CleanBC NZER Design Challenge: Workshop Series

Improving Net-Zero Energy Ready Codes for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
November 5, 2019
ZEBx Decarb Lunch Series
January 13, 2020


The CleanBC Net-Zero Energy Ready Challenge: Workshop Series consists of six unique workshops over nine deliveries that will run throughout 2020 with the objective to more rapidly advance solutions for zero emission buildings. Through the lens of BC’s most recently celebrated projects that are achieving the highest levels of the BC Energy Step Code and beyond (including Passive House, Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building Standard, LEED, and City of Vancouver Rezoning), participants will work with leading experts across industry silos to identify and advance emerging solutions as well as identify key barriers for scaling adoption.

The workshop series will travel across the province of BC, leveraging the knowledge from the CleanBC Net Zero Energy Ready (NZER) Challenge winners’ designs and experiences to raise awareness and provide applicable and timely education and training on current industry trends and barriers. Workshops are expected to be half day, professionally facilitated, and include participation from industry experts, NZER Challenge participants and other industry stakeholders.

Who Should Attend?

This workshop aims to bring together industry’s different silos, harnessing expertise from professionals that would typically work in isolation of each other. The below professions are encouraged to attend:

  • Architects
  • City Officials
  • Client Groups
  • Code Consultants
  • Contractors
  • Cost Consultants
  • Electrical Engineers
  • Energy Modellers
  • Envelope Specialists
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Structural Engineers
  • Technology Providers
  • Utility Providers

Workshop Topics

Workshop 1: Ventilation Strategies for Multiple Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs)

Date: March 13, 2020


  • The ventilation system is increasingly becoming the backbone of the building, providing not only great indoor air quality, but also contributing to cost-effective heating and cooling delivery in low-energy, resilient MURBs. A project’s ventilation strategy must also be integrated with the architectural design to achieve marketable and affordable buildings. This workshop will highlight emerging best practices on MURB ventilation and work to develop a set of optimized designs towards cost-effective, zero emission buildings.

Workshop 2: Designing for Low Embodied Carbon

Date: April 16, 2020


  • Embodied carbon within the building construction sector is emerging as a critical issue as we look to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings in the near term. This workshop will seek to integrate key metrics and processes on embodied carbon into the design process, as well as to document the latest solutions, challenges and future work to advance this topic.

Workshop 3: Low Carbon Energy Heating Systems

Date: TBD

Registration: TBD

  • With the Energy Step Code driving towards low heating loads, how does this approach support or hinder low carbon heating solutions like heat pumps or low-carbon district heating? This workshop will identify the opportunities and barriers that come with drastically reduced heating loads and advance solutions that facilitate comfortable and attractive zero emission buildings.

Workshop 4: Thermal Bridge-Free Design

Date: TBD

Registration: TBD

  • The BC Energy Step Code, Passive House and the CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standard have facilitated a more wholistic understanding of overall building envelope performance through the careful consideration and improvement of thermal bridging. This workshop will support practitioners in rethinking standard details to achieve (near) thermal bridge-free designs.

Workshop 5: Modular, Prefabrication and Panelized Construction

Date: TBD

Registration: TBD

  • The rising cost of construction, labour shortages and increased project schedules have given rise to a renewed focus on off-site construction solutions. This workshop will daylight the state of affairs on off-site construction activity in BC and their varied applications, including where and when to consider different forms of off-site construction and how those integrate into the project delivery process.

Workshop 6: Low Carbon Domestic Hot Water

Date: TBD

Registration: TBD

  • Low carbon solutions for domestic hot water require separate design techniques, strategies, and equipment to ensure cost-effective and operationally robust solutions. This workshop will showcase emerging solutions and technologies with a focus on how they can be advanced in BC or what barriers need to be resolved for more wide spread adoption.

ZEBx is the hub for amplifying and bringing together the remarkable work being done by BC’s rich ecosystem of green building organizations, industry and government. We are excited to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge resulting from these leading projects and their pursuit of the highest levels of building performance, including: BC Energy Step Code, Passive House, LEED, CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standard, and City of Vancouver’s Rezoning Policy.

The Province of BC through their CleanBC programs, provides incentives and resources to help buildings reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, please visit

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