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Passive House Canada was created with a simple premise: to change how Canada builds and retrofits its buildings for thermal comfort, health, resiliency and low energy.
And it’s happening.
The main threats to infrastructure assets are many but include first and foremost damage or destruction caused by extreme weather events. These threats have led to Infrastructure Canada’s Climate-Resilient Buildings and Core Public Infrastructure Initiative. Led by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) this “ground-breaking work focuses on integrating climate resiliency into building and infrastructure design, guides, certification and codes.”
One of the largest PH projects in Canada takes a simple, compact form
This six-storey wood frame building was developed through an integrated design and delivery process, to provide workforce rental housing for the duration of a large provincial project, before converting to affordable family housing for the community. The program consists of 50 units (two- and three-bedroom suites), common interior and exterior amenity spaces, fitness room, bicycle storage, outdoor playground and landscaped rain gardens.
Fresh take on traditional design provides high-level living comfort
Just as a riptide in the ocean is a strong counterflow against a prevailing current, so Riptide House in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia represents a powerful oppositional force against the standard housing practices in Canadian cities. The clients, an East Coast surfing family, wanted a home that would fit in with their established urban neighbourhood, while simultaneously addressing the environmental issues faced by our society.
Well being, energy and water conservation top the list at research station
Aurora Coast is a new cannabis research centre located in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. This unique facility provides a supportive and nurturing workplace for Aurora’s scientists to expand their genetics and breeding research, with the goal of realizing the full human benefit of the cannabis plant.
Passive House the most cost effective for seniors housing and health centre
This new four-storey development in Ottawa serves as a mixed-use “hub” which combines affordable seniors housing for Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) with the Carlington Community Health Centre (CCHC). Affordable rental housing for seniors includes 42 independent living rental apartment suites on the upper three floors. The project marks the first time the city’s public-housing agency has partnered with a community health centre to build independent-living units for seniors with on-site health services.
A Passive House Car Dealership in the Making
The world’s first certified Passive House car dealership opened for business in the fall of 2019. Designed by Cover Architectural Collaborative, Sublime Design and Peel Passive House Consulting and constructed by Black Creek Developments, the 2,420 m2 (26,020 ft2) facility in Red Deer, Alberta houses the new Scott Subaru dealership. It coincides with the 50th anniversary of The Scottsville Auto Group who developed the project.
Achieving a world first at standard cost
The Green Point Project is a 2,600 sq.ft. single-family residence located on a 6.25-acre forest and sensitive shoreline in Cowichan Bay on the east coast of Vancouver Island.The project is striving to achieve a world first by achieving Passive house (PH) and Living Building Challenge (LBC) certifications. Additionally, Green Point just received a third certification, Green Shores for Homes – Orca designation. Inspired by the concepts of Biophilia and Regenerative Design, the project proponents set themselves these ambitious goals within a relatively modest budget of $300/sf.
Anyone trained in design can do it
As teenage environmental advocate Greta Thunberg has argued repeatedly, we already know what we have to do and how we have to do it. There is no more time for prevarication, postponement or the smoke and mirrors of political expediency. For the general public, climate change is no longer an abstract and remote concept, nor even a topic still open for debate: It is happening all around us in real time.
Buildings as a Climate Change Solution
The focus of green building has long been on reducing impacts… doing “less bad” to the planet and ourselves by shrinking our ecosystem, chemical and climate footprints through conscious design and material selection. But when it comes to our current climate crisis, doing less bad is simply not going to be good enough. The climate science is clear: we collectively need to get to net zero emissions as soon as possible AND remove carbon from the atmosphere in order to meet the targets in the Paris Accord. The building industry is now tasked with doing “more good” by reducing net emissions to zero and actively contributing to carbon drawdown.
Zero Carbon Building Standard Version 2
Fin MacDonald guided the recent launch of the second version of the CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Standard, which is designed to accelerate adoption of zero carbon building practices.
As the first municipality in Canada to adopt a Sustainable Building Policy (SBP), The City of Calgary is a leader in promoting green building. The City’s SBP has resulted in over 60 LEED-certified projects, including Canada’s first two LEED v4 Building Design and Construction (BD+C) certifications.