Discussion 7 – Low Carbon Buildings Innovation Program (Improving Buildings)



Low Carbon Buildings Innovation Program

Reducing emissions from buildings requires cost-effective, high performance solutions that are readily available in the market. These include advanced building designs and construction methods, as well as ultra-efficient building components.

To encourage and advance more projects that make buildings cleaner and more efficient, the province is proposing a Low Carbon Buildings Innovation Program for manufacturers, developers and builders. This would include annual competitive calls in three categories:

  • Research – building solutions that show promise but may require further innovation before being commercialized, such as vacuum insulated wall panels and windows, or natural gas heat pumps;
  • Commercialization – building solutions that have been tested and are ready to be scaled up for wider application, such as high-performance prefabricated external insulation systems; and
  • Demonstration – building solutions currently available in the marketplace that require demonstration to build industry capacity and public acceptance, such as net-zero energy ready construction.

The program would stimulate the development of innovative, low-carbon building solutions and demonstrate their benefits, which would increase the demand for these solutions.

Questions:

  • Have you ever lived or worked in an energy efficient or green building? If yes, how was your experience with the building?
  • What is the best way to engage research institutions and professionals on these low carbon building innovation opportunities?

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35 responses to “Discussion 7 – Low Carbon Buildings Innovation Program (Improving Buildings)

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    [-] Christine

    NO residential wood heat or fireplaces in new construction. Our communities particularly along the inner passage are prone to daily inversions – many with the double whammy of being in a valley – and the air pollution from even the newest state of the art wood stoves is insufferable. This barbaric practice of accepting the level of pollution wood burning residents visit on their neighbours needs to be stopped immediately. What would ensue if sewage was being incurred on neighbours’ property – because air pollution is far more invasive – one is forced to breathe the air and therefore they are entirely reliant on their neighbours for their health in this

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    [-] Richard

    NO residential wood heat or fireplaces in new construction. Our communities particularly along the inner passage are prone to daily inversions – many with the double whammy of being in a valley – and the air pollution from even the newest state of the art wood stoves is insufferable. This barbaric practice of accepting the level of pollution wood burning residents visit on their neighbours needs to be stopped immediately. What would ensue if sewage was being incurred on neighbours’ property – because air pollution is far more invasive – one is forced to breathe the air and therefore they are entirely reliant on their neighbours for their health in this

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    [-] jennifer

    NO residential wood heat or fireplaces in new construction.
    Our communities particularly along the inner passage are prone to daily inversions – many with the double whammy of being in a valley – and the air pollution from even the newest state of the art wood stoves is insufferable. This barbaric practice of accepting the level of pollution wood burning residents visit on their neighbours needs to be stopped immediately. What would ensue if sewage was being incurred on neighbours’ property – because air pollution is far more invasive – one is forced to breathe the air and therefore they are entirely reliant on their neighbours for their health in this.

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    [-] gv

    I would not be in favour of spending money on gas heat pumps. We have low-carbon renewable electric heat pumps already. If we want to actually respond to the urgent climate crisis, it means transitioning to renewable energy ASAP and getting off fossil fuel. I am in favour of more research/pilot projects into low-GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants for heat pumps, and proper handling of refrigerants used in heat pumps. We have solutions that are ready now, so let’s get going with a renewable energy transition, and study it while we’re implementing. I would also like us to keep researching how to build homes that are ready for the climate challenges we will face, not the climate we have.

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    [-] Erin

    I have worked in an energy efficient building and overall temperature management was superb. Very impressed.

    However, do NOT invest in developing new tech that uses natural gas! There is no plan for meeting existing demand for LNG through biofuels, therefore we need to prioritize shifting to electricity, particularly for new technology.

    How to engage research institutions & professionals:
    – engage them in finding the best solutions that are currently being used worldwide, and if necessary, adapting them to the Canadian climate
    – invest in research and training programs to challenge the next generation of professionals; the award should be something that is broadly recognizable to increase their chance of finding employment and/or clientele
    – expand the scope of the challenge or create more categories to include waste management, conserving water, and designing integrated systems that re-purpose resources (ex. compost is processed and directly re-used in a rooftop garden that is irrigated by the water collected from showers).

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    [-] Cathy

    Research should be conducted by public institutions such as universities that have no financial interest in pursuing a certain outcome. Research should be unbiased and trustworthy.
    We all remember public health and ultimately commercial failures such as sprayed asbestos insulation and sprayed urea formaldehyde foam insulation. It is important that serious mistakes by commercial interests not be repeated.

