On-Site Magazine

Celebrating excellence in climate-friendly construction

By Adam Freill   

Concrete Construction Green Construction Leadership

The B.C. Embodied Carbon Awards recognize efforts to reduce the carbon pollution locked up in a building’s constituent materials.

HDR Architecture, winners in the Large (Part 3) Buildings category for the North Island College Student Housing project. (Photo by Dan Kirchner/360hometours.ca)

Members of British Columbia’s zero-carbon buildings community came together in April to recognize six individuals, projects and organizations for leadership on reducing embodied carbon pollution in the province. The Zero Emissions Innovation Centre (ZEIC), through its Carbon Leadership Forum British Columbia program, hosted the second annual B.C. Embodied Carbon Awards, which aim to inspire others to reduce embodied carbon in their projects.

Embodied carbon emissions are produced during the production and transportation of building materials. such as steel, concrete, insulation and glass, during construction, and those produced when a building is taken apart or demolished at the end of its life.

“As all levels of government look to accelerate the delivery of housing, it becomes even more critical to consider the carbon impacts of more high-rise buildings and greater use of high-carbon materials such as conventional concrete,” stated Lisa Dominato, councillor for the City of Vancouver and chair of the Metro Vancouver Climate Action Committee. “These award-winning projects and organizations have shown us that addressing embodied emissions through the lifecycle of a building is an essential, strategic and cost-effective way to reduce emissions while creating new housing and commercial space, local and regional economic development, and jobs.”

This year’s winners were:



Organizational Commitment to Change

ZGF Architects

This award recognizes a company or organization that has shown exemplary leadership in reducing embodied carbon in British Columbia’s built environment.


Public Sector Leadership

University of British Columbia

This award recognizes a British Columbia-based local government, public sector organization, or non-profit organization that has demonstrated exemplary leadership in reducing embodied carbon in British Columbia’s built environment.


Large (Part 3) Buildings

North Island College Student Housing, HDR Architecture

This award recognizes a large new development or a substantial renovation of a large building that demonstrates excellence in low-embodied-carbon design and construction. The relevant local government or permitting authority must classify the recognized building(s) under Part 3 of the building code.


Small (Part 9) Buildings

Phoenix House, Carbon Wise

This award category recognizes excellence in low-embodied-carbon design in a small new project such as a single-family home or laneway home, or a substantial renovation of an existing single-family home or smaller building.


Commitment to Circularity

Renewal Development

This award recognizes exceptional initiatives and projects that embrace and tangibly advance circularity or circular concepts within British Columbia’s buildings sector.


Strengthening the Practice

Anthony Pak

This award recognizes a building sector professional who has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to reducing embodied carbon across British Columbia’s built environment.


“These awards demonstrate leadership and climate actions that are much needed and achievable today as we work towards 2030 emissions reduction targets,” stated Melina Scholefield, executive director at ZEIC. “We are pleased to be celebrating those who are committed to accelerating the effort to reduce embodied emissions in this province’s building sector. These winners are proving that our climate goals are achievable when we collaborate and prioritize innovation and sustainability in our buildings.”




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