Building innovation: Province invests $8M into 21 construction tech projects

Eleven of the 21 funded projects are being developed by companies in the Lower Mainland including Nexii, OPEN Green Building Society and Northern Metrics Inc.

The BC government has invested $8 million into 21 companies and projects aimed at reducing building energy costs and pollution with innovative technologies.

From the CleanBC Building Innovation (CBBI) Fund, the province awarded up to $1 million to building projects and programs that accelerate the availability and affordability of low-carbon building solutions. This includes advanced building designs like Passive Houses, new construction methods like the use of low-embodied-carbon mass timber and ultra-efficient building components like heat and energy recovery ventilators.

What’s being funded?

The CBBI Fund provides funding to promote building sector innovation in four separate streams: material component and system manufacturing, digital technology solutions, demonstration projects and open call for innovations. Projects in each stream can receive up to $1,000,000, $500,000, $250,000 and $500,000 respectively.

Eleven of the 21 building projects funded throughout the province are being developed by innovative companies in the Lower Mainland. An example is a joint project between the Tseil-Waututh Nation and Darwin Properties in North Vancouver. The CBBI Fund is providing $230,000 toward the construction of two new commercial buildings with mass timber post-and-beam hybrid components, and electric space-heating systems.

“These projects are great examples of how homegrown innovation and technology are putting us on the path to a cleaner, better future,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Through the Building Innovation Fund, we are investing in projects that showcase British Columbian expertise, reduce pollution, increase energy efficiency and stimulate local economies.”

Who’s being funded? Five sample projects.

Building Transparency Org. received $460,000 to develop software that integrates environmental product and material data (e.g. embodied emissions) with existing Building Information Model (BIM) tools that are widely used by building professionals.

Northern Metrics Inc. received $200,000 to develop software that uses HVAC modelling and machine learning to improve retro-commissioning and optimize retrofits in commercial buildings.

OPEN Green Building Society received $425,000 for the Building Benchmark BC (BBBC) program--a pilot program to demonstrate the value of building energy benchmarking and disclosure in 12 local government jurisdictions.

StructureCraft Ltd. received $380,000 to develop a software platform for designing, engineering, fabricating and installing mass timber structures.

NEXII Building Solutions received $300,000 for product commercialization and plant expansion for a prefabricated, energy efficient external envelope solution used in building retrofits.

The complete list of funded projects is on the Province of BC website.

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