There’s a new data-driven approach to get your company on the road to reducing its carbon footprint.
Evolve Fleet’s team and platform use telematics tools, benchmarks, rebates, charging data and more to create a roadmap for a company’s specific vehicle goals.
“First you have to understand the needs of the organization, what is required, what are vehicles being used for, what is working, what is not working, and based on that analysis, we can come back and make recommendations on first steps,” explained Jasin Azzopardi, Vice President and General Manager of Evolve Fleet. “We have to determine the usage of the vehicles and also what the company’s goals are. Is your motivation carbon reduction? Is it marketing because of your industry? Do you want to get carbon credits? Understanding that motivation is key so we can make good recommendations.”
He noted that there are several common concerns that clients have when they decide to reduce the carbon footprint of a fleet:
Do EVs have enough range for the purpose of the asset?
What sort of charging infrastructure is required?
How much will it cost to switch to EVs?
How much value do EVs retain over time?
To address these concerns, Evolve digs deep into the data. They test internal combustion engine vehicles and electric vehicles in various use cases to determine cost, carbon emissions, performance and other metrics to create benchmarks. They can also use telematics to track driver behavior, idle time, charging, range and more to tease out what tools are the best fit for a client.
“The Evolve portal allows us to bring that data into one place and not only make appropriate recommendations but demonstrate that data to the client,” said Azzopardi.
How much is too much?
When it comes to cost, EVs can leave some with sticker shock. But one has to dig into the details. Azzopardi explained that Evolve can crunch the numbers to determine if that investment will save money in the long run. Their experts can also help companies navigate government programs to take advantage of rebates or other incentives that can drive cost lower.
“Clients often don’t know how to apply for those and if they qualify, so we manage that process for them,” said Azzopardi.
Depending on the type of vehicle and the province, rebates can take tens of thousands of dollars off the price. And there are even carbon credits that can be earned from using EV chargers.
Azzopardi noted that in addition to making a company more socially responsible and improving one’s brand image, there are also long-term cost benefits to including EVs in one’s fleet.
“Beyond fuel savings, EVs have very little maintenance requirements to the point where they are almost non-existent,” he said. “The only thing you have to do really is tires and brakes. No oil changes, no tune ups or timing belts.”
And the technology is only improving and expanding. Regenerative brakes are being used to help charge the car with the energy produced during breaking. Rapid chargers are cutting down on the time it takes to charge vehicles. Strategy for targeted heating and cooling is making batteries more efficient. Manufacturers are also beginning to expand in the mid-duty truck market, creating more commercial use cases.
When it comes to the far future, Azzopardi believes sustainable vehicle technology could expand to more parts of the construction site.
“I suspect we will see a surge in hydrogen vehicles,” he said.
While the idea of using hydrogen as fuel isn’t new, momentum for the technology has been growing and the next 12 months could see major progress. CP Rail plans to begin operating its first hydrogen locomotive, a hydrogen fuelling station is under construction in Edmonton to allow semi-truck testing on the province’s highways, and construction has just begun in Edmonton on the world’s largest net-zero hydrogen plant.
A changing industry
During his nearly three decades in the industry, Azzopardi has seen attitudes shift.
“It definitely has changed over the years, during my career, many of my largest accounts have been oil and gas (energy sector) accounts. Everybody wants to be a good corporate citizen,” he said.
It’s also becoming a larger component of winning work.
“For large accounts with bigger fleets that typically do public sector work, if you are responding to an RFP for something like garbage disposal in West Vancouver, there will be ESG questions
and you will have to demonstrate how your company is forward facing. For that reason alone, you aren’t going to prosper without an ESG strategy.”
To get your company’s fleet greening journey started, visit evolvefleet.com for a free consultation. Additionally, for those interested in how zero-emission vehicles will suit their daily operations and are looking at short-term solutions or testing opportunities, Evolve fleet offers electric fleet rentals so you can see if they are right for your business.
Heidelberg Materials has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Green Drop Rock Products located in Cochrane, Alta. Green Drop Rock Products is an independent producer of aggregates with a high-capacity plant that is well positioned to supply the Calgary market.
Heidelberg stated that the acquisition of the Green Drop Rock Products business will further strengthen the company’s aggregates reserves in the Greater Calgary area and reinforce its integrated footprint in the market. They added that the assets of Green Drop Rock Products complement their existing operations in the area.
The province of Alberta is also home to Heidelberg Materials’ Edmonton plant, where the cement industry’s first global full-scale carbon capture and storage facility is being built. The new facility is scheduled to be operational by late 2026 and will capture more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually.
The transaction is expected to close in early September 2023. This acquisition reflects Heidelberg Materials’ strategic plan to optimise its portfolio in core markets and strengthen its existing businesses through bolt-on acquisitions.
Heidelberg Materials is one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of building materials and solutions with leading market positions in cement, aggregates, and ready-mixed concrete. They are represented in more than 50 countries with around 51,000 employees at almost 3,000 locations.
Ottawa has announced $74 million to support small modular reactor projects in Saskatchewan.
Officials believe these reactors can play an important role in decarbonizing provincial electricity grids and heavy-emitting industries.
SaskPower anticipates construction of its first SMR could begin as early as 2030, with a targeted in-service date of 2034. Additional facilities could begin construction as early as 2034.
The Whole Story:
The Government of Canada has approved up to $74 million in federal funding for small modular reactor (SMR) development in Saskatchewan, led by SaskPower.
The funding will support pre-engineering work and technical studies, environmental assessments, regulatory studies and community and Indigenous engagement to help advance projects. SaskPower has selected the GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 for potential deployment in Saskatchewan in the mid-2030s, subject to a decision to build that is expected in 2029.
Government officials noted that SMRs, a non-emitting form of energy, can play an important role in decarbonizing provincial electricity grids and heavy-emitting industries and can help remote communities reduce their reliance on costly and high-polluting diesel power. As an example, a 300-megawatt SMR can supply enough non-emitting power for an estimated 300,000 homes.
Officials noted that more than 75,000 Canadians are employed across the nuclear supply chain and have decades of experience in this area. They added that Canada’s nuclear industry is well positioned to leverage its science and technology innovation to continue to be among the leaders in the development and deployment of SMR technology.
Advancing new non-emitting electricity infrastructure projects is part of the government’s comprehensive approach to bringing clean, affordable and reliable power to every region of Canada, as outlined in Powering Canada Forward and in the draft Clean Electricity Regulations. The Government of Canada has committed over $40 billion in new federal measures to help provinces and has announced over $500 million to date in support of a variety of projects that are helping to build a clean, affordable and reliable grid in Saskatchewan specifically.
“Delivering clean, reliable and affordable electricity will look different in every region of Canada,” said Johnathan Wilkinson, minister of energy and natural resources. “That is why the Government of Canada is committing up to $74 million to explore the potential for small modular reactors in Saskatchewan to provide abundant non-emitting power, drive economic growth and create good jobs throughout Saskatchewan.”
Up to $50 million for this project has been committed to SaskPower from NRCan’s Electricity Predevelopment Program — a $250-million program to support pre-development activities of clean electricity projects of national significance, such as inter-provincial electricity transmission projects and small modular reactors. The funding announced is conditional on the finalization of a Contribution Agreement between NRCan and SaskPower, which is currently underway.