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    [-] Nara

    Eating seasonally, locally, and mostly plant-based helps reduce our carbon footprint. Despite our frequent rains for most of the year, this summer the Sunshine Coast is again at Stage 3 water restrictions. We should not be flushing potable water down the toilet! Grey water systems should be encouraged in home renovations and new builds. In 2015 we went into stage 4 and many vegetable crops were left to wither. This threatens our food security.
    There is far too much packaging on products that we must purchase. Recycling is great but it is the 3rd “R”. It should actually be: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle. When someone on a fixed income visits the produce department and finds 7 Kiwis in a plastic bag for $1.99 or individual fruit at 99¢ each, the choice is obvious. The most environmentally-friendly options should not cost more. If a material is not recyclable, it should be banned and an alternative used. This would eliminate contamination issues and reduce the volume being sent to landfills.

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    [-] Jaroslav

    Using biomass fuel is a sustainable carbon neutral solution, that can integrate with a broader range of targets.

    Advantages:
    – Modern biomass technology is based on pyrolysis, which is gasification. This makes combustion clean – comparable to natural gas.
    – Biomass rotates roughly the same amount of CO2 in the atmosphere through re-growing the forest and consuming the previously released CO2 from the atmosphere. This is unlike using any type of fossil fuel including natural gas combustion, that continuously introduces new CO2.
    – Biomass technology offers high enough temperature to generate potable hot water (something heat pumps can’t do), offers high enough capacity to carry a full heating load without back up (something the solar thermal can not do) and features very high efficiency, compared to solar PV.
    – Unlike geothermal, when a leak or freezing in the underground loop can mean a decommissioning of the loop, biomass systems are fully serviceable, so a service life of 20-30 years is absolutely achievable.
    – Additionally, with a current insane wildfires situation, it is best to remove the fuels through proper deforestation and use chips or pellets as a fuel in biomass boiler in controllable and clean combustion that unlike fossil fuel does continuously introduce green house gas to the atmosphere.
    – Developing a biomass fuel industry would create hundreds if not thousands of new local jobs: in the forestry, production, transportation and service.
    – Besides Green house effect, fossil ‘fuels’ need to be spared for future generation for many chemical processes and production, that otherwise can’t exist. Burning fossil fuels for heat generation and transportation WAS a natural step for the civilization, BUT has no future AND must be greatly minimized / abandoned.

    A system of incentives and government run program could help integrating all referred aspects into one and solve multiple problems at a time.

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    [-] Sheila

    Make Passive energy design required for institutional buildings, like Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre’s new affordable housing on Bowen Road. Long-term affordability savings for residents, plus healthier living for occupants.

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    [-] peter

    The best way to engage is via making available specific funding to support innovation. The next best is to create a supportive community to communicate the innovation that is taking place.

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    [-] Kevin

    I live in an uncertified passive house in the Kootenays. After 3 full years of living we have real time data showing that we used less energy than the model predicted. We use no supplementary heat, all hydro. Good design, good execution means that over the next 60 years we will spend approximately $180,000 less on energy than an equivalent home built to 2015 Code. At a cost of maybe $25,000 additional. We are also significantly more comfortable in summer and winter and our air is much cleaner, which is something in our new “normal” smoky environment. This is a no brainer.
    In my experience with local builders the notion of reducing carbon has not much resonance. But teaching them that building this way is easy and is cost effective for their client/homeowner in the long run is giving them a leg up when it comes to selling their services.

    I am also the housing coordinator for a non-profit housing organization. Policy and decision makers need to have other ways of understanding the impact of energy consumption. Public funding of housing, public incentives for affordable housing need to be strongly tied to economics as well as the obvious (to some of us) human and environmental benefits. Building permits should be tied to meeting STep Code 3/4 right now because it saves everyone in the long run.

    i am not sure how much more research is needed. Maybe gathering real time data that makes the point.

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    [-] Simon

    I’m not sure of the status of the connection with Jeremy Rifkin and/or others that have worked with Europe and China on their clean growth plans. I would urge you to make the experience this team has, so we can build our world class expertise without repeating too many mis-steps.

    http://www.vancouvereconomic.com/blog/media/vec-announces-greater-vancouver-innovation-capital/

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    [-] Simon

    Buildings may increasingly rely on their own power generated with solar panels, wind and other renewable. It will be very advantageous if BC Hydro is able to work with buildings that do this and buy as well as sell power. The smarter the grid, the better.

