October 27th, 2016
Another first for Mohawk Project
On Nov. 2, we learned more about how Mohawk College’s Partnership and Innovation Centre, a Net Zero project in the heart of Mohawk’s Hamilton campus, will influence the Canadian approach to carbon reduction in our built environment, as a pilot project for both the CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Standard and the Carbon Impact Initiative (CII).
The project, currently in construction, was already a significant event for the City of Hamilton and Mohawk College, designed in collaboration with B+H and our own Hamilton team. Now, we learn more about how Hamilton is leading the way nationally in the development of net zero facilities, technology and innovation.
CaGBC announces Zero Carbon Building Standard
The UN has identified that buildings account for 40% of our planet’s carbon emissions. It is a powerful statistic, especially when considered in the context of Canada’s commitment within the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 30% over 2005 levels. And the building industry has taken note.
In a release from Nov. 2, the CaGBC released its intent to develop a Zero Carbon Building Framework including verification metrics, to be launched by Spring 2017. The Partnership and Innovation Centre will be its first pilot program and help in the development of key verification criteria.
The release states:
“Our focus on carbon emissions as opposed to energy in this framework flows from the increasing urgency to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings,” says Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the CaGBC. “By embarking on this important initiative, the CaGBC is providing the market with a state-of -the-art guideline and, soon, the third-party verification and support required to make net zero carbon buildings a reality in the near future.
This collaboration will provide insight from the application of the framework and help determine requirements for the verification of performance. More specifics about this project will be released in the near future.”
Carbon Impact Initiative
Ellis Don, WSP, BASF, the Cement Association of Canada, Cricket Energy, Enbridge and CISCO, all companies in the building field, recognized that political will alone was not enough. The group met in February of 2016 and articulated a plan named the The Carbon Impact Initiative (CII).
The initiative is designed to take a balanced approach. There are two objectives – reducing carbon emissions, while creating economically responsible solutions and opening new opportunities in the market place. It is an essential step to ensuring larger industry buy in. Of added interest, the report cites that Net Zero energy buildings have the potential to grow from a $630 million industry just two years ago, to a $1.3 trillion industry by 2035.
Action Item 1 in the Industry Response Strategy involves identifying pilot projects to demonstrate “the highest levels of performance of NetZero Energy and dramatically reduce carbon output during construction and operation.”
In late October, CII announced its first pilot project, a living lab, would be the Partnership and Innovation Centre on the Mohawk Campus. The Hamilton Centre will be studied over time and the lessons learned will help to drive innovation, ensuring Canada is positioned to take a leadership role in this emerging market. At the same time, the hope is to use these projects to demonstrate how the reduction of carbon emissions supports and enhances the private sector’s ability to meet its business objectives.
Read more about the announcement in:
The Daily Commercial News – Click Here