Additionally, over $24 million for this project has been committed to the Government of Saskatchewan from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Future Electricity Fund. This program returns pollution pricing proceeds to support clean energy projects, energy-efficient technologies and other initiatives that will help Canada meet its climate goals and achieve a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050. The fund is intended to help spur innovation and encourage the adoption of cleaner technologies and fuels in Canada.
SaskPower anticipates construction of its first SMR could begin as early as 2030, with a targeted in-service date of 2034. Additional facilities could begin construction as early as 2034.
Construction has begun on the 280,000 square-meter site and will include a six-floor building that will house approximately 345 new jobs.
The plant is part of Ford’s strategy to localize key battery raw material processing in regions where it produces EVs.
SNC-Lavalin has been awarded an initial works contract for the facility worth $141 million.
The Whole Story
SK On, EcoProBM and Ford will invest $1.2 billion to build a cathode manufacturing facility in Quebec. The facility will provide materials that ultimately supply batteries for Ford’s future electric vehicles.
Once production begins in the first half of 2026, the site will have the capacity to produce up to 45,000 tonnes of cathode active material (CAM) per year.
This new facility – Ford’s first investment in the province – is part of the automaker’s plan to localize key battery raw material processing in regions where it produces EVs.
“Ford has been serving customers in Canada for 119 years, longer than any other automaker, and we’re excited to invest in this new facility to create a vertically integrated, closed-loop battery manufacturing supply chain in North America designed to help make electric vehicles more accessible for millions of people over time,” said Bev Goodman, president and CEO, Ford of Canada. “We’re excited for the opportunity for our first-ever investment in Québec with a new facility that will help shape the EV ecosystem there.”
SNC-Lavalin has been award the initial works contract for the facility worth approximately $141 million. It represents SNC-Lavalin’s first major mandate in the EV battery market in Canada.
EcoPro CAM Canada LP will manufacture cathode active materials and, more precisely, high quality Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) for rechargeable batteries that are targeting greater performance levels and improved EV range compared to existing products, thanks in part to EcoPro’s core shell gradient (CSG) technology.
Construction has begun on the 280,000 square-meter site and will include a six-floor building that will house approximately 345 new jobs – from engineers and sales and service professionals to co-op positions for students from local universities and colleges in Québec. EcoPro CAM Canada LP also will pursue research and development activities aiming at increasing battery safety and performance as well as increasing productivity and minimizing the environmental footprint of its manufacturing process.
EcoProBM established EcoPro CAM Canada LP in February. SK On and Ford will become investors once the deal is closed; the joint venture is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals. EcoProBM will oversee the day-to-day operations of the facility.
The project team noted that support from both the federal and provincial governments was vital to securing the joint investment .
“This investment once again shows that Canada is the green strategic partner of choice for world leaders in the automobile industry,” said The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry. “Today, we are helping to further position Quebec as a key hub in the electric vehicle supply chain, as we continue to build our battery ecosystem. This investment is good for the environment and for the economy, and it will ensure well-paying jobs for years to come.”
Carbon Engineering will be acquired by a subsidiary of international energy company Occidental.
Carbon Engineering’s research and development activities and Innovation Center will remain in Squamish, B.C.
Occidental’s subsidiaries are currently building the world’s largest direct air capture plant in Texas. It is expected to be commercially operational in mid-2025.
The Whole Story:
Squamish-based green technology company Carbon Engineering has been purchased for $1.48 billion.
International energy company Occidental announced that a wholly owned subsidiary has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire all the outstanding equity of Carbon Engineering Ltd. for total cash consideration of approximately $1.48 billion.
The purchase will be made in three approximately equivalent annual payments, with the first at closing. This transaction is expected to close before the end of 2023, subject to Canadian court reviews, Canadian and U.S. regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Occidental has been working with Carbon Engineering on direct air capture (DAC) deployment since 2019.
Acquiring Carbon Engineering aligns with Occidental’s integrated net-zero strategy and provides Occidental, through its 1PointFive subsidiary, the opportunity to rapidly advance DAC technology breakthroughs and accelerate deployment of DAC as a large-scale, cost effective, global carbon removal solution. Carbon Engineering’s DAC-based climate solutions utilize standardized processes and proven industrial equipment.
“We expect the acquisition of Carbon Engineering to deliver our shareholders value through an improved drive for technology innovation and accelerated DAC cost reductions,” said Occidental president and CEO Vicki Hollub. “The technology partnership also adds new revenue streams in the form of technology licensing and royalties. Importantly, the acquisition enables Occidental to catalyze broader development partnerships for DAC deployment in the most capital efficient and valuable way.”
Upon closing, Carbon Engineering would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Oxy Low Carbon Ventures. Carbon Engineering’s personnel will continue to drive ongoing DAC technology development efforts and work closely with the Occidental and 1PointFive teams to bring DAC solutions to market. Carbon Engineering’s research and development activities and Innovation Center will remain in Squamish, B.C.
“We have always believed that global partnerships and cross-industry collaboration would be required to deploy DAC infrastructure at the scale required to make a climate-relevant impact. Carbon Engineering and Occidental have been working increasingly close together for the past five years to address the CO2 problem, making Occidental a trusted and committed partner for this next chapter in Carbon Engineering’s journey,” said Carbon Engineering CEO Daniel Friedmann. “At the core of this deeper relationship is the commitment to invest in the development of our technology here in Canada, and the global reach to accelerate implementation of DAC-based climate solutions in the U.S. and around the world.”
1PointFive is currently building Stratos, the world’s largest DAC plant, which is expected to be commercially operational in mid-2025, in Ector County, Texas. Occidental and Carbon Engineering are also adapting Stratos’ front-end engineering and design study for a DAC plant to be built at King Ranch in Kleberg County, which is part of the South Texas DAC Hub that was selected to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations.
The government’s target to increase housing did not require removing land from the Greenbelt.
Political staff had substantial control over the entire Greenbelt amendment exercise.
Overall, 92% of land removed from the Greenbelt related to five land sites involving three developers.
The owners of the 15 land sites removed from the Greenbelt could ultimately see more than an $8.3 billion increase to the value of their properties.
The Whole Story:
In a scathing report released this month, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk has criticized the Ontario government’s actions in 2022 to open parts of the Greenbelt for development.
Lysyk’s report argued the deal heavily favoured a small group of developers and did not consider environmental impacts.
Ontario’s Greenbelt protects farmland, communities, forests, wetlands and watersheds. It also preserves cultural heritage and supports recreation and tourism in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Prior to 2022, the Greenbelt included over 800,000 hectares of land and extended 325 km from the eastern end of the Oak Ridges Moraine, near Rice Lake, in the east, to the Niagara River in the west.
Lysyk asserted that the move was executed without due consideration of environmental, agricultural, and financial risks. The auditor general’s report argues that the process proceeded with minimal input from experts or those directly affected, while allegedly favouring specific developers and landowners.
While the people of Ontario deserve prompt action to solve societal problems like those generated by a need for housing, this does not mean that government and non-elected political staff should sideline or abandon protocols and processes that are important to guide objective and transparent decision-making based on sufficient and accurate information
The investigation found that the decision to remove land from the Greenbelt for housing development was not supported by a need for increased housing. The report noted that the Housing Affordability Task Force and the chief planners of the affected regions demonstrated that the removal of Greenbelt land sites was unnecessary to achieve housing goals.
