Canadian Contractor

By Pembina Institute   

B.C. government launches new Reframed Lab initiative

Canadian Contractor Permits & Legal Renovation Contractor Resources Smart House B.C. canada contractor reframed lab renovation retrofit

The Province, through BC Housing, and the City of Vancouver, the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and the Pembina Institute, are working together to find ways to make homes safer, more energy-efficient and less polluting, while reducing heating costs for residents.

The partners are launching an initiative called the Reframed Lab to do retrofit demonstration projects on up to five multi-unit residential buildings.

“The way our homes are built has a direct impact on our health and well-being, and the environment,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “That’s why it’s so important we work together to find new ways to make buildings work better. This partnership will help us take significant action on climate change, while protecting and improving the safe and affordable homes that people need.”

While new homes in B.C. must be built to high health, safety and environmental standards, there are significant opportunities to make existing buildings better places to live and reduce the energy they use. Building retrofits also create good, long-term jobs for people in the province and support the growth of B.C.’s sustainable economy.


This summer, BC Housing will issue a request for proposals for partners to join the Reframed Lab. Partners from all corners of the construction sector, including architects, contractors, engineers and manufacturers, will come together to create innovative and integrated ways to retrofit existing buildings. Selected teams will be invited to join a six-month exploration lab to learn and share ideas.

Teams will prepare designs for a specific building, with support from experts on climate change, energy and health. Their goal will be to demonstrate next-generation solutions that integrate seismic and fire safety, energy efficiency and climate-adaptation upgrades, while dramatically reducing the buildings’ carbon pollution.

BC Housing will support the retrofit of the selected buildings with funding from the Capital Renewal Fund, a 10-year, $1.1-billion investment to preserve and improve B.C.’s 51,000 units of social housing.

This initiative received $250,000 from the Province’s CleanBC Building Innovation (CBBI) Fund. The CBBI Fund has provided $1.65 million to manufacturers, developers, builders and researchers to accelerate the availability and affordability of advanced building designs, construction methods and technologies that are super efficient and have minimal greenhouse gas emissions over their lifetime.

The City of Vancouver will be providing technical and regulatory guidance to help support this work, which will help advance the city’s climate goals as well as housing affordability.

CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.


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