Canada’s first centre for low-energy building launches in Vancouver

Mayor Gregor Robertson and various industry professionals were on hand to celebrate the opening of the Zero Emissions Building Exchange (Zebx) Centre for Excellence July 19 at Simon Fraser University’s Segal Building in downtown Vancouver.

The centre – the first of its kind in Canada –is a not-for-profit destination designed to support everyone from designers to construction workers in building low-energy buildings in the city and province. It will provide a physical and virtual space for developing a community of practice and link industry workers to relevant content.

Recent legislation passed in British Columbia requires all new building projects to have close to zero emissions by 2032. For the city of Vancouver, that requirement is even closer, with new building projects expected to reach zero emissions by 2025.

Robertson thanked the many partners and building and construction professionals in B.C. following the city’s commitment to green building standards and low energy building that has put Vancouver at the forefront of the worldly initiative.

“What has been inspiring and thrilling for us has been to see industry step up and embrace this opportunity and them driving the pace with it,” Robertson said.

“In 2015, there was one passive house home in the city of Vancouver. Right now, we have 55 near-zero-emission building projects underway or completed in Vancouver.

“That’s 1.8 million square feet of action; that’s over 1100 homes as of right now that are either built or in the process of being built.”

Among guests at the event was district manager of Graham Construction Group Ltd. and chair of the board of directors at the Vancouver Regional Construction Organization Jason Glue, as well as Zebx executive director Christian Cianfrone.

“If we are to meet our commitments on tackling climate change, we must take the momentum of our collective leadership and push it over the hump toward complete market transformation,” said Cianfrone. “The Zero Emissions Building Exchange is the catalyst that is going to push us over the hump.”

The Zebx office will occupy a large portion of the Hive coworking space on West Hastings.