In less than 10 years, near-zero emissions homes and buildings will be the new normal in Vancouver. In addition to reducing emissions and energy use, the city's Zero Emissions Building Plan will lead to improvements in the quality of homes and buildings. This plan will be an important catalyst in the local, clean, low-carbon economy.
Greening the building sector is one of the most cost-effective and economically beneficial ways to reduce energy demand and emissions while also supporting climate adaptation and resilience. These solutions exist and can be put into action right now. It's also a solid way to get a moribund economy moving.
Carl Lauren's company Tyee Custom Homes builds about 12 homes a year and about six of those are in Kimberley. Lauren says making homes energy efficient today is important because homes are going to last 50 years or more. The better the home, the more energy saved, and those lower emissions are going to be way into the future.
While not always top of mind in traditional brand assessments, a company's real estate holdings can be one of the most meaningful and concrete representations of its brand. Office buildings define skylines, shape cities' personalities and transform neighbourhoods. In doing so, they have tremendous potential to exhibit the true essence of a company's brand.
Big glass high-rises mean modern, high-tech, success, money, and, to some, beauty. Certain real estate markets -- like downtown Toronto's -- have an addiction to this particular shining look that's hard to break and tenants have come to expect all the glass. But the glass boxes pose particular problems for energy efficiency, glare and comfort that some green developers want to expose.
What are the two most common complaints from office workers? It's too hot, and it's too cold. These dichotomous complaints are symptoms of a wider problem. Not only do aging, poorly-designed office buildings do a terrible job at keeping the people within them comfortable, they are energy sieves that are expensive to operate and maintain.
The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, or CIRS, building on the University of British Columbia campus is a building that nearly lives and breathes. Determining what the greenest building in Canada is a bit of a fool's errand. But if green is a journey to architecture that regenerates and repairs the environment around it then the CIRS building is something to aspire to.