The University of Toronto (U of T) Scarborough and Centennial College, Ont., have teamed up to establish the EaRTH (Environmental and Related Technologies Hub) District in Toronto, an initiative aimed at advancing the clean tech sector through research, academic programming, and commercialization.
The Curé-Paquin Elementary School of the Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles (CSSMI) is the first grade school in all of Canada, and first project in Québec, to recieve the Zero-Carbon – Design certification from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
The Clean Economy Alliance (CEA) released a report outlining recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Ontario’s building sector. The report, “The Future of Buildings: Getting Ontario Ready for Net-Zero,” speaks to upcoming changes in the province’s building code and Ontario’s commitment to require all buildings constructed after 2030 to have net-zero emissions.
The fundamental challenge of advanced sustainable design is not so much a technological issue, but rather a cultural one. The strategies, methods, and technology exist to make ultra-efficient buildings that can achieve 75 per cent less energy consumption than conventional buildings.
The smoothest path to net zero is through passive building certification, because a passive building is a complete system with quality assurance built into the system, rather than a collection of discrete programs. The most common passive building certification in North America is PHIUS+.
Design/construction professionals with an interest in sustainability will have a chance to expand on their knowledge at the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC’s) conference, Building Lasting Change 2017, in Vancouver from May 30 to June 1.
Much attention has recently been given to the negotiations in France that resulted in the unprecedented Paris Agreement to combat climate change. This agreement, which limits the global average temperature rise to “well below” 2 C (3.6 F) compared to pre-industrial temperatures, will move designers to elevate new and existing building performance in two distinct ways: construction and resilience.
The phrase “think globally, act locally” is a good way to describe how sustainable design projects are conceptualized. From the building to the community scale, the goal is to minimize the initial and ongoing effects of development by striving for net-zero impact and focusing on ecological restoration. (Net-zero refers to a balance of resource use and restoration on an annual basis—producing as much energy through renewable sources as consumed, sequestering equal or greater amounts of carbon as emitted, or diverting all waste from landfills or other harmful means of disposal).
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