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    [-] Louise

    Please help BC move beyond all fossil fuels immediately, removing all references to and incentives for gas products as well as coal and oil. The best way to engage research institutions and professionals is to have a vision with clear integrity, and with legitimate capacity to enhance climate resilience and minimize continuing harms.

    Gas products should have no part in our future vision. Including them will provoke public cynicism and moral outrage because the expansion of fossil fuel production contradicts the international scientific consensus and violates the precautionary orinciple. Expanding fossil fuel production for “gas heat pumps” or any other reason would divert commitment and resources from a shift to renewable energies that is already desperately late.

    There is no room in an over- full atmosphere for any fossil fuel emissions. All are harmful now, and enhance the probability of runaway climate chaos in the future. All new buildings and building retrofits, and all amendments to building standards and codes, must move directly to reliance on renewable energies. There is no time to do less.

    In particular, renewable energies — not fracked gas — should be strongly incentivized to speed the process. No fracked fuel source is “clean” . All violate the precautionary principle and capacity for resilience by destroying ecosystems, de-stabilizing clean water sources and geological structures, and removing vast amounts of water from the hydrological cycle (of a hungry and thirsty world) by direct contamination.

    Please omit any mention of or provision for gas products from the province’s vision of the future.

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    [-] Rachelle

    I have attended universities with energy efficient buildings – which included grey water systems – and they have a significant positive impact on quality of life and mental state. They were well-insulated and kept the building at an even temperature at all times of year and the plant walls improved air quality. LEED certification has been around for a long time now and many private buildings in our province have gold and platinum certification. Discussions around closed loop systems for waste and how that can save time and money over the long run should be encouraged. The technology is out there – the requirements should be made to be mandatory to builders and could be incentivized through carbon tax breaks with steeper taxes for buildings that do not meet certain standards.

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    [-] Jennell

    A number of comments in this discussion refer to efforts in different areas of Europe to achieve climate neutral buildings. However, in many areas, it is important to note that these efforts have included biomass burning as an acceptable path forward, from residential wood stoves to larger facilities, based on the belief that wood burning is renewable and ‘carbon neutral’. In some cases, increased biomass burning is noted as a way to improve sustainability.

    However, in many of these same places, they are finding that their air quality is significantly deteriorating (see https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/feb/22/wood-diesel-indoor-stoves-cities-pollution for the London example where an increase in wood heat harming air quality and negating any gains made by improving diesel vehicle standards). The rush towards supporting biomass burning is a classic case of how a short-sighted public policy can have long lasting implications. The wood stoves installed in many urban areas may be in use for decades and the fuel will likely have to come from further and further away. Yet once they are installed, it is very difficult to control their current use or phase them out.

    It is important, therefore, that health and air quality impacts be integrated into any discussion, research or public policy related to low carbon building innovation.

    Additionally, the accounting of fuel use in any low carbon analysis needs to look at full cycle of the fuel.

    In terms of wood, it is often stated that the carbon released by burning is not a big deal as the same carbon will be released in the forest after the tree dies. Of course the burning releases it instantly, compared to the slow release of rotting (and the reality that it will nourishes new growth that will sequester carbon).

    The myth of wood burning being carbon neutral is also based on the assumption that a new tree will grow in place of the harvested tree – on a 1 to 1 ratio. There is no proof or requirement that this occurs (not to mention it will take many decades to sequester the same amount of released carbon).

    Much of the carbon footprint calculation in Europe on use of wood or wood pellets for heat also fails to include the carbon footprint of making and transporting this fuel. In many cases, the pellets are coming from North America; while this may be an economic boost to forest economies, it is not exactly a climate change neutral or sustainable approach.

    Additionally, there is a huge gap in available data related to the emissions in the residential heating sector. We know that 6% of all of BC’s GHGs comes from residential heating, but there is no breakdown available in this sector to know how much of that 6% different fuels contribute (and the number of residences that use that fuel). It is important that BC start collecting and sharing this data with researchers, and the public, if we are to better understand and evaluate appropriate low carbon approaches.

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    [-] Y

    I’ve always wondered how bidets are not a universal thing. I don’t mean a whole separate fixture, merely a simple hose (or other options). Relatively, I know it’s small beans, but we could truly be using a lot less toilet paper/wet wipes than necessary, easing not only the manufacturing of said products, but also their effects on our sewage systems. Moreover, it’s infinitely more hygienic than today’s options (hyperbole intended).
    I do not know this for a fact, but I imagine when a bidet is available, adoption/usage rates would be very high. It may take a couple of attempts to get used to it, but the results are superior in every way. It is a very simple and cheap solution that can easily be applied to both new developments, and retrofitted to practically any toilet.

