Fact-Finding Mission

Sustainable Building in Canada 2021


Be part of Canada's zero emissions future in construction!


Why travel to Vancouver together with Switzerland Global Enterprise?

Vancouver has been consistently ranked among the greenest cities in the world for its progressive thinking around sustainability. Vancouver’s objective is to become the world’s greenest city by 2025, to transition to zero emissions buildings in all new construction by 2030, and to deploy 100% renewable energy throughout the city by 2050.

These ambitious targets provide a huge export potential for Swiss innovators in green building design, renovation, and construction:

  • S-GE and the Swiss Business Hub Canada have identified a need for sustainable building expertise and products that are currently not met by Canadian suppliers.
  • Swiss and Liechtensteinian SMEs in the sustainable building industry have a first mover’s advantage if they act now.
  • By travelling together with fellow Swiss and Lichtensteinian innovators, you will be able to leverage the Swiss Business Hub’s networks, both at the official level through the Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver and its connections to Canadian decision makers and businesses.

Who should participate?

We are looking forward to welcoming Swiss and Liechtensteinian innovators ready to discover the opportunities that await in the sustainable building sector in Canada. If you are active in wood construction, retrofitting, HVAC technology, energy storage and management, monitoring, sensoring, building skins, membranes, architecture, sound and noise engineering, prefabrication technology and consulting then you cannot miss this chance. 

What can you expect from this business mission?

This business trip will allow you to learn first-hand about current trends in the sustainable building market in Vancouver and ensuing opportunities for your business. You will be able to adapt your business strategy for the North American market accordingly. By leveraging S-GE’s network in Vancouver, we will invite important local stakeholders in the sustainable building space to make it easy for you to establish first connections and build your network with Canadian experts and companies.



Target audience Companies involved in the design and build of sustainable buildings and products the field of sustainable buildings and construction: building envelope, energy efficient building systems, building automation, heating/ cooling and ventilation
Organizer Swiss Business Hub Canada and Switzerland Global Enterprise
Event language


Country experts

Annina Bosshard, Switzerland Global Enterprise, Consultant USA & Canada


ǀ Day 1│ October 11, 2021
  • Swiss Business Hub Canada: Introductions and some thoughts on ‘’How to do business in Canada‘’
    The Swiss Business Hub Canada is the key contact point for Swiss and Liechtenstein enterprises looking for export opportunities in the Canadian market and it is responsible for implementing Swiss export strategies in Canada. At this session the team of the SBH Canada will provide some practical business etiquette as well as logistical informationfor the busy days aheadexploring Vancouver’s sustainable building sector.
ǀ Day 2 │ October 12, 2021
  • Morning: The Vancouver Economic Commission: Presentation + Q&A "Inights into the sustainable building market in Greater Vancouver" We will meet with the officials of the Vancouver Economicrepresentatives of the city of Vancouver Commission to learn about the Greenest City action plan and how the city is planning to transition to zero emissions buildings in all new construction by 2030. The city officials will show us plans for the upcoming (new & retrofit) zero emission projects planned for the city.
  • Afternoon: The Exchange Tower | Downtown Vancouver: "Turning the Old Stock Exchange building into LEED Platinum pioneer"
    The Exchange Tower is a conversion of the Old Stock Exchange heritage building into a zero emissions building which includes hotel, restaurants, and offices, funded by Credit Suisse and designed by world-renowned Swiss architect Harry Gugger. Mr. Franz Gehriger, President of Swissreel Investments Ltd. and Daniel Hawreluk from Iredale Architecture will take us on a tour of the building. The mechanical engineer involved in the project will also be present.
ǀ Day 3 │ October 13, 2021
  • Morning: Project Presentation "8th and Pine" (tbc):
    ‘’West 8th & Pine‘’ is a planned 34 storeys hybrid mass timber tower slated for West 8th Avenue and Pine Street in Vancouver. We will get exclusive project insights and meet representatives of this project lead by Delta Land Development and
    Perkins+Will Architects, along with Urban One Builders.
  • Brock Commons / UBC's Vancouver Campus
    We will visit the the 18-storey Brock Commons student residence on UBC’s Vancouver campus, which currently holds the title of the tallest wood building in the world. We will learn about collaboration between Canadian and EU design teams and get an insight into lessons learned. 
  • Afternoon: Legal + Product Certification in Canada: Presentation + Q&A "The legal framework in British Columbia + challenges of getting certified"
    The legal experts from Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP will provide us with an overview of what is required to set up a business in BC.  We will also learn about the requirements and potential challenges to get your products and services certified for the Canadian market 
  • Dinner
ǀ Day 4 │October 14, 2021
  • Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) and Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN) (tbc): Presentation of VRCA and HAVAN + networking breakfast with members
    VCRA: With over 760 members, the VCRA is British Columbia’s largest and most inclusive regional construction association. The VRCA represents general and trade contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers who operate as both union and open-shop employers in B.C.’s industrial, commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential construction industry.

