The Province of British Columbia, through B.C. Housing, and the City of Vancouver, the B.C. Non-profit Housing Association, and the Pembina Institute, is launching the Reframed Lab initiative to find ways to make homes safer, more energy-efficient, and less polluting, while reducing heating costs for residents.
Through Reframed Lab, the partners will do retrofit demonstration projects on up to five multi-unit residential buildings.
“The way our homes are built has a direct impact on our health and well-being, and the environment,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “That is why it is so important we work together to find new ways to make buildings work better. This partnership will help us take significant action on climate change, while protecting and improving the safe and affordable homes people need.”
While new homes in B.C. must be built to high health, safety, and environmental standards, there are significant opportunities to make existing buildings better places to live and reduce the energy they use, Pembina Institute said in a press release. Building retrofits can also create good, long-term jobs for people in the province and support the growth of B.C.’s sustainable economy.
B.C. Housing will issue a request for proposals for partners to join the Reframed Lab. Partners from all corners of the construction sector, including architects, contractors, engineers, and manufacturers will come together to create innovative and integrated ways to retrofit existing buildings. Selected teams will be invited to join a six-month exploration lab to learn and share ideas.
Teams will prepare designs for a specific building, with support from experts on climate change, energy, and health. Their goal will be to demonstrate next-generation solutions that integrate seismic and fire safety, energy efficiency, and climate-adaptation upgrades, while dramatically reducing the buildings’ carbon pollution.
B.C. Housing will support the retrofit of the selected buildings with funding from the Capital Renewal Fund, a 10-year, $1.1-billion investment to preserve and improve B.C.’s 51,000 units of social housing. This initiative also received $250,000 from the province’s CleanBC Building Innovation (CBBI) Fund.
The City of Vancouver will be providing technical and regulatory guidance to support this work, which will help advance the city’s climate goals as well as housing affordability.