Green building technologies hub
Business cases for each green building tech sector are available. Please fill out a request form if interested.
- Sunlight: The Calgary Region has more hours of sunlight per year than the state of California.
- Wind: Alberta currently has 800 MW of wind power generation, with enough capacity to serve over 970,000 homes. Calgary’s Light Rail Transit system is 100% wind powered. This initiative made Calgary the first wind-powered public transit system in North America and reduced CO2 emissions by over 47,000 tonnes in 2010. The City plans to increase its renewable electricity purchases to 100 per cent for all of its electricity needs.
- Wood: Forests cover 60 per cent of Alberta. The average 1,700 square foot home (158 square metres) uses approximately 157 trees. Eighty-two million trees are planted in Alberta each year.
Residents of the Region have higher than average incomes and modest cost of living increases. With an average annual disposable income of over $36,500 in 2009, a growth rate of 9.3%, the population has the means to invest in greener living standards.
Strong Building Activity
Building activity in the Calgary Region remained strong during the 2008-2009 recession, and picked up pace in 2010. New residential construction and home improvements are providing a healthy market for building products that improve energy and water efficiency. Non-residential construction, both public and private, continues to trend strongly toward green building technology.
An independent assessment (Woodbridge Associates Inc., 2009) of the green building technologies industry in the Region identified five sub-sector investment opportunities where demand is rising and the Calgary Region offers competitive advantage for sector enterprise:
- Building Components: Roof, Floor and Wall Systems
There is a growing trend toward using factory-built roof, floor and wall systems that replace the more traditional, site-constructed building components because they reduce waste and accelerate construction time. There are opportunities in the manufacture and sale of these items to builders.
- Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs)
ICFs are Styrofoam™ forms that are assembled on-site and then filled with reinforced concrete and rebar to create insulated structural walls. ICF use in new construction has risen in tandem with rising demand for more energy efficient products and homes.
- Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
SIPs are custom-made, insulated panels made with a Styrofoam™ core between two layers of oriented strand board (OSB). They are used for exterior wall and roof applications and are highly valued because they reduce construction waste, accelerate construction time and are energy efficient.
- Home Improvement Lumber Specialties
Built for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) homeowner and professional renovators, these pre-fabricated lumber products include mouldings, fencing, decking, shelving, patio furniture and more. Basically, anything that can be pre-fabricated out of lumber falls into this category of building supplies. Revenue from the home renovation market is higher than new construction, and demand for maintenance-free products is rising.
- Ready-To-Assemble (RTA) “Job Packs” and Design Services
RTA job packs are complete material packages for various construction phases, such as a framing package, window and door package, insulation package and interior trim package. Job packs are a win-win for the builder and the manufacturer: builders reduce construction costs by getting all the required materials at a better price; they eliminate site waste and theft; builders have guaranteed materials to complete the project; and suppliers increase their revenue by selling more products to each customer.
The Government of Alberta sponsors the following websites to provide online catalogues offering green building products and technologies:
- Green Alberta is a company partnered with the Government Alberta committed to the growth of Alberta’s green building products industry. Green Alberta provides information and consulting services for Alberta companies thinking of going green. The company also provides the Green Alberta Products Database.
- Built Green Canada is a voluntary program that promotes “green” building practices through its industry membership, which includes members of participating Home Builders’ Associations. Their website provides a Built Green Product Catalogue, which lists products that fulfill the Built Green standards.
Statistical sources: Statistics Canada, Government of Alberta (www.albertacanada.com).
Note: * Green Building Materials: Making Cement, Insulation and Wood Products Increasingly Environmentally Friendly, NexGen Research, June 2009.