The report stated that political staff wielded considerable influence throughout the Greenbelt amendment process, with the chief of staff to the housing minister providing a select team of non-political public service staff with criteria tailored to expedite the selection of sites brought forward by specific developers. Lysyk added that the timeline for this selection process was remarkably short, severely limiting the team’s ability to conduct a thorough evaluation of the land sites and explore alternative options.
Further criticism was levelled at the fact that the government considered only a small fraction of the land removal requests submitted since the establishment of the Greenbelt in 2005. Only one out of the 22 land sites initially considered for removal was proposed by the Housing Ministry’s non-political public service staff, while the rest were directly submitted by the chief of staff. The report highlights that 92% of the land ultimately removed from the Greenbelt stemmed from proposals made by three specific developers.
“We moved too fast and there were severe flaws in the process,” said Housing Minister Steve Clark when confronted by reporters during a press conference. “We are committed completely to ensuring that the recommendations get moved forward.”
Clark denied any personal knowledge of how his chief of staff was planning land removal.
Lysyk’s findings indicate that the owners of the 15 land sites removed from the Greenbelt could potentially see an increase of over $8.3 billion in the value of their properties.
The report points out that almost 1,000 acres of wetlands and woodlands were removed from the Greenbelt, undermining the original vision and goals of the Greenbelt Plan. Furthermore, approximately 83% of the land removed is classified as prime agricultural land, exacerbating concerns about food security and sustainable land use.
Despite some offsetting measures, the report reveals that the additions made to the Greenbelt in exchange for the land removals did not adequately address the loss of agricultural land and natural features. These additions were largely confined to areas already protected and not conducive to development.
“The exercise to change the Greenbelt boundaries in Fall 2022 cannot be described as a standard or defensible process,” Lysyk stated. “The truncated and highly restricted land selection exercise excluded substantive input from land-use planning experts in provincial ministries, municipalities, conservation authorities, First Nations leaders, and the public, while giving preferential treatment to certain developers with direct access to the chief of staff to the minister of municipal affairs and housing.”
Premier Doug Ford stated that his government plans to work to implement the auditor general’s recommendations and urged people to focus on the positives of the deal.
“I have admitted numerous times that the process could have been a lot better and we are moving on that, but the good news story is that there are going to be 150,000 people with a roof over their heads,” he said.
Approvals of new renewable electricity generation projects over one megawatt are paused until Feb. 29, 2024.
The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) stated that it has received complaints that these projects are proceeding too rapidly.
The AUC plans to review the use of agricultural land and public land for wind and solar projects, land reclamation and the role of municipal governments in land selection.
The Whole Story:
Alberta is halting approvals of new renewable energy projects.
Provincial officials announced that starting Aug. 3, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) will pause approvals of new renewable electricity generation projects over one megawatt until Feb. 29, 2024, and review policies and procedures for the development of renewable electricity generation.
The AUC is an independent, quasi-judicial agency that is responsible for the approval of Alberta’s electricity generation projects.
The province explained that this approach is in direct response to a letter received from the AUC and concerns raised from municipalities and landowners related to responsible land use and the rapid pace of renewables development.
They argued that at the end of this process, future renewable projects will be able to move forward at a pace that is “conducive to business” while maintaining responsible environmental standards.
“Participants in our public hearings have increasingly raised concerns about the impacts and pace of renewable generation development,” said Carolyn Dahl Rees, AUC chair. “We are pleased to support the government in canvassing relevant issues for its development of policy to ensure the economic, orderly and efficient development of electricity generation in Alberta.”
Officials noted that throughout the process, Albertans will still be able to install renewable energy products in their homes and communities will be unaffected by this process.
The AUC inquiry will include reviewing the use of agricultural land and public land for wind and solar projects, land reclamation and the role of municipal governments in land selection for project development and review.
More specifically, the inquiry will inform government policy decisions around the ongoing economic, orderly and efficient development of electricity generation in Alberta and will look at issues, including:
Development of power plants on specific types or classes of agricultural or environmental land.
The impact of power plant development on Alberta’s pristine viewscapes.
Mandatory reclamation security requirements for power plants.
Development of power plants on lands held by the Crown.
The impact of the increasing growth of renewables on Alberta’s generation supply mix and electricity system reliability.
Its Richmond plant now only produces ECOPlanet cement.
ECOPlanet cement emits no more than 400kg of CO2 per ton.
Standard Portland cements typically emit upwards of 900kg of CO2 per ton.
The Whole Story:
A Metro Vancouver cement plant just secured a major sustainability achievement.
Lafarge Canada, a member of Holcim Group, announced its conversion to the production of 100% ECOPlanet cement at its Richmond Cement Plant. ECOPlanet, Holcim’s brand of low-carbon cement, offers a minimum 30% reduction in CO2 emissions per tonne in comparison to ordinary portland cement.
This accomplishment makes it the first cement plant within the Holcim Group worldwide to qualify 100% of its cement production as ECOPlanet.
“This is a proud moment for our organization,” said Brad Kohl, president & CEO of Lafarge Canada (West). “This conversion in Lafarge’s Western Canada division highlights our strong commitment to accelerating green growth. As leaders in sustainable building solutions, we take pride in having a positive impact on building solutions across its lifecycle without compromising the quality and long-term durability of our products.”
Lafarge officials noted that the Government of BC and CleanBC Industry Fund have been instrumental in facilitating decarbonization projects efficiently. Through the Innovation Accelerator Fund, the Richmond Plant received funding to assist with the addition of supplementary cementitious materials to cement and has been the key to decreasing the greenhouse gasses per tonne of cement produced on site.
“Globally, Holcim is a leader in sustainable building materials, and ECOPlanet is a great example of our innovative solutions,” said Toufic Tabbara, region jead of North America at Holcim. “By adopting low-carbon cement processing additions like at the Richmond plant, we continue to lower the embodied carbon in our building materials.”
According to Lafarge, the ECOPlanet range of low-carbon cement is designed to meet the most stringent performance specifications while upholding the highest standards of sustainability. With compliance with all industry standards, this cement is suitable for various applications regardless of performance requirements.
ECOPlanet cement isn’t the only environmental moves Lafarge is making at the plant. This May, officials announced a tri-party agreement with Svante Technologies Inc., and Dimensional Energy, Inc to bring a demonstration of Dimensional Energy’s carbon dioxide utilization technology to the facility.
The 12-storey structure will add more health capacity for the region, including 469 single patient bedrooms.
EDIH (EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare) secured the $3.6-billion contract to design, build, finance, and maintain the hospital.
Work is expected to wrap up in 2028.
The Whole Story:
Crews have broken ground on 1.3-million-square-foot South Niagara Hospital in Ontario.
“Today’s groundbreaking event for the new South Niagara hospital brings us one step closer to connecting the people of the growing Niagara region to more convenient care close to home for generations to come,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Right across the province, we’re investing nearly $50 billion over the next 10 years to support more than 50 major hospital projects. When it comes to your health, we’re building a healthcare system that all Ontarians deserve.”
