Canadian Consulting Engineer

Climate Change Update

August 1, 2003
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

1. Industry Task Force on Climate Change and BuildingsIn the 2003 budget, the federal government sent a clear message that the building sector will be expected to play a key role in helping Canada mee...

1. Industry Task Force on Climate Change and Buildings

In the 2003 budget, the federal government sent a clear message that the building sector will be expected to play a key role in helping Canada meet its Kyoto obligations. A total of $2 billion has been allocated by the government for climate change initiatives.

In order to create a strong communication link between government and the industry, four industry associations have established an industry Task Force on Green Buildings. This coalition’s mandate is to work with the federal government on finding the most effective measures possible to maximize environmental performance in the existing and new building stock. The industry Task Force is composed of ACEC, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada.

The industry Task Force has formally requested that the federal government establish its own interdepartmental group with whom it can interact to discuss and refine the most effective policies and incentives to encourage building owners to adopt green practices. The Task Force has identified a number of areas that would need to be strengthened in order to maximize the environmental performance of the building stock in Canada. These areas include:

A mechanism for benchmarking of environmental performance.

Tools to encourage a greater number of energy audits.

Proper incentives to encourage energy retrofits or the incorporation of energy efficient designs in new buildings.

Proper certification capabilities.

Communication and education of the tools and incentives mentioned above among the building and design community.

2. ACEC task force

ACEC has established an internal Task Force on Climate Change to monitor the related issues and identify opportunities for the consulting engineering industry to help the government and clients to implement the Kyoto protocol. The Task Force is chaired by Mr. Rick Prentice, P.Eng., an ACEC Board member from Alberta. ACEC member firms interested in participating in the work of this ACEC Task Force are asked to contact Mr. Claude Paul Boivin, ACEC President, at or by phone at (613) 236-0569.

3. CCPE workshop

The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE), with the support of the Government of Canada’s Climate Change Action Fund, hosted a two-day workshop to help professional engineers understand the technical aspects of climate change so as to adapt their decisions and activities appropriately. Participants recommended strategies to advance the issue of climate change adaptation within the engineering professions:

Develop an education strategy aimed at engineering students and professional engineers.

Educate the public, industry and decision makers on the need for adaptation.

Develop standards/codes of practice to ensure that adaptation concepts are integrated into engineering design/practice.

Establish a formal and consistent link between scientists and engineers.

Develop a funding strategy to support this work.

The CCPE Board of Directors will consider the final version of the action plan in September 2003, after consultations with the provincial associations.

4. Federal government website

To access Environment Canada documents on the science of climate change, visit


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