A proven path to lower carbon emissions
The growing impact of climate change demands action, and buildings must be part of the solution. Slowing the rise in global temperatures means cutting carbon emissions. Today, residential, commercial, and institutional buildings contribute 17% of Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Considering building materials and construction brings that number is closer to 30%, making the building sector Canada’s third-highest carbon emitter.
Green buildings offer a proven solution. They are more energy and resource efficient, use renewable energy, and work with the environment around them. Zero-carbon buildings help lower carbon emissions by addressing embodied carbon from construction materials and processes and from heating, cooling, and refrigerant use. Committing to green, zero-carbon buildings and deep carbon retrofits will reduce carbon emissions, helping slow rising global temperatures.
What’s a zero carbon building?
A zero-carbon building is highly energy-efficient and minimizes GHG emissions from building materials and operations. Until all emissions can be eliminated, high-quality carbon offsets can be used as a counterbalance.
ZERO CARBON BUILDING SHOWCASE
To slow global warming and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, energy efficiency must go up, and carbon emissions must come down. Zero-carbon buildings offer a solution for both new construction and existing buildings, and can spur economic growth and new high-skilled jobs.
Making the Case
CAGBC’s report Making the Case for Zero Carbon Buildings proves zero-carbon buildings are technically feasible and financially viable. Investment in zero-carbon buildings protects against the rising cost of carbon and offers benefits beyond carbon reduction.
Decarbonizing Canada’s Large Buildings
Existing buildings must be retrofit or renovated to be zero carbon if Canada is to meet its emissions reduction targets. CAGBC’s study Decarbonizing Canada’s Large Buildings examines how building owners can use deep carbon retrofits to accelerate the decarbonization of large buildings.
LATEST RESEARCH & REPORTS
Zero carbon building jobs
In the race to reduce carbon emissions and meet Canada’s climate targets, zero-carbon buildings and retrofits are an important strategy. Already, the federal government has mandated that all its owned or leased buildings should pursue zero carbon. As more building owners follow suit, demand for green building workers will grow.
The CAGBC report, Canada’s Green Building Engine estimates that direct green building jobs could number 1.5 million by 2030 if the government pursues a green recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, investments in workforce reskilling will be needed to meet the technical demands of zero-carbon buildings.