The building sector and climate change

The building sector and climate change

Posted by Ecostar Insulation on January 31, 2020

This blog is part two of the  "2020 Green Building Movement Ontario” series we will be releasing in the next two months.

Ontario's Contribution To Climate Change.

We can say that Ontario is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, but why? Nowadays, Ontario is Canada’s second-biggest carbon polluter. Therefore, Ontario's contribution could accelerate Canada’s efforts to cut carbon pollution.

Ontario is thinking to take strong action but also maintaining the economy. The focus is on regulating industrial greenhouse gas emitters. Ontario Environment Minister has announced the province would create regulations for industrial emitters, support business investment in innovation and clean technology.

Ontario has reduced emissions by 22 percent. It will also engage in a wide assessment of the impact of climate change to determine how it’s affecting businesses, communities, and families in order to find further solutions. 

Here are some of the programs the province has implemented. 

LEED Program

A nonprofit organization came with the idea to create a LEED certification program. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design has become one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide. Since 2009 LEED encompasses ten rating systems for the design, operation of buildings and construction, neighborhoods and homes. MPRs or minimum program requirements is a list of basic characteristics that a project must possess to be eligible for certification under the LEED Canada rating systems. 

This document's objective is to guide Canadian projects to determine if the scope of their project is appropriate for certification. The MPRs are mandatory for all projects and all projects must provide a signed MPR form with their project submission, declaring the project meets all MPRs or allowed exceptions.

There are five overarching categories corresponding to the specialties available under the LEED program. 

Green Building Design & Construction

  • New construction LEED
  • Core & Shell LEED
  • Schools LEED
  • Retail: New Construction and Major Renovations LEED 
  • Healthcare LEED 

Green Interior Design & Construction

  • Commercial Interiors LEED
  • Retail: Commercial Interiors LEED 

Green Building Operations & Maintenance

  • Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance LEED

Green Neighborhood Development

  • Neighborhood Development LEED

Green Home Design and Construction

  • Homes (LEED for Homes rating system is different from LEED v3, with different point categories and thresholds that reward efficient residential design) LEED.

There are also certification levels that buildings can certify for:

  • Certified: 40-49 points
  • Silver: 50-59 points
  • Gold: 60-79 points
  • Platinum: 80 points and above

Insulation Incentives And Rebates

Adding home insulation can save you money over time. Finding incentives can subsidize some insulation costs such as products and installation. You have a chance to make your house insulation more affordable with rebates and immediate cost reductions on insulation improvements. 

Home Renovation Rebate is a program that if you are eligible you can save up to $5,500 in rebates for installing insulation in your home. 

1. Rebates are calculated based on R-value and the rebate will be calculated on the difference in R-value between the new and pre-existing insulation. 

2. The rebate will save up to $300 dollar or 30% of the cost (material and labor). 

3. For qualifying attic insulation and attic air sealing the rebate will be equal to 30% of costs up to a maximum of $500. 

4. Even for qualifying wall insulation, the rebate will equal 30% of costs up to maximum. The rebate will only be available to attic insulation for upgrade projects.

Rebates:

  • Energy assessments – Up to $550 rebate
  • Heating system – $500 furnace rebate or $1000 boiler rebate
  • Insulation – Up to $2000 per insulation upgrade
  • Water heater – up to $150 
  • Windows and Doors – $40 per rough opening

Requirements:

  • Enbridge Gas existing customer, possessing a natural gas furnace or boiler.
  • You own a semi-detached, detached, townhouse or mobile home.
  • Report from an energy audit company prior and after the renovations.
  • You must complete two or more eligible renovations.

Education In The Building Sector For Climate Change

What does the international community say? 

The Intergovernmental Plan on Climate Change or IPCC report has made it clear that the world must decarbonize by 2050. The worldwide building codes and construction standards are being updated by the governments to create the low carbon cities of tomorrow. Climate change has now become a complex global problem because it is intertwined with many other issues such as economic development. 

What actions should we take?

There is an immediate need to create an informed global citizenry, an informed workforce, and enlightened government officials on their roles in climate change. If we want to stabilize the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere then all parts of society should take concrete action. Each of us is involved as a part of this problem so we also have to be a part of the solution.

How can the Building Sector help?

The building sector offers important opportunities for energy-saving and greenhouse gas emission mitigation.. In the building sector, there are energy saving opportunities and concrete solutions. Most energy consumption occurs during the occupational phase for cooling, heating and lighting purposes. Making the buildings more energy-efficient through better insulation is important.

 A sustainable building can also be seen as a significant opportunity for mitigating greenhouse emissions in the following ways:

  • In most countries, buildings account for 40%-50% of energy consumption and therefore contribute to significant greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • An energy-efficient building could be a new structure with new mechanical systems, cooling, lighting and heating.

 Climate solutions are already being implemented by different organizations with a powerful vision and leadership.  

However, the whole-market transformation means that a more standardized approach is required to ensure the entire building industry evolves. But having better data and enhanced disclosure are essential to verify compliance with industry standards and evolving regulatory requirements. 

Certification programs such as LEED, Energy Star and  Passive House are making a difference in Ontario. If we make a real difference, the transformation will be a step to a greener future.

Why Us?

We at EcoStar Insulation strive to provide the best quality products and the highest standard of expertise. Our team’s professionalism and experience goal is that you never have to worry about anything less than thorough and complete workmanship. Our team will guide you from the consultation to the execution stage. Contact us for your free estimate.

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