The building sector is Canada’s third highest source of emissions, so reducing its impact on our climate is critical in achieving Canada's emission reduction targets and in creating a clean economy.
With Vancity’s support, BCIT’s Zero Energy/Emissions Buildings (ZEB) Learning Centre teaches its students zero-energy building techniques for new construction and retrofits.
The new skills that students acquire with ZEBLC are needed now more than ever. Since opening in 2018, the ZEB Learning Centre has trained more than 1,900 students from across BC, including Carrigan Tallio from the Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola.
As her community of Bella Coola continues to address the housing challenges taking place on many reserves, Carrigan says that clean energy, and what she learned during the course, will play a crucial part.
“If I didn’t have this training, I wouldn’t have known what’s possible in terms of passive, green buildings,” she says. “It gave me a good idea of where we need to be going and how to get there.”
Carrigan is one of five Indigenous students who came together to renovate a cabin at Cheakamus Centre as part of their training before COVID-19 limited in-person learning. The Nuxalk Housing Manager says the experience “opened my eyes to what we can achieve as a community.”
Alex Hebert oversees BCIT’s Zero Energy/Emissions Buildings Learning Centre (ZEBLC) and says that Vancity’s support has been key to delivering on the program goals. Vancity has provided $225,000 in support over three years. "Green buildings are about more than tackling climate change, they improve quality of life, too. Investing in your walls means you’re getting something green, but also comfortable and resilient,” says Alex.
Supporting programs like ZEBLC will help Vancity become net-zero by 2040 since a significant part of Vancity’s business activity emissions comes from our mortgage portfolio.
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