Net-Zero Energy and Carbon Building Design: Feasibility in Northern Canada and Alaska


What This Presentation Covers:

The challenges presented by climate change are unprecedented and have propelled governments to introduce new legislation aimed at greatly reducing energy and carbon usage in the building sector. In an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change, the Government of Canada has committed to net-zero emissions by 2050. But what does this actually mean and how do we design buildings for it? In this presentation, Robin Urquhart will first unpack key terminology such as net-zero energy, net-zero carbon, net-zero emissions, and net-zero operational carbon by providing definitions and design considerations. Then, using the most recent research and energy modeling, he will assess the feasibility and practical limitations of net-zero building design in Northern Canada and Alaska (north of 60° latitude). Robin will also highlight case studies of residential and commercial buildings with emphasis on the magnified challenges of extreme cold climates and remote locations.

 You'll Learn About:

  • Defining key net-zero building design terminology.           
  • Comparing net-zero building design standards.
  • Identifying challenges and opportunities for net-zero design in various locations within northern climates.                
  • Understanding approaches for net-zero design for new building projects.
  • Understanding the regulatory landscape in Canada for net-zero design. 


  • Format: 1 hour recording and quiz. Downloadable slides are included.
  • Audience: This session will be of interest to architects, building science engineers, project managers, federal government department heads, energy advisors, energy modelers, and home builders.

Continuing Education Credits: 

About Building Science Live - On Demand:

Building Science Live On-Demand is a series of pre-recorded webinar events delivered by RDH's building science specialists. A new topic is explored during each session with topics ranging from building science fundamentals to high-performance design. View more Building Science Live On-Demand learning opportunities here.