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    [-] Michel

    There is a very good reference on Germany’s effort on achieving climate-neutral building by 2050.
    The document can be downloaded here.
    https://www.bdh-koeln.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Publikationen/BDH_Efficient_systems_and_renewable_energies_2017.pdf

    It is a extraordinary example on how wide and diverse are the solutions to increase efficiency and reduce GHG emission from building heating.

    BC should encourage this type of Research and Development

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    [-] Pembina

    Pembina supports the Province’s intent to provide financial support to manufacturers, builders, developers, and associations to accelerate innovation and market transformation for high performance construction and deep energy retrofits.

    Here are two international best practices approach which we believe should be adapted and implemented in B.C.

    1) The BatEx program propulsed Brussels from European laggard to world leader in seven years. The region went from having one of the worse building codes in Europe to adopting, in 2015, a building code requiring a level of performance close to the Passive House. For the B.C. program to be as catalytic, it will require multi-year commitment and collaboration with industry groups. Between 2007 and 2009, Brussels provided 18 million Euros (~ $30M) in subsidies to support three calls for proposals resulting in 117 winning projects. That investment resulted in new construction and renovation of 265,000 m2 to Passive House standards, including hundreds of homes, offices, schools and child care centres.
    2) The Dutch Energiesprong program works with industry, regulators, financiers, and housing societies, and has catalyzed innovation in the supply chain by piloting new deep retrofit solutions, aggregating demand, and clearing a path to a sustainable business case. This has led to the retrofit of over 2,000 social housing dwellings to net-zero energy, with another 9,000 units on the books. Installation times have been cut from a few months to a few days, and costs reduced by 50%, over three years. Construction companies that have invested in developing these solutions are now using the same components to build new affordable housing that is net-zero energy.

    For the Pembina Institute’s full submission, see: http://www.pembina.org/pub/bc-clean-growth-intentions

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    [-] Jae

    Clean Energy BC firmly believes that our province can lead the way to a low-carbon economy through extensive electrification. Extensive electrification would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, create significant inward investment and jobs. We will shortly be releasing our white paper entitled: Power Forward; Assessing the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Extensive Electrification in British Columbia, it focuses on exploring how electrification offers BC an opportunity to meet our climate targets and strengthen the economy. Listed below are some excerpts from the white paper.

    Built Environment (Based upon research by Kerr Wood Leidal, “Development of an Electrification Policy Framework for British Columbia,” Climate Action Secretariat, Province of British Columbia.) https://www.kwl.ca/sites/default/files/ElectrificationRptFinal.pdf

    Assumes 25% of residential homes and multi-family dwellings using air- or ground-source heat pumps in 2030.

    Assumes 30% of private sector office buildings and retail, wholesale, and warehousing buildings; 15% of all other commercial and institutional building stock have been retrofitted with heat pumps by 2030.

    • Building Sector: Residential
    • Conventional Approach (Natural Gas displaced by Electricity): 6,806 GWh
    • Natural Gas GHG emissions: 1,392,587 Tonnes of CO2e/yr
    • Electrification power requirements: 2,084 GWh
    • Increase above 2017 BC electricity production: 3.1%
    • Alternative GHG Emissions with Extensive Electrification: 22,231 tonnes CO2e/yr
    • GHG Reduction: 98.4%

    • Building Sector: Commercial
    • Conventional Approach (Natural Gas displaced by Electricity): 38,667 GWh
    • Natural Gas GHG emissions: 7,912,231 Tonnes of CO2e/yr
    • Electrification power requirements: 11,838 GWh
    • Increase above 2017 BC electricity production: 17.9%
    • Alternative GHG Emissions with Extensive Electrification: 126,309 tonnes CO2e/yr
    • GHG Reduction: 98.4%

    • Aggregate Residential and Commercial
    • Conventional Approach (Natural Gas displaced by Electricity): 45,472 GWh
    • Natural Gas GHG emissions: 9,304,817 Tonnes of CO2e/yr
    • Electrification power requirements: 13,921 GWh
    • Increase above 2017 BC electricity production: 21%
    • Alternative GHG Emissions with Extensive Electrification: 148,540 tonnes CO2e/yr
    • GHG Reduction: 98.4%

