Canadian Consulting Engineer

CaGBC encourages zero-carbon ‘upskilling’ for engineers in construction

May 8, 2020

CaGBC report

Image credit: CaGBC.

A new Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) report highlight gaps in ‘zero-carbon’ training for engineers and other professionals in the building industry.

Titled Accelerating to Zero: Upskilling for Engineers, Architects and Renewable Energy Specialists, the study establishes an industry baseline for skills and knowledge for delivering zero-carbon buildings at scale, defining both core competencies and sub-competencies. It offers consideration for education and training providers, accreditation and professional bodies and policy decision-makers.

Following the federal government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% below 2005 levels and intention to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, CaGBC highlights recent signals indicating COVID-19 spending may support related climate initiatives, suggesting there is a need for greater training to help the construction industry adopt zero-carbon building practices.

“Transitioning to zero-carbon buildings requires a shift in thinking across the sector,” says Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of CaGBC, whose own zero-carbon standard requires project teams to collaborate from design through completion and operation.

Based in part on a survey of more than 300 professionals, the study makes the following recommendations to education, training and accreditation providers:

  • Ensure curricula address zero-carbon building competencies.
  • Support upskilling by establishing common terminology for courses and investing in self-assessment tools.
  • Enhance professional credentialing requirements.
  • Invest in, develop and support multiple delivery methods and formats.


It also makes the following recommendations to policy decision-makers:

  • Demonstrate leadership through government-wide learning.
  • Address today’s in-person learning gap with targeted incentives.
  • Support adoption of zero-carbon building codes and related training and education.


To read the executive summary or access the full report, visit


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