Three years ago, the British Columbia government said it would require all new buildings to meet a net-zero, energy-ready performance by 2032, the highest level of performance achievable today. To deliver on that goal, it kicked off the development of a regulation that is now steadily transforming communities across the province.
In a city where construction is constant, developers are looking for opportunities to incorporate green energy solutions into their projects. Case in point: The Well project in Toronto. This new addition to Toronto’s downtown core will feature seven towers of mixed-use space, all sitting atop a new thermal energy facility.
Energy and thermal performance requirements are growing and playing an increasingly significant role in building codes throughout North America. However, understanding and meeting these requirements has also become complex for designers. At the same time, it is clear important decisions regarding basic enclosure assembly design and window area need to be made early in the project to achieve the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, and comfortable building.
High-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans are easy to install in open spaces such as libraries, cafeterias, gyms, and school corridors. These cost-effective systems use minimal energy while creating a cooling effect of up to 5.5 C (10 F), thereby improving comfort in learning environments throughout the year.
The Québec City University Hospital Centre (CHU) de Québec – Université Laval opted for a deep retrofit project when addressing a backlog of deferred maintenance. Energy-efficiency upgrades at four of the centre’s hospitals included boiler replacements, improvements to the thermal plants, and reconfiguration of numerous electromechanical systems.
The newly launched EnergyCompass tool seeks to improve energy literacy in Ontario and aid construction professionals to make better use of green building designs to reach the goal of net-zero carbon emissions.
The federal government is investing $35,000 in a project at Carleton University aiming to help the construction industry design more energy efficient and high-performing buildings. This project will study and model occupant behavioural patterns to better predict building energy consumption and find new methods to reduce it.
Building an ultra-energy efficient industrial-style building in a northern climate is no easy task, but the Wood Innovation Research Laboratory (WIRL) at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in downtown Prince George proves it can be done.