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December 2018 Stakeholder Update


Students Help Smooth the Path to BC’s Net-Zero Energy-Ready Future

A trio of University of British Columbia graduate and post-graduate students spent the summer investigating various aspects of the BC Energy Step Code for local governments. The UBC Sustainability Scholars program matches up students with local governments in need of a technical- and/or policy-research capacity boost. Our latest blog post highlights three scholars whose recent investigations have helped shed fresh insights into market transformation. [Read the blog here]


Builders are Checking key Step Code Boxes Without Even Trying

Though many builders are expressing anxiety about having to soon meet the requirements of the BC Energy Step Code, a series of recent assessments suggest that a good number of them may already be delivering on some of its key metrics without even trying.

The evidence is emerging from a Performance Path Training Program now underway under the supervision of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association - Central Interior, and also from assessments shared by an energy advisor working in the province’s East Kootenay region. [Read the blog here.]


Province Financing Top-Step Student Homes

The Province of British Columbia will contribute $123 million in financing towards a $201 million high-performance student residential housing project at the University of Victoria. The project’s two new buildings will be built to the Passive House standard—which is roughly equivalent to the top step of the BC Energy Step Code.

The buildings, shown in above rendering, will use 75 per cent less energy for heating and cooling, and at least 50 per cent overall compared with conventional construction, the province said in a news release.

“We are committed to taking hold of new technologies and new ideas to create a cleaner, less polluting and more energy-efficient future for our province,” said Premier John Horgan in the statement.  [Access the UVIC News article here.]

BC Housing to Host “Train the Trainer” Sessions

Starting one week from today, a wide array of builders, contractors, designers, energy advisers, consultants, municipal officials, and NGO leaders will assemble at BCIT’s High Performance Building Lab for a two-day BC Housing “Train the Trainer” workshop. 

Participants will leave the sessions trained and equipped to deliver two BC Energy Step Code workshops that will help their building communities master the requirements of Step 3, Part 9. The December 10 and 11 Train the Trainer workshop is free of charge, but space is very limited. Contact Wilma Leung via wileung at bchousing dot org if you would like to attend, or nominate someone to attend. (She will try to make room!)


Burnaby Beefs Up Efficiency and Carbon Requirements for Larger Buildings

This past month, the City of Burnaby adopted new energy efficiency performance and greenhouse-gas limits for larger and more complex new buildings—including offices, stores, and multi-unit residential towers like those shown above near Metrotown.

Under the new rules, as of early 2019, a proponent developing a project under existing zoning would need to undertake energy modelling and air tightness testing, as required by Step 1, Part 3. Those proponents who wish to rezone a property will have two choices as of July 1, 2019: Either deliver on the performance requirements of Step 3, Part 3 of the BC Energy Step Code, or meet the less-stringent requirements of Step 2, but install a low-carbon energy system.

The City also said it would tighten up the requirements within two to five years, to achieve higher levels of energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions. [Read the details on the City of Burnaby's site, or media coverage in Burnaby Now]

Workshops, Seminars, and More

For the full line-up of events this month, visit the Events Page on the Province of British Columbia’s spiffy BC Energy Step Code site.
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Photos: UBC Sustainability Scholars, Jon Garner, courtesy the University of British Columbia; Burnaby high-rise towers, Bon Bahar on Unsplash; UVic project rendering courtesy the University of Victoria, Beth Doman, courtesy the University of Victoria.
Fine Print: Glave Communications produced this Stakeholder Update on behalf of the Training and Communications Subcommittee of the Energy Step Code Council, with resource support from BC Hydro. The aim is to keep interested parties informed of recent developments with the BC Energy Step Code. The BC Energy Step Code is a collaboratively developed provincial regulation that provides a performance-based pathway to steadily ramp up the energy efficiency of new buildings across British Columbia. The regulation charts a course to the year 2032, when the province will require that new homes, offices, schools, stores, factories, hospitals, and so on meet a “net-zero energy ready” performance level.

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