Canada is on the edge of a building boom. With our housing stock already severely strained, we’ll soon need to find a way to accommodate a record surge in new Canadians. That’ll mean building nearly six million new homes, according to a new report by RBC Economics.
“Constructing these homes sustainably—as we must if we are to hit our climate targets—brings with it economic opportunity. Canada can lead North America’s construction sector into a new greener era, one defined by novel building materials, smart building systems and the rapid deployment of low-carbon heating and cooling. In addition to the buildings themselves, we’ll need to construct new supply chains, skilled workforces and critically a retrofit economy to support the transition,” said the report.
“By 2030, Canada will need 5.8 million new houses—a 40 per cent increase—as the current housing affordability crisis and immigration boom accelerate demand. If built with current practices and prevailing codes, these structures will add up to 18 MT (million tonnes) of greenhouse gas emissions to our carbon footprint annually. Emissions from production of the cement and steel used to build them will add even more. Canada’s existing buildings are already among our biggest emitters, releasing some 90 MT of greenhouse gases annually.
(Mario Toneguzzi is Managing Editor of Canada’s Podcast. He has more than 40 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald, covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He works as well as a freelance writer for several national publications and as a consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named in 2021 as one of the Top 10 Business Journalists in the World by PR News – the only Canadian to make the list)
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