Higher energy consumption in Canada
In addition to having a growing population, Canada tends to have much higher energy consumption per capita than most of the world partly as a result of having a colder climate but largely due to cheaper energy. However, a major impetus to change this level of energy dependency is a desire on behalf of the federal and other governments and increasingly by the general population, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – a significant amount of which is caused by energy usage associated with buildings. For Canada as a whole this is 17% but is much higher for urban areas that are not producing energy from hydrocarbons.
Opportunities in the sustainable building market
The Canadian Green Business Council estimates that there is a $30 billion economic opportunity in sustainable building in Canada over the coming years. In addition to design and construction there are opportunities for Swiss companies with products that will facilitate objectives of cities such as Toronto and Vancouver to move toward zero carbon buildings.
The following are further suggestions that have surfaced during research on the technology that Canada needs to build and retrofit buildings to meet greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) targets.
- Smart buildings require the use of sensors and monitoring systems that are part of the Internet of Things for Building Information Modelling to manage building systems
- LED lighting for new build and retrofits
- Prefab construction technology to accelerate construction times and reduce GHG emissions and other air pollution from construction in dense urban environments
- Storm water solutions
- Vertical farming techniques
- Whole building energy modelling required for LEED certification and under various regional programs in order to receive incentives
Swissness as a success factor
Swiss products have an excellent reputation in the Canadian market and Canadian distributors would be pleased to work with Swiss companies where they have products that will add value to the Canadian green building sector. The report provides an overview of the market potential that will allow Swiss companies to have a sense of where they could have the best opportunities.