Our professional publications represent some of the leading research on topics related to sustainable infrastructure.
(2021) The District of Squamish population keeps growing and so does its waste. Based on the value of the building permits submitted in Squamish from January to November 2020, we have estimated the amount of construction waste generated was 2,108,923 kg or 6921m3. With the local landfill nearing the end of its life, the time to assess waste opportunities is pressing.
Light House was commissioned to examine the regions current demolition and deconstruction waste flows and investigate opportunities to divert waste from landfill. Our study looked at:
- documenting the flow of building materials in the region (see Material Flow Diagram),
- reviewing ‘best practices’ for the management of construction and demolition waste in other jurisdictions, and
- investigating local market opportunities for deconstruction materials.
The report investigates market opportunities such as creating deconstruction/recycling/surplus ‘hubs’, online marketplaces for materials, and a focus on salvaged wood products. The study identified wood as a key waste leaving the region that can be salvaged and reused locally via market opportunities.
Light House was involved as a collaborator on this project with the OPEN Green Building Society.
To download a free copy of the LEED v4 specifications, please click on the image to the left.
This toolkit outlines passive design practices for low-rise wood framed construction buildings in Vancouver.
While covering best practices, the toolkit addresses the specific needs of Vancouver and outlines a succinct definition of what ‘passive’ means for Vancouver. This toolkit can be used as a reference for best practices, and considered complementary to design guidelines and policy.
B.C. government policy currently requires that all newly constructed public sector buildings achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold or equivalent certification. The most recent iteration of LEED, known as LEED v4, has seen the most rigorous update of this green building rating system. LEED v4 rewards the use of low carbon building materials in ways previous versions did not.
This guide will provide a high level overview of low carbon building materials, with a particular focus on wood and PLC, and will describe how to incorporate low carbon building materials into LEED v4 projects.
The objective of this project was to develop a Roadmap that presents a comprehensive long term strategy for guiding British Columbia’s residential buildings towards being carbon neutral / near net zero energy in operation i.e. homes that are highly efficient and require only a small amount of purchased energy each year.
The strategy was developed through a combination of quantitative and qualitative research, data analysis, and extensive consultation with industry, government, and utilities, across the Province. The intent was to identify barriers to sustained market transformation and join the dots between the programs and initiatives that either did not yet exist or were already underway in isolation.
The first, externally-reviewed report in this research initiative, “Towards Carbon Neutral Buildings: Framework for High-Rise Multi-Unit Residential Buildings in BC” was released June 13, 2012. This work was generously funded by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and the City of Vancouver, and BTY Group.
Drawing on European approaches, especially the internationally-leading success of Switzerland, the framework proposes to simplify the way in which building energy and carbon performance is regulated. The report presents clear and consistent performance targets for multi-unit residential buildings that would reduce the carbon footprint of new MURBS in the Lower Mainland.
This province-wide study, undertaken by Light House in partnership with the Building Owners and Managers Association of BC (BOMA BC), examines the energy performance of 281 buildings from across BC, including 147 BOMA BESt certified buildings and 134 non-certified buildings.
Using 40 performance indicators and EnergyStar Portfolio Manager, the study brings together real industry data with analytical expertise to establish baseline performance data on BOMA BESt buildings from all municipal jurisdictions in the Province. The study identifies the relationship between ratings systems, building performance and how they are meeting public policy and regulatory objectives.
This study was completed by Light House in partnership with the Building Owners and Managers Association of BC (BOMA BC), Metro Vancouver and the City of Vancouver, with support from the City of Surrey and Capital Regional District.
British Columbia’s existing buildings account for two-thirds of all energy consumed in the province and 41% of the province’s total GHG emissions. On a small scale, building energy labeling systems are effective tools in helping owner / operators monitor and reduce their energy consumption and GHG emissions. On a larger scale, they are one of many tools that government can employ to tackle climate change and energy demand. Recognizing those important roles, this study evaluates the two most common building energy labeling tools: Energy Star and ASHRAE bEQ.
In preparing this study, Light House worked in cooperation with Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, and modelled Vancity’s head office in Vancouver, BC using both systems. Through the study, Light House determined the differences in requirements for each program, the administrative concerns, and the energy labeling policy context, implications and opportunities.