    On a personal note, I was part of the team that build the first passive house in the UK 14 years ago, we also built the first zero carbon house and the first carbon positive building (exports more energy that it requires, in aggregate, over the year). The innovation of new technology integration, materials and systems is often challenging in the beginning, then after time, it becomes normal. Germany built over 20,000 passive houses by 2010 when they committed to all new homes needing to be passive house in 2015. They built the skills, the supply chains and the training & certifications systems before they locked in the full transition. We can copy their models and borrow their knowledge (as well as many others around the globe). The EU has banned incandescent light bulbs, electric baseboard heating and even anything less than triple pane windows in Germany. Heat pumps are standard and so too is PV and solar hot water. This serves to create markets where the price point of these products has dropped significantly. Now in Germany triple pane windows are the same price as double pane windows from just a few years ago.

    Modern methods of construction, prefabrication & offsite manufacturing are they trends in high performance building. Not only does this radically speed up the building process but it ensures the quality and performance of the structure is consistent. This should be encouraged.

    Jae Mather
    Executive Director
    Clean Energy BC

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    [-] LR

    I have been dreaming of owning a small (800 sq.ft.) passive-solar, apt condo, in a location with cleaner air than the Lower Mainland where I am now; but still near reliable transit, walkable (even in winter) to groceries and a variety of community-centred services. I see Winton Homes in Prince George has a ton of plans for homes of all shapes and sizes; but I have no experience, energy, or knowledge for building a multi-level apt. building, condo, or passive solar seniors building.
    Can standard plans be just upgraded to be R-40 walls, triple-pane windows etc? Can they be built 3-4 floors high with concrete floors between for quiet? (Wood-frame NEEDS carpet and underlay). Can they be built with covered parking for small footprint? A Strata of no more than 30 units for a congenial community. Ideally with deciducous trees to the south for sun in winter and shade in summer, fresh, cooler air, and lots of raised-bed gardens for fresh produce, beauty and landscaping. Standards and guidance are needed.
    Are there inspectors who will certify that it’s built to the standards you have paid for? How do you know if it’s been done properly?
    If there is a really GREAT design out there, can it be certified and standardized (or varied) for direction to sun, wind, snow-packs, ground quality, and other things like the weather region you want to build in? Surely it can be computerized to orient a great design on the lot and location of your choice by now. Make it really practical. Perhaps a simple ‘Craftsman’ look exterior. Optional idea: 3-story on a steep hill (like they used to make log barns) so it’s level entry/exit for each floor? Snow pack from roof slides downhill.
    If there is one being built somewhere in BC, I’d like to know!

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    [-] Lois

    The very best thing to do is use best practices from around the world and get on with doing it. More research and studies are not needed at this time. Practical application of what is known and then reviewing it as we go along. We need to get going at a smart pace.

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    [-] Tim

    Would like to know about retrofitting geothermal heating and heat pumps that could be added to single or duplex houses by combining systems for several lots [voluntary cooperation among owners]. Also get research and testing of these houses to determine the best way to save heat and electricity.

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    [-] Robert

    All of the most cost-effective products and methods are readily available in many markets. Other than a few fringe technologies, clean building tech is no longer a research subject. Education and Standardization are sorely needed, not Innovation. Not in 2018. Use energy labeling and minimum standards to eliminate old tech from the market. Use codes and other regulations to make low carbon buildings “business as usual”, not esoteric flagships.

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    [-] Stephen

    With respect to this matter I would suggest the panel review the following link: https://homefiresprinkler.org/fire-sprinklers-are-green/
    and then review the following attached report FM Global Environmental Impact of Residential Sprinklers.

    While the FM Global/HFSC study is eight years old, the data is still useful, in my opinion and like other jurisdictions have found residential sprinklers are an affordable solution that play a major role in reducing water consumption and the negative impact to the environment when a structure and contents is damaged by fire.

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    [-] Karen

    We decided to have our home built to 2032 standards as much as possible. We are at the point of lock-up. Its been a real learning curve for our builder who, thankfully, took on this challenge with zeal and says he will not build another ‘standard’ house. We feel we’ve taken the best of passive and net-zero ideas to come up with a beautiful, contemporary home. It has been difficult to source some of the supplies, and not as much choice as we’d like. We are one of the last to build on our street, I ‘feel sorry’ for the rest who are currently building as we can see the obvious differences in the energy efficiency and comfort (temperature wise) already. I live in Kelowna, without even windows installed, our home is significantly cooler than the other standard built homes at the same stage, so we are sure it will be nice and toasty come winter.

