CAGBC opens Zero Carbon Building registration as Canada builds a low carbon economy

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As part of Canada’s transition to becoming a low-carbon economy, CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building program is now open for registration. (http://commons.wikimedia.org)

The Canada Green Building Council  has opened registration on Oct. 31 for the country’s first Zero Carbon Building program.

With the program in place, word-class standards will be implemented across Canada, potentially making the country a global leader in green building. Carbon reduction will then be considered by designers and contractors as the key indicator of building performance.

To achieve large-scale transformation, the program includes standards that are applicable to many types of buildings, whether they are old or new. Additionally, they adhere to recent and upcoming federal and provincial policies that also aim to achieve net zero carbon performance.

“… The Canadian building industry is ready to lead the global shift to zero carbon by building on the extensive experience and capacity delivering LEED across the country,” said Thomas Mueller, CaGBC president and CEO. “The CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Standard provides the framework to guide the industry toward achieving zero carbon performance, and to making real progress in moving to a low-carbon economy.”

As part of the initiative, CaGBC has been working with 16 pilot projects spread throughout the country. These green buildings prove the broad applicability of the program’s standards by involving both new and old structures with sizes ranging from 20,000 to 1.3 million sq. ft. Many of the projects are almost finished with the design stage and teams behind the developments reported that their design strategies center on ZCB standards.

Among the pilot projects is a mixed-used building owned by Delta Land Development and located on West 8th and Pine in Vancouver. “…. We want this project to ultimately serve as a demonstration to the private sector development industry that these measures are viable, on-market, and the way forward,” shared Kirk Robinson, vice-president of Delta Land Development.

Another pilot project is the University of Calgary’s MacKimmie Complex Redevelopment. It aims to become the first zero carbon building on a school campus. Moreover, the project involves the construction of a 14-storey building that features a double-skin facade, a new technology that has been used only by a few projects in Canada.

“Our participation… offers University of Calgary the opportunity to learn from our peers and contextualize it to the Alberta energy environment with an eye to fiscal responsibility, while still delivering the space and program that supports the needs of our campus,” explained Boris Dragicevic, associate vice president of facilities development at U of C.

CaGBC also released a Zero Carbon Building Workbook to help calculate net carbon balance of a structure, provide support for complex calculations, and guide interested registrants on all the required documentation. Energy Modelling Guidelines for energy professionals will be available in the coming months.

Interested professionals and firms can learn more about the ZCB program through cagbc.org/zerocarbon.

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