The South Niagara hospital, strategically located at the intersection of Montrose and Biggar roads, is poised to bolster regional healthcare capacity. Its design aims to meet the burgeoning demands of Niagara’s aging population, encompassing centers of excellence dedicated to complex care, aging wellness, and stroke care.
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Sylvia Jones called it a “historic milestone” for the residents of the Niagara Region.
Lynn Guerriero, president and CEO of Niagara Health had this to say: “Niagara residents have been planning, wishing, and waiting for this hospital for more than 10 years. I am thrilled that today we have officially broken ground on this exciting new facility. The hard work, planning, fundraising, and dedication from our teams and the community is making this dream a reality. We are one step closer to building a state-of-the-art hospital that will transform how we deliver healthcare in the region and allow Niagara residents to get the care they need right in our own community.”
The 12-storey structure will add more health capacity for the region, including 469 single patient bedrooms, eight operating suites, 42 hemodialysis stations, and two MRI machines. Its services will span emergency, critical care, diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical domains.
The South Niagara hospital aspires to become the first WELL-certified hospital in Canada, with design features prioritizing the health and well-being of hospital users, including staff and physicians. This approach aims to create a more positive workplace environment.
Additionally, the hospital will feature an Indigenous healing space and garden, designed with input from Indigenous partners to foster culturally safe and welcoming areas for Indigenous Peoples.
EDIH (EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare) secured the $3.6-billion contract for designing, building, financing, and maintaining the hospital back in February. Teams have been collaborating with Niagara Health staff, physicians, and patient and community partners to ensure the hospital design addresses the complex requirements of this state-of-the-art healthcare facility.
The project team has chosen to prioritize the engagement of local sub-contractors and workers to bolster the local economy, generating multi-year economic benefits and fostering employment and community growth in the Niagara region. EDIH has already been awarding early sub-contracts to local entities and labor unions.
Decew Construction (Rankin Construction) has commenced site work, preparing for the installation of the construction trailer complex, which is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. Excavation is scheduled to commence by the end of the summer, and the entire construction process is estimated to take five years, with the hospital slated to officially open its doors in the summer of 2028.
The future looks bright for Canadian solar projects.
Just this month, federal officials announced $160-million in funding for Alberta solar projects. Zooming out, Canada’s federal government has outlined a six-year investment tax credit that puts a 30% tax credit in place for solar, wind and energy storage projects deployed through March 2034.
On the ground, this means remote Indigenous communities and power plants can transition off fossil fuels, businesses can make their operations more green and the nation can expand its power capacity without further contributing to the global climate crisis.
Here are some projects that highlighting what the power of the sun can do.
Let’s start the list off with a bang. The massive Travers Solar Project began development in 2017 and it started operations late last year. It includes approximately 1.3 million bifacial solar PV modules on 3,330 acres of land in Alberta’s Vulcan County. It was funded by Greengate Power Corporation and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). CIP sold all of its stake in the project to Axium Infrastructure in Canada earlier this year for an undisclosed sum. According to the project’s builder, PCL, Travers Solar incorporates a tracking system with steel helical piles that rotate the solar panels to follow the sun’s path as the day progresses from dawn to dusk.
This one comes as a bundle. Greek industrial and power company Mytilineos Energy and Metals recently announced plans to embark on a $1.7-billion project to build five solar energy plants throughout central and southern Alberta. The company stated that the province is easily Canada’s leader in solar energy. Mytilineos says its plants will generate 2.1 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year of renewable energy, enough to power 200,000 Canadian homes for a year. The plants are Georgetown, in Vulcan County; Sunnynook, in Special Area No. 2; Dolcy, in the Municipal District of Wainwright; Eastervale, in the Municipal District of Provost; and Red Willow, in Stettler County No. 6.
Lathom Solar (the Project) began development in 2017 and includes close to 1,000 acres of land located approximately 15 kilometres southeast of the Town of Bassano, in the County of Newell. The project will be 120 megawatts (MWac) in size. In 2021, Amazon announced they have entered into a long-term power purchase agreement for 80 MW of capacity from the site. According to the project’s owner, Greengate, construction could begin sometime this year. The estimated project cost is $170 million.
ACFN-Concord Solar Partnership
The Coaldale, Monarch and Vulcan solar farms in Southern Alberta went into service last year after receiving traditional Indigenous blessings and a ceremony. The projects are part of a $145-million partnership between Concord Pacific and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN). The projects are expected to deliver 150-gigawatt hours (GWh) a year to the Alberta power grid and capture about 26 GWh of electricity annually once the 2023 battery storage component has completed construction.
Communities and projects in Nunavut (Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Pond Inlet, Whale Cove, Grise Fiord Solar) are splitting more than $4 million funding that will go towards solar infrastructure. The funds flow from the Northern REACHE program which aims to support Indigenous communities in their transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.
kīsikāw pīsim solar farm
Last fall, the kīsikāw pīsim solar farm went into operation – generating renewable electricity to help power the E. L. Smith Water Treatment Plant. The solar farm will provide up to half the energy required by the plant, which supplies 65 per cent of the water required by Edmonton and surrounding communities. With 30,350 solar panels capturing energy from the sun, the solar farm will generate enough power to cut greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 14,000 tonnes every year. A key element of the project is the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) connected to the solar farm. The more than 1,000 batteries are arranged in two separate sea-can style containers to store energy for later use.
This June, French renewable energy producer Neoen started construction on a 93 MW solar power plant in Starland county, Alta. The company awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the $130-million Fox Coulée plant project to Germany’s Goldbeck Solar. Once complete, it will connect to the 24.5 kV distribution network operated by local utility ATCO Electric. Work is expected to wrap up next year.
Construction on Sunnynook Solar Energy’s Sunnynook solar plus storage project is expected to start this year after getting the green light from provincial officials in Alberta. It will have a battery energy storage system (BESS) of 200 megawatt-hours. The solar plus storage project in Southern Alberta is expected to generate enough clean energy to power 45,000 households.
TC Energy’s first foray into solar power will soon have shovels in the ground. The energy company announced that it will begin pre-construction activities on the $146-million Saddlebrook Solar Project located near Aldersyde, Alta. It has the capacity to generate 81 megawatts, enough energy to power 20,000 homes annually. The initial construction includes installing solar panels on TC Energy property in the local industrial park.
Solar technology isn’t just for the open plains. Work is underway in Halifax to create the tallest solar-sided building in all of North America. The work is being done as part of a retrofit on the side of the Loyola residence building at St. Mary’s University. After inspecting the 30-year building’s concrete façade, engineers decided it need to be replaced and the school took the opportunity to include some sustainable components.
Edmonton Expo Centre
Last fall, crews began work on the largest rooftop solar array in Canada. Phase one of the Edmonton Expo Centre upgrades includes the installation of 5,754 solar panels across 193,735.5 square feet above Hall D through H. The electricity generated is expected to equal the power consumed by 375 residential homes. The city believes the energy generated will yield operational savings of $290,000 to $460,000 per year. The project was built by Delnor Construction in one of the city’s first ever IPD contracts.
CarbonCure’s equity round was led by Blue Earth Capital and saw support from many existing shareholders.
The new funding also features the participation of strategic investors BH3 Growth Equity (BH3) and Samsung Ventures.
