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September 22, 2020

Reframed Initiative: Next-Generation Retrofit Solutions

Reframed Initiative: Next-Generation Retrofit Solutions

Most of our homes were designed for the past—not for the climate and energy reality we’re facing. Finding an effective, commercially viable retrofit solution that meets our climate, well-being, and equitable-housing needs will unlock a massive market opportunity. The Reframed Initiative—a joint effort by the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, the city of Vancouver, and the Pembina Institute—aims to facilitate unlocking this opportunity. The goal of Reframed is to demonstrate next-generation retrofit solutions that could be delivered at scale and meet three key social objectives: reduce carbon pollution, improve climate and seismic resiliency, and enhance occupant well-being.

Upgrading housing is complicated and often costly. To scale up deep retrofits, we need to integrate retrofit solutions into packages that are easier to procure, finance, permit, and operate. Reframed is bringing together the construction industry, building owners, policy makers, and the financial sector to scale up deep retrofits by demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of whole-building retrofit solutions that integrate energy efficiency, decarbonization, seismic safety, and climate adaptation.

This fall, the Reframed Initiative and BC Housing are teaming up to commission deep-retrofit designs for up to five multiunit residential buildings. Multidisciplinary teams will participate in a six-month exploration lab to develop schematic designs for deep-retrofit solutions for low-rise residential buildings in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and/or the Victoria area. Each team will tackle a specific building, with support from its peers and experts on climate change, energy, and health. In parallel, a working group will focus on developing the business case for such retrofit solutions; draw on what the teams have learned; and engage with housing providers, insurers, financiers, and regulators.

A request for proposals (RFP) to participate in the Reframed Lab will be issued in fall 2020. We encourage interested parties to visit https://reframedinitiative.org/lab/ and register as a solution provider to receive notifications regarding the issuance of the RFP and to signal interest in joining an integrated design team. Registrants will need to provide contact information and indicate their proposed role on a team. Specialty areas needed for integrated design teams could include building science; envelope; mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering; architecture; energy modeling and data capture; and monitoring and building controls. Teams may also include suppliers, manufacturers, fabricators, builders, contractors, and retrofitters. 

The list of the registered solution providers will be published on Reframed Initiative’s website to facilitate team formation and engagement prior to the closing of the RFP process. Selected teams may also be retained for the detailed design and construction phases of the demonstration projects.

Author

Ghazal Ebrahimi

Ghazal Ebrahimi is a senior analyst in Buildings and Urban Solutions at the Pembina Institute.

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