    HAVAN: With over 1100 members, HAVAN provides both industry and consumer education, and actively liaises with local municipal governments with the focus of meeting Metro Vancouver’s housing needs. Members include builders, developers, renovators, designers, suppliers, sub-trades, and leading professionals.

    A networking breakfast will allow us to meet with potential customers, and discuss opportunities, challenges, and needs for products and services currently not available in Vancouver.
  • Green Building Council | BC Chapter (tbc): Presentation of activities + Q&A and meeting with members
    CaGBC is Canada's only member-based organization that is purely dedicated to the advancement of green building across the country. The CaGBC develops market research, organizes events, educational seminars, and coaching sessions and also provides its members with access to online resources for sustainable building.
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon: Aspect Structural Engineers (tbc): Presentation of the engineering firm and their projects + Q&A
    Aspect Structural Engineers will provide an overview over the firm’s past and current mass timber and Passivehouse projects in the region.   
  • Dinner
ǀ Day 5 │October 15, 2021
  • Morning: ZEBx Hub | Downtown Vancouver: Workshop ‘’Accelerating knowledge exchange and collaboration between the Swiss and Canadian building industry ecosystem‘’
    ZEBx is a collaborative platform that strengthens the public, private and civic capacities for zero emission buildings in Vancouver and British Columbia. It is an industry hub that facilitates knowledge exchange to accelerate market transformation. We will work together on finding best ways to combine Swiss and Canadian knowledge to achive the Canadian zero emission goals.
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon: Passivehouse project under construction| North Vancouver: Visit of a single family Passivhouse project:
    We will put our helmets on and visit a Passivehouse project that is under construction, which will allow us to see firsthand what’s happening on the project and meet the construction team.
  • Exchange with Passivehouse Members | Downtown Vancouver
    Using the knowledge gained during the morning session, we will exchange ideas, know-how, and experience with regard to the sustainable building market in Canada and in Switzerland. 
  • Dinner
ǀ Day 6 │October 16, 2021
  • Morning: Transfer from Vancouver to Whistler
  • Visit of TarsemHaus | Squamish: Visit of Passivehouse Project
    Squamish, a former logging town in coastal British Columbia, has seen rapid growth in the last few years due to its proximity to Vancouver and countless outdoor activities on its doorstep. TarsemHaus, an eight-unit townhouse development, makes a striking ecological statement from its Passive House goals to its clustered design that enhances social connection and small-community character.
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon: BC Passivehouse Factory | Pemberton: Visit of the British Columbia Passivehouse Factory
    Based in Pemberton, British Columbia, BC Passive House (BCPH), is a full-service prefabrication company specializing in the design and construction of high-performance panelized building systems, specialized structural panels (including CLT and NLT) hybrid systems, heavy timber packages and Passive House construction
  • Wrap up with the Swiss Business Hub, S-GE and all participants
    Together, we will review impressions and experiences from the past days in Vancouver and ask ourselves the question: what do we take home and what are the next steps in conquering the Canadian market?
  • Evening: Transfer back to Vancouver:
    ... or make good use of the fantastic outdoors and stay for the weekend in Whistler
ǀ Day 6 │October 17, 2021
  • Individual departure

Participant information

Travel dates

  • Arrival in Vancouver: October 11, 2021 individual arrangement to arrive in time for Introduction and Welcome Dinner at 18:00
  • Departure from Vancouver: October 17, 2021, or according to individual schedule

Participation costs

Member Gold / CHF 4'200.-

Member Silver / CHF 4'500.-

Non-Member / CHF 4'700.-

Included in the price:

  • Hotel accommodation from October 11 - 17, 2021 at Hotel Pan Pacific, Vancouver: 300-999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C 3B5
  • Local transportation for visiting events and visiting locations
  • Participation at events mentioned in the program
  • Breakfast, lunches, and dinners as mentioned in the program (other individual meals are self-pay)

Not included:

  • Intercontinental flights to and from Vancouver
  • Pick-up from and drop-off at airport
  • Accomodation in Whistler


How should we contact you?

Premium Partner

Strategic partners

Institutional partner

Official program