Letter from the Executive Director

High Density Passive House Dialogue
October 2, 2018
Cornell Passive House Tower: Student Residence
October 3, 2018

Navigating a Busy Fall Schedule for Professional Development

Zero Emissions Partners and Friends,

In my conversations with you over the last few months, it is apparent that there is a lot of activity in the industry!  It seems everyone is at or over capacity and many are desperately looking to find and hire new staff – all while trying to stay current on new codes, standards, policies and programs.  This fall, it may feel daunting to navigate the various professional development options, not to mention finding the actual time to attend.  As a professional, I know that in addition to being required to maintain your credentials, continuing education is an excellent way to stay up to date on quickly evolving industry information and learn and engage with the experts and organizations that are working hard to support you as you build up the knowledge, confidence, and skills to design and build better and more cost-effective buildings.

The good news is ZEBx is here to guide you through this process and connect you to the right content.  Here’s a broad overview of what’s happening this fall. Specific dates can be found on our calendar at zebx.org/events.

The BC Energy Step Code has already come into effect for many municipalities, with many more planning to adopt the guidelines in 2019.  BCIT’s School of Construction and the Environment offers several hands-on courses to support the Energy Step Code at its High Performance Building Lab on the Burnaby Campus. These courses are primarily focused on single family and low-rise multi-family buildings, are intended for trades and designers, and are eligible for professional development hours with BC Housing.

Other content directed at the single family and low-rise multi-family building sector include a range of workshops offered by Small Planet Supply, ranging from air-tightness training to information and installation on new, high performance products.

The City of Vancouver has also announced new catalyst tools.  These include a 5% density bonus for fixed zoning projects pursuing near zero emissions targets, and recognition of construction cost premiums for rezoning projects. This has created an increased demand for voluntary standards such Passive House and ILFI’s Zero Energy Standard, which are directly recognized by these catalyst tools.

To support Passive House demand, Passive House Canada (PHC) is offering a number of opportunities for training over the coming months, including their National Conference taking place in Vancouver on November 7th and 8th.  Course audience levels range from beginners to advanced and include designer or trades-focused content. All PHC courses and the Conference are eligible for professional development hours under AIBC, BC Housing, and PHI.

ZEBx supported Passive House content, in cooperation with Peel Passive House and the North American Certifiers Circle, includes workshops on Passive House certification, advanced training for PHPP and HVAC applications in larger, complex Passive House projects.

The commercial real estate and public sector buildings continue to recognize the value of a holistic rating system in LEED, where additional improvements through LEED v4.1 are already available for existing buildings and coming soon for new buildings. Of significant note is the evolution of energy performance metrics to directly incorporate GHG emissions. Stay tuned for more.  And for those looking for a practical approach to achieve zero carbon buildings today, the Canada Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Standard offers just that. One of the first projects to certify under this program will be featured in an upcoming event on October 10th in Vancouver.

Finally, ZEBx is working on some targeted workshops in key priority areas. We connected with all facets of industry to listen to their current challenges and identify where we could implement supportive resources for solution development. Through collaborative efforts with our partners, we are currently planning a Heat Pump for DHW Applications workshop on November 20th as well as a dialogue featuring a high-performance window product in early December. These sessions will allow industry to discuss performance, installation methods, and costs with subject matter experts.  Stay tuned – more details coming later this fall!