Research

Our professional publications represent some of the leading research on topics related to sustainable infrastructure.

Towards Net Zero Energy Ready Residential Buildings in BC

towards net zero

The objective of this project was to develop a Roadmap that presents a comprehensive long term strategy for guiding British Columbia’s residential buildings towards being carbon neutral / near net zero energy in operation i.e. homes that are highly efficient and require only a small amount of purchased energy each year.

The strategy was developed through a combination of quantitative and qualitative research, data analysis, and extensive consultation with industry, government, and utilities, across the Province. The intent was to identify barriers to sustained market transformation and join the dots between the programs and initiatives that either did not yet exist or were already underway in isolation.

Towards Carbon Neutral Building in BC

Carbon_neutral_MURB
The first, externally-reviewed report in this research initiative, “Towards Carbon Neutral Buildings: Framework for High-Rise Multi-Unit Residential Buildings in BC” was released June 13, 2012. This work was generously funded by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and the City of Vancouver, and BTY Group.

Drawing on European approaches, especially the internationally-leading success of Switzerland, the framework proposes to simplify the way in which building energy and carbon performance is regulated. The report presents clear and consistent performance targets for multi-unit residential buildings that would reduce the carbon footprint of new MURBS in the Lower Mainland.

British Columbia Building Performance Study

dec 2014 report cover
This province-wide study, undertaken by Light House in partnership with the Building Owners and Managers Association of BC (BOMA BC), examines the energy performance of 281 buildings from across BC, including 147 BOMA BESt certified buildings and 134 non-certified buildings.

Using 40 performance indicators and EnergyStar Portfolio Manager, the study brings together real industry data with analytical expertise to establish baseline performance data on BOMA BESt buildings from all municipal jurisdictions in the Province. The study identifies the relationship between ratings systems, building performance and how they are meeting public policy and regulatory objectives.

This study was completed by Light House in partnership with the Building Owners and Managers Association of BC (BOMA BC), Metro Vancouver and the City of Vancouver, with support from the City of Surrey and Capital Regional District.

Energy Labeling Showdown

Energy-Labeling-Showdown_report-cover
British Columbia’s existing buildings account for two-thirds of all energy consumed in the province and 41% of the province’s total GHG emissions. On a small scale, building energy labeling systems are effective tools in helping owner / operators monitor and reduce their energy consumption and GHG emissions. On a larger scale, they are one of many tools that government can employ to tackle climate change and energy demand. Recognizing those important roles, this study evaluates the two most common building energy labeling tools: Energy Star and ASHRAE bEQ.

In preparing this study, Light House worked in cooperation with Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, and modelled Vancity’s head office in Vancouver, BC using both systems. Through the study, Light House determined the differences in requirements for each program, the administrative concerns, and the energy labeling policy context, implications and opportunities.