By John Boling
A Canadian government official announced June 13, 2023, a call for proposals under the Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program that focus on deep aggregated retrofit projects. The call will support up to six projects targeting clusters of low-rise community housing buildings of 100 or more units and will explore methods and approaches that could lead to more affordable and efficient building renovations.
Successful applicants could each receive up to 50% of the total project cost, with a maximum contribution of up to $10 million per project. Applications will be accepted until September 14, 2023.
IIBEC previously issued a policy statement that cites a report stating that full building retrofits, where multiple building systems are modernized at one time, have been shown to reduce a building’s energy use by up to 40%—a significant reduction compared with energy saved by upgrading a single building component.
The program aims to accelerate the pace and scale of retrofits following the Energiesprong model adopted by the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the US. This model aggregates homes and buildings in an entire neighborhood into a single retrofit project, thereby reducing project costs along with energy consumption and emissions.
Buildings and homes are the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, accounting for approximately 13% of Canada’s emissions. More than two-thirds of buildings that will be standing in Canada in 2050 have already been built. Most need retrofits to make them more sustainable. However, the current pace of building retrofits will take over 100 years, which is why finding innovative approaches is worth the investment.