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It's not always easy to separate the energy used to heat your home from that used to power lights and appliances, heat water, and charge electronics. For example, there are two different electricity rates (or tiers) charged by your utility. After consuming a certain amount of energy each month, you start being charged at a higher rate. Both B.C. Hydro and FortisBC also charge a fixed amount on each bill, in addition to charging for the energy you consume. You can see how it might be difficult to understand the costs and benefits of different heating options.
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Building energy benchmarking is a key tool for enabling informed and sound decision-making in energy management. Requiring reporting enables governments to prioritize and evaluate policies including regulation and incentives, while public disclosure enables the real estate sector to measure and value high performance buildings.
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The number of Passive House units in North America has quadrupled in the last year, from 500 to over 2,000 units, and a quarter of these are in Vancouver alone. Once the projects on the books are completed, North America will boast nearly 2 million square feet of certified Passive House buildings, three times more than in 2015.
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The establishment of a net-zero energy ready code target for new buildings by 2032 and the development of an energy "step code" for local governments are positive steps toward a sustainable future for B.C.'s buildings.
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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.
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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.
Governments and developers love issuing press releases announcing the opening of shiny new schools, rec centres and office buildings. Chances are good these days that building will be LEED silver, gold or even platinum.
About 10 years ago the town of Craik, Saskatchewan was facing a problem common to so many rural centres on the prairie. The town was slowly dying. People were moving away to bigger cities and other provinces and each census confirmed it. That's when the people of Craik hatched a plan.
When it comes to sustainable architecture, going green is all about finding alternative solutions to decades-old problems. Such advances aren’t always obvious to the naked eye, but many modern buildin...
When it comes to net-zero homes it too is an idea that seems more science fiction than anything, especially in the cold climes of Edmonton, Alberta. A home that produces as much energy as it consumes -- well that's just crazy.
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.