On-Site Magazine

Feds call for green building retrofits

By Adam Freill   

Construction Green Construction

Canadian government taking action to adapt buildings to improve energy performance in fight against climate change.

(Photo: © Sergey Nivens / Adobe Stock)

Speaking at the recently held Sustainable Communities Conference, Julie Dabrusin launched a call for applications for two new initiatives to accelerate building retrofits: the Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative (DRAI) and the Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program (GNPP).

Dabrusin, who is parliamentary secretary to the minister of Natural Resources and to the minister of Environment and Climate Change, was speaking on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Natural Resources.

The $200-million DRAI will invest in projects that support the development of deep retrofits in commercial, institutional or mid- or high-rise multi-unit residential buildings across Canada.

Selected projects will establish and collect deep retrofit projects, guide building owners in the process of developing and implementing specific retrofit projects, identify available funding and financing for specific deep retrofit projects, and conduct capacity building activities, such as developing or implementing new, standardized or replicable methods for deep retrofits.


DRAI applications will remain open until April 28, 2023, with applications from Indigenous organizations accepted on an ongoing basis until March 31, 2025, or until funding is fully distributed.

The $35.5-million GNPP will support up to six communities across Canada in developing integrated approaches to deep energy retrofits — or a major building renovation project — such as upgrading building walls and insulation or upgrading space heating equipment.

The first phase of the program will support regional market development teams (MDTs) in preparing scalable deep energy retrofit plans for their communities. MDTs can convene and coordinate supply-side and demand-side actors to broker aggregated deep energy retrofit projects, find solutions to regional gaps and barriers, and drive market transformation in their regions.

The call for proposals under Phase Two of the program is expected to launch this summer.

The GNPP call for proposals for Market Development Teams will remain open until April 5, 2023.

“Communities across Canada are retrofitting their buildings to enhance resiliency, reduce utility costs and increase efficiency, all while contributing to Canada’s fight against climate change,” explained Dabrusin. “These retrofit projects will create more sustainable communities and support well-paying jobs for workers for generations to come.”

“Retrofitting Canada’s buildings stock provides us with the opportunity to make communities more resilient to climate-related impacts while reducing emissions and utility bills, increasing energy efficiency and creating good-paying jobs in construction and maintenance,” stated Wilkinson.




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