CarbonCure plans to use the capital injection to accelerate its product roadmap and expand geographically.
The Whole Story:
CarbonCure Technologies, a Halifax-based tech company committed to reducing carbon emissions in the concrete sector, has raised more than $100 million in its latest investment round.
The equity round was led by Blue Earth Capital and saw with strong support from existing shareholders, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Taronga Ventures, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, and 2150. Citigroup served as a financial advisor to CarbonCure during the financing process.
Notably, the new funding also features the participation of strategic investors BH3 Growth Equity (BH3) and Samsung Ventures, who contribute not only financial support but also actively engage in new product development and stimulate market demand.
CarbonCure stated that its expansion plans and product roadmap will be significantly accelerated thanks to the new capital.
Robert Niven, chair and CEO of CarbonCure Technologies, expressed enthusiasm about the investment, stating, “The financial backing of this special syndicate of investors is an exciting endorsement of CarbonCure as a go-to solution for low embodied carbon concrete, a leader in carbon removal technologies, and a provider of the highest quality carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market.”
Niven emphasized the growing demand for effective solutions and impactful strategies to drive industrial decarbonization and facilitate immediate, permanent, and verifiable carbon removal pathways.
Blue Earth Capital, a globally active investment firm committed to sustainability, played a key role in leading the investment round. Through its Climate Growth Strategy, the firm supports companies that possess the potential to generate measurable impact alongside attractive financial returns. Blue Earth Capital provides equity capital to businesses that facilitate the global energy transition and decarbonize crucial economic sectors, including large-scale production and consumption.
“CarbonCure’s technologies achieve both, on the one hand enabling concrete production with less carbon-intensive cement and on the other creating less solid waste and using less fresh water,” said Kayode Akinola, head of private equity at Blue Earth Capital. “Solutions like these are urgently needed to help meet global climate goals.”
CarbonCure plans to use the capital injection to accelerate its product roadmap and expand geographically.
Robert Niven further emphasized the positive impact of CarbonCure’s solutions:
“Our solutions help concrete producers deliver high-quality, lower carbon concrete in an efficient, economical, and non-disruptive way,” he said. “With more than 750 systems sold, this latest investment will drive CarbonCure’s deployment across the global concrete industry as the private sector doubles down on sustainability in new construction and as federal, state, and even municipal procurement policies requiring green building materials continue to multiply.”
To date, CarbonCure’s technologies have been utilized in the production of nearly five million truckloads, equating to over 37 million cubic yards of lower carbon concrete. This has resulted in saving approximately 290,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to removing more than 64,000 gas-powered cars from the road for an entire year.
Pattern energy has completed its 11th wind energy project in Canada.
The project has entered into a power purchase agreement with wood products company West Fraser for 50% of the facility’s output.
Lanfine Wind represents a total investment of roughly $335 million.
The Whole Story:
Pattern Energy Group LP announced today it has completed construction and begun operation at its 150 megawatt (MW) Lanfine Wind power project in Alberta.
“As one of the largest operators of wind power in Canada, Pattern continues to expand its presence with its first facility in Alberta,” said Hunter Armistead, CEO of Pattern Energy. “Lanfine Wind utilizes the most powerful turbines in our operating fleet at an impressive 4.3 MW each, altogether powering 30,000 homes in Alberta each year.”
Armistead noted that Pattern has now brought 11 wind energy projects to operation across five provinces in Canada over the past decade, creating thousands of Canadian jobs and millions of dollars in direct economic benefits to our local communities.
The Lanfine Wind project utilizes 35 Vestas V150 4.3 MW turbines. Lanfine Wind has entered into a 10-year financially settled power purchase agreement with West Fraser, a diversified wood products company with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe, for approximately 50% of the facility’s output, which is supporting West Fraser’s efforts to reduce its scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 46.2% by 2030.
“The Town of Oyen welcomes its continued partnership with Pattern Energy’s Lanfine Wind,” said Oyen Town Mayor Doug Jones. “Pattern Energy has proven they want to be a good neighbour for the long term. We extend our gratitude for all the support shown to our local businesses. Lanfine Wind’s Community Benefits Program will provide vital support that will have a long and lasting positive impact on our entire community.”
In May, Pattern Energy closed an approximately $220 million project financing based on 20 years of cash flows for Lanfine Wind with National Bank of Canada and Siemens Financial Services. Lanfine Wind represents a total investment of roughly $335 million in Alberta.
Approximately 250 workers were on-site during peak construction activity, spurring demand for local businesses and services in the rural community. Construction of the project was managed by Borea Construction.
In addition to employment and contracting opportunities, Lanfine Wind will generate landowner revenue and provide tax revenue to the local community, which will directly contribute to education, community services, roads, and first-responder capabilities. Further, a Community Benefits Program funded by the project will support local initiatives and community-based organizations with a $2 million commitment over the first 20 years of Lanfine Wind’s operation.
Since 1993, Heidelberg Materials has been producing cement, aggregates, ready-mix concrete, asphalt and other downstream products. in B.C., Alberta and Ontario.
The carbon capture project is expected to snag up to 95% of the plant’s total CO2 emissions.
When complete in 2026, the facility is expected to capture and store 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
The Whole Story:
Heidelberg Materials has selected WSP as the owner’s engineers for the Edmonton Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) Project. The facility, slated to begin construction late next year, will be the cement industry’s first full-scale application of carbon capture. The project is expected to capture up to 95% of the plant’s total CO2 emissions.
Heidelberg stated the facility will be able to capture and store 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. The company added that it will bring them one step closer to achieving their vision of producing the world’s first net zero cement.
“We are thrilled to partner with WSP as the owner’s engineers for the Edmonton CCUS Project,” said Joerg Nixdorf, vice president of cement at Heidelberg. “Their proven track record of delivering high-quality and sustainable engineering solutions aligns perfectly with our vision of driving decarbonization in the cement industry. Together, we will push the boundaries of what’s possible and create a truly transformative project.”
As owner’s engineers, WSP will play a crucial role in overseeing the design, engineering, and implementation phases of the Edmonton CCUS Project. Heidelberg noted that WSP’s expertise in engineering, environmental solutions, and project management make them an ideal partner for the project.
“We are honored to be selected as the Owner’s Engineers for the Edmonton CCUS Project,” said Daniel Matthews, vice-president, business development & strategic growth at WSP in Canada. “This collaboration presents an incredible opportunity to work alongside Heidelberg Materials in delivering an innovative and sustainable solution that will make a significant impact on carbon emissions. We are excited to bring our technical expertise and passion for sustainability to this landmark project.”
Matthews added that the Edmonton CCUS Project represents a key milestone in Heidelberg Materials’ commitment to substantially reducing its carbon footprint. is scheduled to be operational by late 2026.
It isn’t the only carbon capture project Heidelberg has on the go. The company expects to go on stream with the world’s first industrial-scale carbon capture plant in the cement industry in Brevik, Norway. The CCUS facility will capture and store 50% of the plant’s annual emissions.
BC Hydro plans to launch a call for new green power sources in 2024.
Electricity demand is expected to increase by 15% between now and 2030. This is due to economic and population growth.
It will be BC Hydro’s first call for power in 15 years, and will target larger, utility scale projects.