    My concern, if that, is how does the real estate market then set a price as our home is simply not able to be compared to the others on our very crowded street. Also how can homes be compared if they are selling a second step home to a 4th step home?

    I think the standards ought to be raised across the board asap. I believe new products and variety would then flood into the market, reducing the price and offering more choice.

    We’ve had persons from the college, university, city and visiting speakers come view our home as well as other builders; everyone has been impressed with the wall, ceiling and floor systems, our windows and doors, and design to allow light into the building to reduce energy costs. Our trade schools ought not be teaching the ‘old’ way at all, start with the ‘new’ way now!

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    [-] Christine

    Reading an analysis of solar incentives across the United States might help to put into context how far off we are in BC with Hydro’s net metering program: https://consumerenergyalliance.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Solar-incentive-report-060418.pdf

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    [-] Christine

    What about a home renovation tax credit applicable only to low carbon building technologies that have been proven? Like heat pumps for example.

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    [-] Monty

    It would seem that what institutions and professionals react to is policy or code. Many professional builders are building to minimum code, and will continue to do so until the code is changed. Then they will react. The Energy Step Code is going to do much to improve building in BC, over a long period, but it will happen, as the builders will have to conform.
    But I don’t think we are looking far enough forward for research institutions to be engaged. They need to know what is going to happen 5-10 years down the road, so that the research and development can begin now. What will the policy be once we are well down the Step Code road? What do we need to achieve? Knowing this will induce research to solve these coming issues in building and create the world-leading solutions that we need to be coming out of BC. We can’t wait until the time comes, we need to plan now and have long-term vision on this, as it takes a while to prototype, test and develop the solutions and have them commercially proven and ready for the market. There is also the education and training needed, so builders have skilled help to put these new models of assemblies or products together.
    The public, on the other hand, responds to information. They don’t need it to be code, they just need it to be knowledge and they will react. If they know that Passive House is the best way to build and the true benchmark (i.e. anything less than that is cutting corners on comfort, integrity and performance in building) then they will use that information immediately in their building and buying decisions.

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    [-] Glenn

    I live in a townhouse that has in floor hot water heating via a geothermal field (that serves several hundred homes in Langford BC) with an outer envelope built to a Gold standard. Our home is always the correct temperature and is also well sound proofed. The cost of the home at build (2015) was competitive with other homes of a similar square footage but sell higher because of the cost savings in energy.

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    [-] Sharon

    Since our energy renovations, our house stays so cool in the summer that we need to go outside several times a day to warm up. Our energy consumption has dropped and there are no drafts.

    Creating opportunities for dialogue between research institutions and professionals can be done through any of the construction associations AGM’s or training/crediting programs/institutions. Presentations at conferences around sustainable buildings would work.

    There is still the issue of BC Hydro’s recent retraction of suplus solar generation payments being a regressive move. Why would homeowners and commercial builders go to the expense of installing solar with this BC Hydro policy/action? There is a real disconnect here with the BC government’s desire to reduce energy consumption, and what BC Hydro is doing. There would have to be huge incentives/rebates for installing large capacity batteries to store energy rather than tying into BC Hydro.

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    [-] John

    We have lived in a passive house for 5 years. It is quieter, less expensive to operate and maintain, and much more comfortable than a conventional house. We could never again live in anything less than a passive house.
    The best way to engage research institutions and professionals on this standard is to have them experience it. Trade schools and educational institutions need to be constructed to this standard. All public buildings need to be constructed to this standard. Lead by example.

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    [-] Glenn

    Well said!

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    [-] Remi

    Research institutions run by academics will focus on metrics and values that get recognized by academic institutions (publications). If there are specific performance or cost targets that are being targeted (e.g. such as vacuum insulated wall panels and windows, or natural gas heat pumps), maybe consider a more competitive approach by providing a financial prize for the first to achieve the target (similar to X-Prize).

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    [-] Neil

    I worked in a BOMA Best building with a ground source heat pump. Heating problems were related to the circulation of air in zones in the building (not the heat pump). The take home is that if the rest of building HVAC infrastructure isn’t working well, the benefits of energy efficiency retrofits will be suboptimal.

    Getting developers (and property owners/managers) to visit demonstration projects (e.g. PassiveHaus standard buildings) is one of the best ways to make the possibilities real to them.

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