RAIC wary of government’s mixed messages

OTTAWA – The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has criticized the federal government for issuing announcements about promoting and funding energy efficiency, while quietly cutting programs. As evidence, RAIC points to the announcement on the Natural Resources Canada website on Jan. 21 indicating that all funding for the Commercial Building Incentive Program (CBIP) for new buildings has been withdrawn.

“A radical statement so early in the year. Even more stunning considering recent announcements,” said RAIC president Vivian Manasc. “Canada’s architects are disappointed. The built environment accounts for almost half of all greenhouse gas emissions. Considering that architects across Canada have between $40- to $50-billion worth of projects ‘on the boards,’ and that buildings last for 50 to 100 years, the government’s lack of real commitment is appalling. We think it is time they got serious and raised rather than eliminated incentives to increasing energy efficiency.”

Buildings can be designed to operate with far less energy than today’s average at little or no additional cost. This is accomplished through natural lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation, and also proper siting, building form, glass properties and window location, and material selection, RAIC said.

RAIC, established in 1907, is the national association for architecture practice in Canada. Representing more than 3,500 architects, RAIC provides the framework for the development and recognition of architectural excellence.

For more information www.raic.org.

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