The Whole Story:
BC Hydro announced it will move forward with a call for new sources of renewable, emission-free electricity to power the province’s growing clean economy and create jobs.
The call is expected to launch in spring 2024.
In addition, the province is providing $140 million to the B.C Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative (BCICEI) to support Indigenous-led power projects, create economic opportunities for First Nations, and advance community self-determination.
“As we face the threat of a record fire season across Canada, the need to switch to clean power to fight climate change has never felt more urgent. The good news is that from electric cars to electrified heavy industry, British Columbians are taking action,” said Premier David Eby. “To guarantee the affordable power for this important transition, we’re working in partnership with First Nations and BC Hydro to generate more of the clean electricity that British Columbia needs to build our economy, and grow our role as a clean-energy superpower.”
Electricity demand is expected to increase by 15% between now and 2030. BC Hydro stated that this is due to economic and population growth, and as more homes, businesses and industries switch from fossil fuels to clean electricity. In the past six years, the number of electric vehicles on B.C.’s roads has increased by nearly 2,000%.
Updated demand forecasts filed by BC Hydro with the B.C. Utilities Commission confirm that new sources of electricity will be required sooner than previously expected. To ensure that it’s ready to procure new power supply, BC Hydro announced it will be moving forward with the development of a competitive process to acquire more clean electricity. It will be BC Hydro’s first call for power in 15 years, and will target larger, utility scale projects.
BC Hydro noted that it will only acquire 100% clean, renewable electricity, including wind and solar. The call for power process will be designed by BC Hydro and the province following engagement with First Nations, industry and stakeholders. The engagement will include development of options regarding minimum requirements for Indigenous participation in new projects. The newly formed BC Hydro task force will also provide strategic advice.
The BC Hydro task force draws on further Indigenous and external energy experts to provide strategic advice on advancing Indigenous ownership and/or equity interest opportunities. The task force has three key priorities:
speed of permitting and delivery;
oversight to protect ratepayers and enable economic and climate priorities; and
identifying, enabling and accelerating economic opportunities.
Over the next 12 months, the task force will focus on identifying and implementing short- and medium-term actions that can advance these priorities.
“First Nations are key partners as we work to power B.C.’s growing clean economy with clean, renewable electricity,” said Josie Osborne, minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation. “Funding for the B.C. Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative will open up new opportunities for First Nations in clean-energy projects, including wind and solar, create local jobs, and support Indigenous self-determination.”
The province’s $140 million contribution to the BCICEI will support smaller Indigenous-led power projects that may otherwise not be competitive due to their smaller size.
The BCICEI is a clean-energy funding partnership between the province, the Government of Canada, and the New Relationship Trust. It provides support and capacity-building funds to First Nations communities toward the planning and implementation of clean-energy projects. The BCICEI is administered by the New Relationship Trust, an Indigenous-led non-profit organization that delivers federal and provincially funded programs in support of Indigenous capacity development and reconciliation.
BC Hydro expects to initiate a call for power in spring 2024 in order to acquire new sources of electricity as early as 2028. This may be followed by subsequent calls as the transition to clean energy continues to accelerate, and BC Hydro requires additional resources in order to electrify B.C.’s growing economy and meet the province’s climate targets.
Mytilineos, a Greek energy and metals company is purchasing five major solar projects in Alberta.
It is the company’s first ever North American translation.
Mytilineos applauded Alberta and the federal government, citing business friendly policies as a major factor in their decision.
The company stated that the $1.7-billion solar-energy plan would be the largest of its kind in Canada. Officials noted that the batch of solar projects is the first transaction Mytilineos has made in North America, following its international strategy to seek opportunities in countries and areas with high commercial interest and business-friendly environments.
The transaction is to be completed by way of a share purchase. Westbridge will retain ownership of the SPVs and continue to lead the development of the Projects until closing, which is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Projects covered by the purchase include:
Georgetown – Solar power plant with a capacity of up to 230 MWac, located in Vulcan County, Alberta;
Sunnynook – Solar power plant with a capacity of up to 280 MWac, located in Special Area No. 2, Alberta;
Dolcy – Solar power plant with a capacity of up to 200 MWac, located in the municipal district of Wainwright, Alberta;
Eastervale – Solar power plant with a capacity of up to 300 MWac, located in the municipal district of Provost, Alberta; and
Red Willow – Solar power plant with a capacity of up to 225 MWac, located in Stettler County No. 6, Alberta.
Together, the projects are expected to generate 2.1 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year of renewable energy, equivalent to the electricity necessary to provide power to 200,000 Canadian homes for one year.
Mytilineos expects the two most advanced projects, Georgetown and Sunnynook, to be ready to build status by end of this year, while the remaining three projects (approximately 800 MW) are in advanced development status and likely won’t be shovel ready until mid 2024.
All of the projects have applied for and/or been permitted for the installation and use of a battery and energy storage system, with a total anticipated combined storage capacity of 1,200 MWh for the total portfolio.
The company cited Canada’s recently announced the Clean Technology Investment Tax Credit and Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit as factors in the decision. It noted that the policies may provide a refundable tax credit of up to 30% on the eligible capital expenditures. This would be $430 million based on the estimated costs.
“The selection of Alberta has been the obvious choice for Mytilineos, as the area has some of the highest irradiation in Canada, making it an ideal location for the development of solar projects in the country,” stated company officials. “Alberta is one of the fastest growing renewable energy markets in North America and has a target, as per its Renewable Electricity Act, to achieve 30% production from renewable energy sources by 2030. In Mytilineos’ view, the province of Alberta has established a streamlined permitting process which favours appropriate planning and predictability.”
The announcement marks the first portfolio monetization for Westbridge. The company stated that the sale its Alberta portfolio underscores the Westbridge team’s meticulous planning, diligent execution, and deep understanding of market dynamics.
“Westbridge recognized the strong potential of Alberta to become a significant jurisdiction for solar development,” said the company. “By garnering critical mass in the province and partnering with Mytilineos, Westbridge has demonstrated its value and will play an important role in Canada’s transition to net-zero.”
The Brookfield Sustainability institute at George Brown College will support knowledge sharing of smart sustainability strategies.
It will be housed in Limberlost place, a soon-to-be-completed mass-timber, net-zero carbon emissions building.
The launch of BSI coincides with the release of the Royal Bank of Canada report exploring the technologies and practices needed to cut building emissions.
The Whole Story:
A new institute to fight climate change and build sustainable communities has launched in Toronto.
George Brown College (GBC) announced that the Brookfield Sustainability Institute (BSI), a new college-based centre of excellence in Ontario, will offer tangible solutions for building sustainable communities that are environmentally, socially, culturally and financially viable.
Located at Limberlost Place, GBC’s soon-to-be-completed mass-timber, net-zero carbon emissions building on Toronto’s waterfront, BSI’s global solutions studio will help companies, municipalities and other institutions develop applied solutions to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
The college stated that BSI will support knowledge sharing of smart sustainability strategies and develop talent for the future by training students to tackle real-world challenges in the fight against climate change.
“The Brookfield Sustainability Institute is one of the many exciting new developments underway at George Brown College, both in terms of its innovation and its environmental impact,” said Gervan Fearon, president of George Brown College. “The Institute highlights the college’s aim to be a sustainability leader and a force for positive environmental change locally and globally.”
