CaGBC studies the zero carbon skills gap for Alberta’s building trades

CaGBC released a new study on June 23, 2020 that looks at the readiness of Alberta’s building trades to meet the demand for zero carbon, high-performance buildings.

In Trading Up: How Alberta’s Trades can Build a Zero Carbon Future, CaGBC explores the following questions: What are the zero carbon skills Alberta’s construction trades need for future jobs, and how can the province’s workforce be upskilled to meet the design, construction and retrofitting, of zero carbon buildings at scale?

As governments look for shovel-worthy projects to help reignite Canada’s post-COVID-19 economy, green building projects are increasingly attractive. However, zero carbon buildings require the construction workforce to adapt, retrain, or upskill.

Like other provinces, Alberta has an opportunity to leverage the growing demand for high-performance, zero carbon buildings to its advantage and create future-proof jobs that will grow the economy and create more resilient communities. With federal commitments to tackle carbon emissions, there’s significant incentive to grow the green building sector. Achieving government carbon reduction targets will require new buildings designed today to set zero carbon emissions as their target and retrofits of existing buildings must also emphasize deep emission reductions.

Building high-performing, zero carbon buildings or retrofitting existing buildings to zero carbon standards requires a combination of technical skills upgrading, market adaptation, and a retooling of mindsets. All are needed if we are to support the workforce transition and meet the industry’s decarbonization targets.

While Alberta has many high-performing buildings, there is still an opportunity for significant growth. To achieve this, industry and governments must understand the necessary conditions and associated training required to build and operate high-performing buildings on a large scale – and with reliable performance.

Trading Up: How Alberta’s Trades can Build a Zero Carbon Future focuses on Alberta, but also builds on other CaGBC research, including Trading Up: Equipping Ontario Trades with the Skills of the Future and Accelerating to Zero: Upskilling for Engineers, Architects, and Renewable Energy Specialists. Together, these works provide a holistic view of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry across Canada.



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CaGBC is the leading national organization dedicated to advancing green building and sustainable community development practices. As the voice of green building in Canada, we work closely with our national…

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CaGBC is the leading national organization dedicated to advancing green building and sustainable community development practices. As the voice of green building in Canada, we work closely with our national…

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