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The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 1 Green building: is the housebuilding industry in the black or in the dark?

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Presentation on theme: "The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 1 Green building: is the housebuilding industry in the black or in the dark?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 1 Green building: is the housebuilding industry in the black or in the dark? Michael Buzzelli, The University of Western Ontario Originally presented to Department of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow 30 May 2008

2 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 2 Green Building context in Canada and the housebuilding/development industry Answering the GB call – three opportunity areas 1.Emergent GB standards 2.Partnership is necessary 3.Industrialisation (Modern Methods in Construction, MMC) Concluding remarks Outline

3 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 3 3 Environment is on the public agenda…

4 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 4.[We are] unlikely to change peoples hearts and minds, unlikely to suddenly see the benefits of sustainable forms if they conflict with consumer preferences. Jenks and Dempsey, 2007 Environment is on the public agenda… …but confusion remains

5 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 5 Barriers to green building (Yudelson, 2008) –Cost –Consumer resistance –Internal change A range of stakeholder groups The housebuilding industry Context

6 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 6 The (building) industry is composed of many small players. Developers are fewer but the industry is nonetheless competitive

7 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 7 [Canadian] housebuilding broadly conforms to a competitive model of industry structure How will builders/the industry respond to the green building imperative? City-regions hold the keys to innovation and implementation Context

8 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 8 At the dwelling unit level, the industry has in fact outperformed most sectors of the economy How? Industry response to GB imperative 1.GB standards 2.Cooperation/partnership is necessary 3.Industrialisation (MMC) Answering the GB call

9 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 9

10 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 10 CHBA briefing report

11 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography GB standards –There are ~ 12 standards in Canada (LEED, R2000, Green Home, Energy Star…), many incentive programmes for green new build and retrofit, and demonstration projects –R2000 – CHBA and NRCan programme since 1981 Voluntary (an innovation engine) Only about 10,000 homes thus far, but... Requires a performance audit/air leakage test and should achieve 80 on the EnerGuide rating system –The building industry resists a mandated single standard Answering the GB call

12 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 12 CHBA briefing report

13 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 13 On R2000 – some Key Informant interview text …need to choose champions well so that he will be copied. In homebuilding, none want to be first, all want to be second...R2000 became the vehicle by the cloning process – copying the spec without the soft costs and assessment. [KI2] practical people adapting a research-based building standard [KI2] Answering the GB call

14 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 14 Challenges/opportunities? unfortunately, and this is what I want to get away from, is that the code is going to get more restrictive…Every time somebody tries to be proactive it becomes a new example of being prescriptive and it generates reaction…Take the example of LEED. CaGBC never wanted it to be minim standard but a reward yet now everyone is building to that minimum standard…I envision in the next 10 years those requirements will become more prescriptive as opposed to some developers getting ahead of the curve and reward them. And they [builders] become reactive. [KI3] Answering the GB call

15 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography Cooperation/partnerships Example: Riverbend Heights in London Ontario –Features a community energy system including geothermal heating/cooling biogas heating and potentially asphalt solar collectors –Spatial externalities and NIMBYism? –Risk and liability? Answering the GB call

16 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 16 Riverbend Answering the GB call

17 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 17 Answering the GB call Geothermal heating system

18 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 18 Comparison of Business as Usual (BAU) vs. Near-Zero Community Energy System BUILDING LOADS:* BAU Design Integrated CES Design Change (MWh) Change (%BAU) Heating Loads (MWh thermal )1,328 00% Cooling Loads (MWh thermal )853 00% EXTERNAL ENERGY INPUT: Natural Gas Input (MWh)1, ,696-89% Grid elect input (MWh) % GHG EMISSIONS: Equivalent emissions (t CO 2 e ) % Both Community Designs were based on EnergyStar ® & LEED ® qualified buildings This and prior two slides original presented by Jamie Skimming City of London, at a community green development forum in March 2008

19 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 19 Riverbend Heights Estimate $5 million to build –Note: avoids unit heating/cooling equipment costs Cost to supply energy twice that of natural gas (at todays prices…) –But 30% cheaper than electricity Accepted (from FCM) –$500,000 grant –$500,000 loan Sifton, London District Energy interested in project Answering the GB call

20 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 20 Michael Moldenhauer is President of Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) In Homes Magazine (GTA) What about risk and liability?

21 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography Industrialisation (Modern Methods in Construction, MMC) Answering the GB call

22 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 22 Site visit – Universal Forest Products, near London ON

23 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 23 [Mattamy, factory] Factory prefabrication has been tried and often failed in North America over the last century but there is little question around the quality of construction attributed to climate control and assembly-line methods. This includes superior building envelope design, fit and consequently energy/environmental performance.

24 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 24 In order to move GB forward there is a need for Partnership - risk sharing and NIMBYism MMC/industrialisation – what about market cyclicality? –Perhaps not at the scale shown but certainly lessons can be learned Building code is regarded as the bedrock of a managed market approach –GB standards are solely innovation engines –No single system should be mandated –If anything, the building code should identify performance levels and allow the market to sort out how to achieve Concluding remarks - interpretation

25 The University of Western Ontario Michael Buzzelli, Department of Geography 25 New build versus renovation [resale is huge KI3] Labour and re-training – new products and processes Municipalities, lenders – project approvals and capital Affordability [over and above life cycle costing] What about the community scale? [journey to work] Policy co-benefits [e.g. health] Concluding remarks – other issues


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