Tower Renewal Blog

TRP launches retrofit research with EU partners

The Tower Renewal Partnership (TRP) has received CMHC support to kick-start a research program with two new research projects: ‘Advancing Building Retrofits’ and ‘Enabling Complete Communities’.

In April, the Federal Government of Canada and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced funding for a TRP research program that includes two research projects. The TRP’s research program will be funded by the Federal Government’s National Housing Strategy, which includes $241 million over 10 years to support research and data on housing needs and conditions, the housing finance system, market stability and housing sector innovation.

Working with Canadian and international partners and building on ongoing research with EU partners of several year, the first project – Advancing Building Retrofits – will examine best practice in addressing technical challenges in achieving high performance retrofits in existing buildings.

In May, to kick off this research, the TRP’s Ya’el Santopinto and Graeme Stewart travelled to Germany to participate in workshops, tours and design sessions with TRP partners Transsolar, local architects and the Passive House Institute. There, they were able to identify key projects to further investigate and make new research contacts. With European innovation leading the global retrofitting industry, it is critical to incorporate this knowledge into the Canadian context.

We are thrilled to add these projects to the TRP’s current research roster, making 2019 our most busy year yet!

Project descriptions are as follows:

Advancing Building Retrofits

Identifying retrofit product gaps: This project seeks to identify and scale cost-effective Canadian solutions for three persistent technical retrofit challenges: addressing thermal bridging; upgrading ventilation systems; and cost-effective and non-combustible building envelopes. The research is focused on the challenges around how to implement specific retrofits in multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) and will consider both the technical solutions (different technologies, materials, etc.) as well as policy solutions (building code updates, incenting development of local technology, etc.)

Enabling Complete Communities: Building Retrofit, Community Investment and Affordable Infill

Identifying policy solutions that deliver community benefits through tower redevelopment projects: This research seeks to to understand current processes and policies in BC and Ontario, and identify the challenges, barriers and opportunities in securing community investment through tower infill redevelopment, including examining how federal investments (NHS) can be leveraged to support broader neighbourhood transformation.

See CMHC’s press release here