EnerQuality’s Exciting New ENERGY STAR Multifamily High-Rise Initiative

Improving the energy efficiency of housing is a critical strategy in the fight against climate change. I’m proud to be working with an organization – EnerQuality – that knows how to do it. And now we’re tackling the biggest growth area of Canadian homeownership – multifamily and high-rise buildings.

energy star blog pic high-rise multifamily enerquality

EnerQuality is the #1 certifier of energy efficient housing in Canada and the market leader in residential green building programs. Founded in 1998 by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) and the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance, they’ve been part of the growing residential energy-efficiency industry for over 20 years now. EnerQuality creates voluntary, market-based programs that support builders and accelerate innovation in construction. They partner with governments, manufacturers, utilities, energy advisors, architects and engineers to bring their programs to market. To date, 110,000+ homes have been certified.

EnerQuality was the driving force behind the construction of thousands of ENERGY STAR homes in Canada. In 2005, the organization joined forces with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to develop ENERGY STAR® for New Homes. This turned out to be the most successful energy-efficiency program in Canadian housing.

Across Canada, builders look to ENERGY STAR to improve the quality of their buildings while lowering their occupants’ energy bills and carbon footprint. With a name that 90% of consumers recognize, ENERGY STAR has become the trusted symbol for builders who value sustainability and quality.

ENERGY STAR’s New Multifamily High-Rise Program

In 2018, thanks to funding from the IESO and Enbridge, EnerQuality and NRCan teamed up again and developed ENERGY STAR® Multifamily. Now in market, it’s changing how we build mid/high-rise housing. The same simple and affordable ENERGY STAR program we all know and love is now available for builders to certify their mid/high-rise multifamily buildings.

As a Chair (Audit & Risk Committee) of EnerQuality’s Board of Directors, I’m proud and excited to be part of this latest initiative.

With Canada’s rapidly-growing population, the housing shortage in places like the GTA and the accompanying rising cost of housing, more and more Canadians are living in multifamily residences and high-rise buildings. Recent data shows that 1 in 8 Canadian households are living in condominium dwellings, and 44% of Torontonians are living in some form of apartment. Multifamily properties include “mid-to-high rise buildings, condos, student housing, senior apartments and mixed-use buildings” and it’s a segment of the housing market that’s flourishing.

vertical-city-2

Image via the CBC

ENERGY STAR Multifamily is helping Canadian builders produce better built multifamily and high-rise homes for this growing segment of people. It’s about time that we extended this program beyond low-rise homes and into the fastest-growing sector of Canadian residences.

The program requirements include:

  • Exceeding the energy target (15% better than the 2017 Ontario Building Code)
  • Conducting air tightness testing and mechanical commissioning
  • Installing ENERGY STAR appliances
  • Registering in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

This amazing new program is working to reduce consumers’ energy costs, contribute to Canada’s 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and create healthy communities. I couldn’t be more proud to be helping to move the needle on these essential issues.

What are your thoughts? Comment below or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn to join the conversation!

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