The Institute will also offer up-skilling opportunities for professionals and college and university graduates who want to work in sectors developing smart and sustainable solutions to climate change.
“Climate change is not a problem that governments can solve alone. Collaboration across disciplines and sectors is essential to finding innovative and sustainable solutions,” said Luigi Ferrara, chair and CEO, BSI. “The Brookfield Sustainability Institute brings together knowledge and expertise from diverse experts to share best practices and foster applied projects undertaken by collaborative working groups. Tangible solutions will be realized that can be prototyped and tested with municipal and private sector partners.”
The launch of BSI coincides with the release of the Royal Bank of Canada Climate Action Institute’s landmark report Low Carbon, High Rise: Canada’s $40 Billion Net Zero Building Challenge on decarbonizing Canada’s buildings for a Net Zero future. Created in partnership with BSI, the report explores the technologies and practices needed to cut building emissions, and identifies strategies for overcoming barriers to achieving a Net Zero future.
“Changing how we build and design our homes and offices is one of the best tools Canada can wield against climate change,” said John Stackhouse, senior vice president, office of the CEO, RBC. “To address affordability and population growth, Canada will need nearly 6 million homes by 2030. But building those homes the way we do now, risks adding to an emissions footprint that’s already too large. But by changing the way we build, we can turn buildings into powerful drivers of the green transition. It’s a generational opportunity for Canada and we haven’t a moment to lose.”
If you strolled down Vancouver’s 6th Avenue in Mount Pleasant you might end up asking yourself this question: How did a working class vernacular cottage from 1901 end up swallowed by the steel and glass of a modern commercial building?
No, you aren’t seeing things. Conwest’s HOUSS project provides a mix of strata office, light industrial, and restaurant space. HOUSS is now home to a collection of local businesses including medical offices, professional services, tech firms and Mount Pleasant Vintage & Provisions.
The contemporary, minimalist architectural style provides a backdrop for the Coulter House, an iconic Vancouver heritage home, which is incorporated as a focal point for the project.
The project and others were recently honoured by the city of Vancouver for its annual Heritage Awards.
The Heritage Awards acknowledge and celebrate the different facets of heritage in Vancouver that are reflected not only in historic buildings and places, but also through intangible heritage and the self-expressed heritage of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh Nations, Urban Indigenous Peoples, and the many cultures of the city.
Conwest, the developer behind HOUSS, explained that the idea became reality after meeting with city officials.
“After a few meetings with the planning department and the heritage department, we realized that it was an important initiative that we, as developers, work with the city to find solutions to incorporate some of these old homes into the new projects,” Ben Taddei, CEO and partner at Conwest, in a video detailing the project.”
He explained that the Coulter House’s new function is representative of its old function. Conwest worked with Yamamoto Architecture to repurposed it to make it a public space by incorporating it into the facade.
“You see these old character homes interspersed with new industrial buildings and I think recognizing that history is very important,” said Taizo Yamamoto, owner of Yamamoto Architecture. “It provides continuity for the neighbourhood and maintains the character that’s already there, rather than starting from a clean slate every time.”
One of the biggest challenges of the project was taking the century old home, lifting it up and moving it to the project site. It had to land it in the exact right spot with the correct elevation. The team then worked to restore it during the middle of winter.
Elana Zysblat, heritage consultant, Ance Building Services, explained that the Victorian style of the home is representative of what was popular at the time.
“It has that aesthetic where buildings had a fanciness to them, some ornamentation,” she said. “It’s got some shingles on the gable. It’s got a fancy frieze with brackets and nice columns on the front porch.”
Zysblat noted that the project dispelled some misconceptions people might have about heritage work.
“Heritage doesn’t mean freezing something in time and not introducing any change,” she said. “You don’t just keep something old because it’s old. We want it to have a relevant use so that it doesn’t come at risk again.”
Check out all the Heritage Award winners below:
For projects or initiatives that highlight the self-expressed heritage of Vancouver’s communities, or for projects that support reconciliation, cultural redress, or safeguarding or regeneration of living heritage.
Punjabi Market Revitalization
Coming Out Of Chaos – Karen Jamieson Dance
For the restoration, rehabilitation, adaptive re-use or continued maintenance of buildings, structures, cultural landscapes or other natural features, including seismic or sustainability upgrades.
Hollywood Theatre, 3123 West Broadway
St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church, 1012 Nelson Street
Sun Tower, 128 West Pender Street
BC Securities Building, 402 West Pender Street
Broadhurst & Whitaker Block, 3495 Commercial Street
Coulter House, 67 West 6th Avenue
Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street
Mah Society of Canada Building, 137-139 East Pender Street
UNION, 851 Union Street
Education and Awareness
For the use of a publication, exhibit, activity, social media, or website to promote tangible or intangible heritage, or celebrate diverse cultures and histories
Chinatown Storytelling Centre
Jewish Historic Walking Tours
Mount Pleasant Stories Historical Walking Tours Guidebook Walk 1: Mount Pleasant’s Heritage Heart
Vancouver Fruit Tree Histories and Communities
New code requirements requiring better performance from new buildings went into effect this month.
The changes aim to help the B.C. hit its climate goals.
The higher energy-efficiency requirements are a progression of the BC Energy Step Code, introduced in 2017.
The Whole Story:
B.C. is changing its building code to align with its target zero-carbon targets.
“New energy-efficiency regulations are a key measure to help British Columbia meet our CleanBC 2030 goals,” said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change Strategy. “We are building a future with better, healthier communities for families, while taking action on climate change. Our government is dedicated to ensuring that everyone in B.C., now and in the future, has access to a healthy environment.”
Effective this month, the BC Building Code will require 20% better energy efficiency for most new buildings throughout the province.
The new Zero Carbon Step Code provides tools for local governments to encourage or require lower emissions in new buildings. Officials stated that these changes meet commitments in the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 to gradually lower emissions from buildings until all new buildings are zero carbon by 2030 and are net-zero energy ready by 2032.
“Working together with industry, B.C. can meet our housing needs and our climate goals,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of housing. “These measures are essential changes to the BC Building Code that will help us meet our CleanBC commitments to make new buildings cleaner and more energy efficient.”
The higher energy-efficiency requirements are a progression of the BC Energy Step Code, introduced in 2017, which local governments can use to encourage or require energy efficiency that goes beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code.
The BC Energy Step Code enhances energy efficiency in new construction, while the Zero Carbon Step Code focuses on emissions reductions from new construction.
The province engaged with stakeholders, including industry experts, local governments and utility providers to develop these changes. The Province is now co-ordinating templates and best practices to facilitate these building code changes for local governments and the construction industry.
The Building and Safety Standards Branch, responsible for building codes and standards, invited Treaty Nations and Indigenous communities to comment on these code changes in summer 2022 and continues to meet with other Nations and communities as these new changes go into effect.
If a Treaty Nation or Indigenous community enforces the BC Building Code, they retain the discretion to enforce all or part of it.
The 14-storey tower will consist of 109 studio homes.
Bird Construction will help build a 14-storey modular project in Vancouver – the tallest of its kind in Canada.
