologies research division specializes in net zero energy design and construction in addition to building integrated renewable energy solutions. Silburn says SAIT is in the unique position to be a leader and champion for net zero energy building projects.

“The opportunity for SAIT to provide further research and training in the application of advanced envelope systems, installation and testing of high-performance mechanical systems and validation of building performance through monitoring and controls is expanding,“ says Silburn.

In collaboration with industry partners, and with students, SAIT brings new products and processes to the green building marketplace. Silburn and his team are currently working with Edmonton-based Ecological Homes on the design, market review and development of Canada’s first certified zero carbon home.

Principal Investigator and Project Lead, Sol Aasland, says the Ecological Homes project represents a massive step forward in green home design and construction, with broad implications for the residential marketplace in Canada.

“Zero carbon buildings are the way of the future,” says Aasland.

“Through the leadership of Canadian institutes like CaGBC, SAIT and industry champions like Ecological Homes, we have begun to define and build a new standard for buildings, and how we live and work within them globally,” he says.

The show stopper at the Building Lasting Change 2017 conference was the official launch of Canada’s first zero carbon verification program, part of a broader CaGBC Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative. The program creates a new Zero Carbon Building Standard for commercial, institutional and high-rise residential construction and renovation.

The Standard was developed by CaGBC and Integral Group in consultation with representatives from over 50 industry organizations, utilities, governments and companies across Canada. President and CEO of CaGBC, Thomas Mueller, says the Standard’s focus on carbon is crucial.

“While there is no doubt that Canada’s building sector has been dramatically transformed over the last two decades, the time has come to be bolder and more ambitious,” says Mueller. “The Standard will help the building industry to show leadership in eliminating emissions from buildings and contribute to shaping of Canada’s climate future.”

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