Designers, builders and developers are being challenged to make energy-efficient buildings more affordable for British Columbians.
Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, issued the challenge as part of the provincial government’s new Better Buildings BC program.
“Every new building and renovation is an opportunity to save energy and reduce costs for British Columbians,” Mungall said. “Our government is challenging designers, builders and developers to get creative and show us their innovative ideas.”
The challenge was presented to students and faculty at the University of British Columbia, including engineers and architects taking part in the school’s master of engineering leadership in high performance buildings curriculum.
The Better Buildings BC program will accelerate the design and construction of multi-family, commercial and institutional buildings that are super energy efficient. The program is built around a design competition, with up to $390,000 given to the most cost-effective demonstration of net-zero energy-ready buildings.
Net-zero energy-ready buildings are designed to be so efficient that they could meet all or most of their own energy consumption requirements with renewable energy technologies. They are more comfortable, durable and quieter than conventional buildings, and help make life more affordable by saving owners and tenants money through reduced energy bills.
“Over the past 20 years, UBC has demonstrated leadership in green buildings and has used its campus as a testbed for innovative and cost-effective approaches to energy efficient design and measures to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions that advance the campus towards its zero carbon emissions target,” said Michael White, associate vice-president, campus and community planning at UBC. “UBC is excited to see the launch of the Better Buildings BC program as it will help catalyze momentum toward net-zero energy-ready buildings.”
“Energy efficient buildings are a key part of our commitment to building a strong, sustainable, innovative economy – one that makes life more affordable for British Columbians,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “As part of our vision for the future, we are working on a plan that will expand energy efficiency and conservation in buildings and homes so we increase comfort, lower energy costs and reduce our carbon pollution in the coming years.”
Designers, builders, and developers can apply by visiting: www.efficiencybc.ca/betterbuildings
Applicants must submit an expression of interest by Nov. 30, 2018. The winning projects will be announced in spring 2019.
In September 2018, the Province announced the new EfficiencyBC program, which will dedicate $24 million to helping people save energy and reduce their environmental footprint. Better Buildings BC is part of a broader government effort to support projects that will help British Columbians use less energy and lower their bills.
- The Province has set a goal that all new buildings in B.C. must be net-zero energy-ready by 2032. In partnership with industry, utilities and local government stakeholders, the Province developed the BC Energy Step Code as a pathway to reach that goal.
- Better Buildings BC is funded through the Innovative Clean Energy Fund for $1 million and Forestry Innovation Investment for $200,000, for a total provincial contribution of $1.2 million.
- The Better Buildings BC program was first launched by the provincial government at a seminar held at the Urban Development Institute on Oct. 10, 2018.
A backgrounder follows.