October 25, 2023
New organization to support net-zero building growth in Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS – Today marks the official launch of the Building to Zero Exchange – a collaborative initiative bringing together industry, government and others with the goal of retrofitting and creating high-performance buildings efficiently and at a large scale.
“The Building to Zero Exchange is about preparing Nova Scotia’s building sector for a net-zero future. Decarbonizing our buildings requires new skills and more workers, and there is a great deal of work to be done on a fairly tight timeline to help achieve provincial and federal climate targets,” said Alisdair McLean, Executive Director of Net Zero Atlantic, which serves as the secretariat for the Building to Zero Exchange, coordinating the organization’s administration, communications and support services.
Participating in today’s launch event were close to 200 supporters of the initiative, including representatives of the Building to Zero Exchange’s Foundational Partners – the Province of Nova Scotia, HalifACT and the Halifax Regional Municipality, Dalhousie University, Efficiency Nova Scotia, Clean Nova Scotia, Construction Association of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Community College.
“As a leading city in climate action, the Halifax Regional Municipality is pleased to be a foundational partner of BTZx. HalifACT – Acting on Climate Together is the municipality’s ambitious climate action plan that calls for urgent action and outside-the-box thinking. Success requires innovative approaches just like BTZx, and we are excited to dig in and support our burgeoning green buildings sector,” said Shannon Miedema, Director, Environment & Climate Change, Halifax Regional Municipality.
“We are proud to be a founding partner in this important initiative. Bringing the diversity of skills, expertise and perspective to a collaborative table is necessary to being successful as we tackle the greatest challenges humans have ever faced. That is the beauty and strength of this partnership. We cannot achieve success working in silos," said Duncan Williams, President & CEO, Construction Association of Nova Scotia.
The Exchange also has a number of additional members, with membership open to all individuals and organizations with a significant interest in the development of net-zero building solutions in Nova Scotia. Members have the opportunity to contribute their skills and experience to advance the work of the Exchange. There is no membership fee and prospective members will find more information here on joining the Building to Zero Exchange.
“Ultimately, we see the Exchange serving as a rallying point for stakeholders from across the full spectrum of the building ecosystem. We’ll work together as collective champions for the innovation, policy, business, and regulatory actions necessary to advance Nova Scotia’s net-zero transition,” said McLean. “The Exchange is dedicated to showcasing leadership and inspiring local innovation, while also creating equitable workforce opportunities in the net-zero transition.”
The launch of the Building to Zero Exchange is taking place at Dalhousie University’s recently constructed Richard Murray Design Building, one of two campus buildings newly certified as a LEED Platinum building. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the world's most widely used green building rating system and Platinum certification represents the highest level of available certification available through the program, which provides a framework for ranking highly efficient green buildings.
“For decades, Dalhousie has had a focus on environment and sustainability issues through curriculum and research. Sustainability and environmental responsibility are key values in the university’s strategic plan,” says Dr. Yi Liu, acting Dean of Engineering at Dalhousie University. “We are proud to partner in this launch and are confident our research across our faculties will make meaningful impact in the decades to come.”
About the Building to Zero Exchange
The Building to Zero Exchange supports collaboration and capacity growth as we begin to retrofit and create high-performance buildings efficiently and at a large scale. As a Centre of Excellence, we’re working in partnership with industry, government and others to grow the number of net zero buildings in Nova Scotia. We will showcase leadership and inspiring local innovation while promoting collaboration and equity and workforce opportunities in the net-zero transition. We’re dedicated to bringing together diverse voices to and growing capacity across the building sector through research, events, resource development, skills training, and communications.
About Net Zero Atlantic
Net Zero Atlantic seeks to advance the goal of a sustainable and inclusive transition into a carbon-neutral future in Atlantic Canada. We produce credible and objective data to inform sound policies and decisions related to critical topics currently including, but not limited to, hydrogen, offshore wind, geothermal energy, and energy system modeling. Learn more about Net Zero Atlantic at www.netzeroatlantic.ca