Tower Renewal Blog

TRP Launches ‘Retrofits with Residents in Place’ Solutions Lab

The Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal has received CMHC support to explore the challenges of conducting deep energy retrofits in occupied apartment housing and develop tools to help residents, constructors, and owners make retrofit projects a success by minimizing disruption to tenants.

Last Thursday, the Federal Government of Canada and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced $2.2 million in funding for eleven project recipients through the National Housing Strategy (NHS) Solutions Labs Initiative. The NHS Solutions Labs initiative provides housing stakeholders with funding and expert innovation lab consultants to help solve complex housing problems using innovative methods and tools.

The retrofit industry is still developing in Canada, and as it matures, will require new knowledge, skills, strategies and specialized products to effectively carry out projects in occupied apartments. As Canada’s housing stock continues to age, retrofits are becoming increasingly common — but these projects are complex and can be disruptive. Successful retrofit projects require skilled engagement, communication, and means and methods not currently used in the Canadian industry to avoid undue disruption to tenants.

Through this solutions lab, residents and constructors, along with industry and tenant advocacy partners, will identify and co-create solutions to make retrofits in occupied apartments easier, faster, cheaper, and less disruptive, while maximizing benefits to tenants. The results will include a field guide and training module that will provide a roadmap for constructors and owners who want to undertake improved and de-risked retrofit projects.

Co-contributors and partners include ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), United Way, Transsolar, British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Zero Energy Buildings Learning Centre (ZEBLC), NAIMA Canada (North American Insulation Manufacturers Association), and the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations (CFAA). CUG+R will be working with a consultant group made up of MaRs Solutions Lab, Evergreen and The Natural Step, who are Solutions Lab specialists.

We are very excited to begin this important work!

See CMHC’s Press Release