Trading Up – Alberta

How Alberta’s Trades Can Build a Zero Carbon Future

High-performance buildings demand new skill sets and an integrated approach to ensure new technologies and systems work seamlessly together.

To create resilient buildings and communities that can withstand the worst impacts of climate change, buildings in design today must target zero carbon emissions while retrofits of existing buildings significantly reduce carbon.

Accelerating to zero carbon buildings requires the construction workforce to adapt, retrain, or upskill. Like other provinces, Alberta has an opportunity to leverage the demand for high-performance, zero carbon buildings to its advantage – creating jobs and growing the economy, while creating more resilient communities.

In Trading Up: How Alberta’s Trades can Build a Zero Carbon Future CaGBC explores the following questions: What are the zero carbon skills Alberta’s construction trades need, and how can this workforce be upskilled to meet the design, construction and retrofitting, of zero carbon buildings at scale? The study looks at gaps in the knowledge and skills training of Alberta tradespeople as well as barriers facing trades as they upskill for tomorrow’s low-carbon jobs.

In the study, CaGBC also recommends actions designed to incentivize the adoption of zero carbon building expertise within the Alberta trades and to ensure that zero carbon training is relevant and accessible. The recommendations are structured to reflect the suggested lead organizations and bodies, including policy decision-makers, accreditation and professional bodies, and education and training providers.

Learn more about the Zero Carbon Building Standard

Removing the barriers to tomorrow’s low-carbon jobs

In addition to identifying zero carbon skill gaps in Alberta’s construction workforce, identifying barriers to upskilling or acquiring those skills are critical steps to transitioning the industry toward a future of low-carbon jobs. During the study, several systemic barriers were identified that prevent Alberta’s trades workforce from adopting the new skills necessary to construct zero carbon buildings. These barriers must be addressed in order to drive the adoption of these new skills and to accelerate zero carbon building.

Alberta has a comparative advantage to other provinces, given its well established apprenticeship training system, which provides an ideal platform for facilitating the uptake of zero carbon skills.

Read other workforce transition studies, including Trading Up: Equipping Ontario Trades with The Skills of the Future and Accelerating to Zero: Upskilling for Engineers, Architects, and Renewable Energy Specialists.

For their invaluable support, we would like to thank the funder of this study, Energy Efficiency Alberta.