Fenestration Canada held its spring meeting virtually this week—just one of many events being canceled this year and moving online due to COVID-19. Though it was not an in-person meeting as planned, attendees were still treated to a variety of educational seminars—and even a trivia night and supplier showcase.

The event’s seminars educated individuals on everything from lean manufacturing (see a future story on dwmmag.com) to sessions centered around energy efficiency and more.

One session centered around British Columbia’s Step Code, which was described as a gradual approach to building codes which takes steps toward achieving net-zero levels of energy usage.

“It’s not a heavy-handed hammer and it relies on voluntary participation from those eager to take part,” said Al Jaugelis, Fenestration Canada technical director.

The session garnered more than a dozen of questions from those listening online via Zoom.

Another seminar related to energy efficiency was, “The Path Forward, Canada’s Green Re-Launch,” presented by Chris Ballard, CEO of Passive House Canada.

“Architects are declaring a climate emergency,” said Ballard. “In Toronto, 52% of emissions come from home and buildings so we are worse than the world average.”

He reminded attendees of the roots for passive house standards, which set specific targets all about comfort, air quality and hygiene. “That’s how it all started,” he said.

“A passive house is 90% more energy efficient than a comparable code-built building and 70% more efficient in retrofits,” he said. “You look at these numbers and you see why builders are looking at this with interest.”

Ballard said these houses require a large project budget for fenestration, so it presents a huge opportunity for door and window manufacturers.

“The amount of glass has shrunk but we can look at this as an opportunity,” he said, then added that these future windows will be triple-glazed and the industry has three choices: ignore; muddle through; or exploit the opportunity.

“The government needs to be a part of the solution for fenestration manufacturers and we need to let them know we are up to this challenge,” said Ballard.

And while the industry is facing the challenges of COVID, Ballard says this presents an opportunity.

“As the country emerges from COVID the government has strongly signaled it will invest in the green economy,” he said. “This recovery will allow decision makers to pivot and meet their environmental goals.”

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