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Western Canada

Edmonton approves ambitious Sustainable Building policy

Posted on May 10, 2017

Edmonton’s City Council has approved a new Sustainable Buildings Policy, the most ambitious for a major Canadian city with a carbon intensive electricity grid.

“Energy and climate change are the top sustainability and resiliency challenges facing Edmonton. We know that 39 per cent of Edmonton’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 42 per cent of our energy consumption is from buildings,” says Jenny Hong, senior project manager for the Energy Transition Strategy. “It’s important for the city to show leadership in sustainable building practices and this policy does just that. It commits us to build new municipal buildings that are at minimum 40 per cent more energy efficient and emit 40 per cent less greenhouse gases than buildings built to code. It requires a higher quality building envelope that decreases the amount of energy needed to heat the building.”

“Policy C532 makes Edmonton one of the first cities in Canada to improve energy conservation by targeting the quality of the building envelope for new municipal buildings,” says Pascale Ladouceur, director of facility planning and design. “It encourages designers to use passive design strategies to minimize the consumption of natural gas and electricity. This could include using high quality, well-insulated windows, doors, and walls and optimizing placement of windows to reduce the need for active heating and cooling.”

The Policy also requires a minimum one per cent of the project budget to be dedicated to on-site energy generation. This could mean that new city buildings could generate up to 30 per cent of their annual energy needs through an alternative energy system such as solar panels or heat and power cogeneration. Dedicated funding for on-site energy generation will help the city achieve its longer term goal of generating 10 per cent of Edmonton’s electricity locally.

Policy C532 is one of the many actions that the city is taking to implement the Energy Transition Strategy which moves Edmonton towards the goal of being an energy sustainable city.

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