May 7, 2007

BC helps developers meet higher energy efficiency standards for new buildings

The British Columbia government is providing $222,000 in funding to help developers meet higher energy efficiency targets in new building designs.

"This funding reinforces our commitment, through our Energy Efficient Buildings Strategy, to help the industry learn about the options and cost-effectiveness of energy-efficient building designs and equipment," said Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Richard Neufeld, adding, "This program also helps support the goal of the BC Energy Plan to implement new energy efficiency standards for buildings by 2010."

The funding allows the Energy Savings Plan (ESP) and the Light House Sustainable Building Centre on Granville Island to act as a "first-stop shop" for builders and developers, giving them information on sustainable building and federal, provincial and utility incentives for energy efficiency.

The building design program includes energy efficiency design consultation services to help developers of ten new institutional, commercial, industrial and multi-unit residential projects gain access to funding and incentive programs. Advanced computer software is used to model the buildings and predict energy efficiency and savings.

"Industry is hungry for this valuable information, and this is a unique, risk-free opportunity to access it," said Gordon Monk, director of the Energy Savings Plan at Light House. "In the design phase, developers can choose from several energy-saving options, each of which can save thousands per year in operating costs."

For example, Light House's energy modelling program demonstrates that installation of energy-efficient components such as high-efficiency windows, occupancy/daylight sensors, an 80% efficiency heat recovery/ventilation system and a condensing boiler can yield energy cost savings of more than $21,000 per year on a standard 100,000-square-foot building, and a 26% increase in overall energy savings.

Light House is also using an educational tool developed by Natural Resources Canada to screen 90 building plans. This will establish a profile of energy demand typical of commercial, institutional and multi-unit residential buildings. Options for improving energy performance and their costs are included. The program will also provide energy screening for projects proposed by communities applying for provincial grants under programs such as the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Program.

The Light House Sustainable Building Centre is a first-stop-shop for green and sustainable building information that showcases BC success stories, and provides resources, information and education programs to industry and the public.

This energy modelling support program is endorsed by the National Association of Industrial Office Properties and the Urban Development Institute.

More information on BC's Energy Efficient Buildings Strategy is available on-line at Information on the Light House Sustainable Building Centre is available at

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