Sustainable BIZ Canada | June 7, 2024

Responsible Buildings Pact will focus on concrete as its first material to pilot

The Climate Smart Buildings Alliance (CSBA), led by Royal Bank of Canada, Mattamy Homes and EllisDon, has unveiled an initiative that will have its members pilot the adoption of low-carbon building materials, starting with concrete.

The Responsible Buildings Pact was announced at the Canada Green Building Council’s Building Lasting Change conference in Toronto on Wednesday. Participants include developers Mattamy, Daniels and Northcrest Developments; consultants Dialogue and RJC Engineers; and contractors EllisDon and Aecon.

Currently made up of 23 developers, consultants, contractors and supporters, the voluntary group will share best practices and learn from the experience.

“How do we get more conversations happening up and down that value chain? How do we get to a place where everyone thinks it’s their job on a particular project, because building’s a team sport, so we need to get to a place where shared accountability across all the actors in that project towards reducing the embodied footprint of that building,” David Messer, director of CSBA, told Sustainable Biz Canada in an interview at the event.

Residential developer Mattamy hopes the pact will stimulate demand for sustainable materials, shifting from a premium product to a mainstream offering, Phillip Santana, Mattamy’s director of sustainability, said in an interview.

The CSBA, founded in 2023, is an industry organization aiming to push the building industry to net-zero by assembling companies from the development, contracting and financing sectors. CSBA is also addressing electrification, and net-zero buildings and retrofits.

Goals of the Responsible Buildings Pact

Embodied carbon, which originates from a building’s materials, is a major source of climate-warming pollution. Lower-carbon alternatives to materials such as cement and steel are being explored by companies to reduce their climate impact.

The pact’s goal is to increase the adoption of low-carbon materials in the built environment.

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