Why Do We Need Low Carbon Building Skills?

In addition to the environmental benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, the industry is shifting to meet a new reality.

The economy, building codes, and investor expectations are changing fast. Current investments from government and industry will expand Canada’s green building economy with projections of $150B and 1.5 million jobs by 2030.

That means the building sector needs more professionals with the right skills and knowledge as the demand for low carbon construction and retrofits grow.  

The way we worked in the past is not the way of future

The Low Carbon Training Program was developed to give participants the edge they needed to secure a place in this new low carbon economy.

Although funding for the Low Carbon Training Program ended in March 2024, project partners continue to offer training.

Canada’s Net Zero Goals

Like many countries, Canada has set targets for reducing carbon emissions, and the building sector is part of the solution. 

Achieving net-zero by 2050 will require roughly $21 billion per year of investments in retrofits of existing real estate across Canada, including approximately 32 million square meters of commercial property between now and 2040.

Gaps in Industry Knowledge and Collaboration

Whether you’re building new, high-performing buildings or retrofitting existing ones, zero carbon buildings require a unique set of skills.

Workers in this sector need a combination of technical skills and a retooling of soft skills, such as collaboration, communication, and cooperation among project teams.

Zero carbon buildings require a deeper understanding of design, construction and operations impact on carbon emissions.

No matter your professional background, you’ll gain low carbon training can help you keep up with growing industry and project needs.

Changing Regulations

Building codes and regulations are evolving to require higher energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions.

The 2025 update to National Building Code will include carbon limits and the Canadian government is already implementing its Buy Clean approach to procurement which includes reducing the embodied carbon of the structural materials of major construction projects by 30% starting in 2025. Municipalities across the country are also rolling out more rigorous green standards to limit carbon emissions from buildings.

Even voluntary codes are changing, with the growing adoption of the Canada Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building Standards and a stronger focus on carbon reductions in the upcoming version of LEED.

All the more reason to get to know the basics as they become the new normal.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Market Demand

battery depleting with a grey Co2 cloud

Low carbon is in high demand. Over the last few years, the transition towards low-carbon real estate assets and portfolios is gaining momentum.

There is an increasing focus and pressure from investors and asset owners across the country to meet ESG criteria to mitigate financial risks due to carbon pricing, climate change, and increasing extreme weather events.

As Canada’s largest asset portfolio owner and manager, the federal government is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 with government-owned and leased real estate. This would mean decarbonizing 34,000 buildings.

In addition, major Canadian organizations have already committed to providing $3.6B in financing for energy efficiency and low carbon upgrades of large buildings.

More Jobs and Better Projects 

Current investments and the prioritization of green, low-carbon buildings from government and industry are expected to create a significant boost to Canada’s green building sector – up to 1.5 million jobs by 2030, almost triple the jobs today.

This growth offers career advancement and new job opportunities across the building sector including in construction, architecture, engineering, and real estate development and asset management.

Cost Savings 

Low carbon building solutions require a high level of collaboration compared to conventional building projects. However, industry still works in silos, causing cost inefficiencies and delays, which can impact the effectiveness of low carbon solutions.

This is what made the Low Carbon Training Program so valuable. The Low Carbon Training Program was designed to equip professions across the building sector with a common language and understanding about low carbon strategies and solutions. Companies who upskill their employees with this knowledge will have a critical competitive advantage in the market.

While the Low Carbon Training Program has ended, The Canada Green Building Council and our partners continue to offer valuable low carbon training. You can also learn more about CAGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standards.

The future of low carbon training starts today.

There is no doubt that low carbon training is a critical part of the future for everyone involved in the building sector. Those with the knowledge and the skills will have the competitive edge – an edge that starts with the free Low Carbon Training Program. 

Register for open classes and sign up to get your early registration alert.

Low Carbon Training Partners

Developed in 2023, the Low Carbon Training Program leveraged partnership networks and national membership to create and promote the program across Canada.