Feds accepting applications for green building retrofit projects

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Applications are being accepted until Apr. 28 for two new initiatives expected to accelerate building retrofits: the Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative (DRAI) and the Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program (GNPP).

The $200-million Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative will invest in projects that support the development of deep retrofits in commercial, institutional or mid- or high-rise multi-unit residential buildings across Canada.

Selected projects will establish and collect deep retrofit projects, guide building owners in the process of developing and implementing specific retrofit projects, identify available funding and financing for specific deep retrofit projects, and conduct capacity building activities, such as developing or implementing new, standardized or replicable methods for deep retrofits.

The call for applications is open to organizations including nonprofits, private firms, civil society, municipalities, provinces and territories, and Indigenous organizations and groups.

DRAI applications will remain open until Apr. 28 and Indigenous organizations can apply on an ongoing basis until March 31, 2025, or until funding is fully distributed.

Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program

The $35.5-million Greener Neighbourhoods Pilot Program will support up to six communities across Canada to develop integrated approaches to deep energy retrofits — or a major building renovation project — such as upgrading building walls and insulation or upgrading space heating equipment. The call for proposals for Market Development Teams will remain open until April 5.

Phase one of the program will support regional market development teams (MDTs) in preparing scalable deep energy retrofit plans for their communities. MDTs can convene and coordinate supply-side and demand-side actors to broker aggregated deep energy retrofit projects, find solutions to regional gaps and barriers, and drive market transformation in their regions.

Proposals are being accepted from nonprofits, private firms, and Indigenous organizations and groups. Successful applicants could receive contributions of up to $1 million per project.

The call for proposals under phase two is expected to launch by the summer of 2023. This will support demonstration projects in up to six communities, targeting clusters of low-rise housing (at least 100 units). These proposals will explore innovative and cost-effective pathways for more affordable and efficient building renovations.

“Retrofitting Canada’s buildings stock provides us with the opportunity to make communities more resilient to climate-related impacts while reducing emissions and utility bills, increasing energy efficiency and creating good-paying jobs in construction and maintenance. The Government of Canada opened a call for applications for projects that will enable retrofits in the buildings sector,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of natural resources.

More than two-thirds of buildings that will be standing in Canada in 2050 have already been built today, and most of them need to be retrofitted to make them more sustainable.


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