October 21, 2023

2050 Net Zero Targets & Changing Building Codes: Implications to Existing Building Owners & Alberta Real Estate Professionals (Phase 1)

By SAIT and RFS Energy

Buildings are Canada’s third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, close to nine million buildings will require at least one deep retrofit to reduce energy consumption to the levels required to achieve net-zero goals. This means that Canada’s rate of retrofits will need to increase to 1 million dwellings retrofitted annually. Building codes and standards are and will be updated to expedite and drive these retrofits, and these changes will be felt across Alberta’s real estate industry. This multi-phased project explores these impacts on the real estate (RE) industry and its professionals in Alberta and Canada. It aims to prepare professionals by providing relevant, tailored resources and tools that will be developed based on industry demand and feedback.

As a multi-phased project, the first phase is complete and has explored the current condition of the relationship between the RE industry and building and energy codes. Initial desktop research and engagement have forecasted ranging impacts per stakeholder group or demographic (such as RE professionals, building owners, architects, designers, and more). Higher impacted groups include building owners and policymakers. However, as building owners make up the majority of RE professionals’ clientele, these impacts will carry forward into the RE realm as professionals guide sales and conversations and engage with impacted groups.

Early indicators from the engagement performed in phase 1 show that educating stakeholder groups – including RE professionals, builders, homeowners, and the general public- is crucial. While not everyone needs to be an expert, without a baseline understanding, changes to code and policy could incite unintended negative consequences. RE Professionals can play an irreplaceable role in educating building owners and fellow industry professionals.

The project team is excited to expand its research and take engagement further. As this project enters its next phases, check back in the future for more updates on this evolving
research.

Would you like to get involved with this project’s engagement and feedback? Connect with the project team at: www.albertatelework.ca.

This project was funded in 2022 through the Foundation’s Investment Grant Program to support research, policy development, and reform to address climate change and/or energy efficiency in support of the real estate industry and consumers.

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