Industry Report

Opportunities in the Canadian sustainable building market

Canada is a rapidly growing country with a population that has gone from 31 million in 2000 to 37 million today and is projected to grow to about 47 million by 2050. A report produced by the Swiss Business Hub Canada shows significant opportunities for Swiss companies in all aspects of the Canadian sustainable building sector.

Green building

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.

Fact Finding Mission: Gain insights into the sustainable building market

Canadian cities are consistently ranked among the greenest cities in the world for their progressive thinking around sustainability. In recent years many Canadian cities have been leading the way by setting ambitious goals, which provide a huge export potential for Swiss innovators in green building design, renovation and construction.

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