The company announced it has been awarded a construction management services contract for BC Housing‘s Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative, located on East King Edward Avenue in Vancouver. The 14-storey modular project is valued at approximately $50 million.
The project is part of a joint agreement between the city of Vancouver, BC Housing, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to deliver a minimum of 300 permanent supportive homes on five city-owned sites. The East King Edward Avenue building will consist of 109 studio homes, with the base of the building holding a commercial kitchen, dining room, multi-purpose room, and tenant laundry. The building will be collaboratively operated by Vancouver Native Housing Society and Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society.
The project design was supported by Bird’s pre-construction design services, with the final design delivered by Stantec and Bird’s Stack Modular business. The seamless exterior design will include elements that represent Coast Salish and Urban Indigenous Peoples, with the facade highlighted by timber-like panels and blank exterior wall space for culturally themed murals. It will follow the Passive House green building design standard, and the prefabricated modular construction method is expected to reduce construction waste, expedite the construction process, and reduce costs.
According to Bird, the volumetric steel modular tower offers 14 floors of units on a rapid, repeatable scale. The team stated that the approach allows for customization to meet the community’s needs and creates a look and feel comparable to current purpose-built apartments. They added that he modular approach substantially reduces construction time, facilitating faster occupancy than traditional builds and reducing the impact on the local community during construction, while ensuring strict quality control, rigorous safety standards, and significant energy performance in line with Passive House standards.
They believe that these benefits position modular construction as an efficient solution to Canada’s housing crisis and long-term care capacity challenges, as well as for the delivery of other vital infrastructure with repeatable requirements.
“We are proud to be selected to provide our forward-leaning accelerated construction method to communities in need of housing. Modular construction is gaining considerable momentum in North America and our Bird Stack team has been actively demonstrating the benefits to build more efficiently and fast-track delivery of important infrastructure to the market,” said Teri McKibbon, president and CEO of Bird. “The strong design partnership, coupled with early engagement and collaboration between the project partners and the community, has ensured this vital housing initiative will move forward.”
Buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto.
grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to each of the buildings to offset the incremental design and construction costs required to achieve maximum emissions reductions.
participants are currently finalizing their designs.
Once complete, the city will develop and publicly release comprehensive case studies.
The Whole Story:
Toronto has revealed the eight buildings participating in the Deep Retrofit Challenge (DRC), a competition-style program with up to $5 million in funding up for grabs.
Through the DRC, grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to each of the buildings, seven of which are privately-owned, to support deeper-than-planned energy retrofits. The grants will offset the incremental design and construction costs required to achieve maximum greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions.
“Reducing emissions from buildings across Toronto is a critical piece of the City’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy and something we must do quickly to address the climate crisis,” said Jennifer McKelvie, deputy mayor. “Through the Deep Retrofit Challenge, we are accelerating emissions reductions and creating pathways for other buildings to follow. Reducing emissions to net zero will require significant community-wide action and investments by other levels of government.”
Launched in 2022, the DRC aims to accelerate emissions reductions from buildings in Toronto and identify pathways to net zero that can be replicated in other buildings across the city. The retrofits are intended to advance the goals of the TransformTO Net Zero Climate Action Strategy, including the city’s target to reduce community-wide emissions to net zero by 2040, and serve as a catalyst to accelerate deep energy retrofits.
Officials noted that Toronto’s community-wide emissions must be cut in half in the next seven years – by 2030 – to reach the trajectory needed to reach net zero by 2040. Buildings are the largest source of GHG emissions in Toronto today, generating approximately 58 per cent of community-wide emissions, primarily from the burning of natural gas for heating and hot water. The City controls only about five per cent of community-wide emissions directly through its own buildings and operations, making a community-wide effort essential to reaching net zero emissions.
DRC participants are currently finalizing their designs. The process includes an integrated design workshop, energy modelling, the final selection of energy conservation measures and payback calculations. To remain eligible for funding, participants must deliver a final design to the city that verifies that their proposed projects will meet all DRC program requirements, including:
Minimum 50 per cent reduction in the building’s GHG emissions.
Minimum 50 per cent reduction in total energy use intensity.
Payback period of 20 years or less.
Retrofits will be completed by early 2025. Once complete, the city will develop and publicly release comprehensive case studies on completion of the retrofits, including the retrofit designs, utility savings, project costs and lessons learned.
Applications for the DRC were accepted from Aug. 26 to Oct. 31, 2022. The city received 14 applications and accepted 11 conditionally, with eight building owners now fully committed.
More information about participants and their projects is available on the city’s Deep Retrofit Challenge webpage. To receive updates about the projects, residents can ask to be added to a mailing list by emailing email@example.com.
Here are the challenge participants:
350 Bay Street (Dream Office REIT) Building type: Commercial Office Year built: 1928 Number of storeys: 13 Number of units: 12 Gross Floor Area (m2): 5,406 Estimated greenhouse gas emissions reduction: 53% Estimated total energy use intensity reduction: 73% Total DRC incentive: $500,000
723 Bloor Street West (Dream Unlimited) Building type: Multi-unit residential Year built: 1920 Number of storeys: 4 Number of units: 16 Gross Floor Area (m2): 1,604 Estimated greenhouse gas emissions reduction: 72% Estimated total energy use intensity reduction: 53% Total DRC incentive: $229,384.75
88 College Street (The Governing Council of the University of Toronto) Building type: Commercial office Year built: 1882 Number of storeys: 2 Number of units: N/A Gross Floor Area (m2): 1,748 Estimated greenhouse gas emissions reduction: 95% Estimated total energy use intensity reduction: 72% Total DRC incentive: $285,326
1-15 Field Sparroway; 2-10 Tree Sparroway (Toronto Community Housing) Building type: Multi-unit residential Year built: 1973 Number of storeys: 3 Number of units: 175 Gross Floor Area (m2): 17,414 Estimated greenhouse gas emissions reduction: 82% Estimated total energy use intensity reduction: 50% Total DRC incentive: $500,000
633 Northcliffe Boulevard (Northcliffe Inc.) Building type: Multi-unit residential Year built: 1968 Number of storeys: 11 Number of units: 86 Gross Floor Area (m2): 6,973 Estimated greenhouse gas emissions reduction: 76.5% Estimated total energy use intensity reduction: 52% Total DRC incentive: $500,000
177 St. George Street (Dream Unlimited) Building type: Multi-unit residential Year built: 1963 Number of storeys 8 Number of units: 65 Gross Floor Area (m2): 3,902 Estimated greenhouse gas emissions reduction: 54% Estimated total energy use intensity reduction: 74% Total DRC incentive: $500,000
145 Woodward Avenue (145 Woodward Ave Inc.) Building type: Multi-unit residential Year built: 1955 Number of storeys: 3 Number of units: 11 Gross Floor Area (m2): 870 Estimated greenhouse gas emissions reduction: 80% Estimated total energy use intensity reduction: 57% Total DRC incentive: $151,750
61 Yorkville Avenue (Minto Apartment Limited Partnership) Building type: Mixed-use (multi-unit residential and retail commercial) Year built: 2003 Number of storeys: 18 Number of units: 181 Gross Floor Area (m2): 19,490 Estimated greenhouse gas emissions reduction: 82% Estimated total energy use intensity reduction: 51% Total DRC incentive: $383,750