Vital Engineering Corporation
#223, 52 Sioux Rd.
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
T8A 4X1

P. (780) 416.8336
F. (780) 416.8620

Can Buildings Save the World?

APRIL 13 | 2010 | 2:45 PM


Canadian Consulting Engineer has been keeping track of the building design and construction industry since it began publishing in 1959.  A recent article called Can Buildings Save the World? draws attention to the need to improve standards of design and construction and increase the energy efficiency of existing buildings.  The American Society of Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has long been referred to for its best-practice criteria, which typically forms the backbone of any regional building codes.  The ASHRAE 90.1 standard is also the basis for LEED certification.  Vital Engineering has trained its staff in applying these standards and currently has five LEED Accredited Professionals working on energy efficient designs.

We are also working closely with Alberta Environment's Quantification Protocol for Energy Efficiency in Commercial and Institutional Buildings.  This critical document is currently in final review phase and will define the criteria for measuring and verifying the energy performance of an existing or new building.  This can be used to justify the sale of carbon-offset credits.  Advanced energy design will require both incentives such as offset accreditation and updates to the building code to raise the bar of the lowest performers.

Vital Engineering is currently building capacity to provide carbon offset verification services.  We have been providing our comments in the development of the Quantification Protocol.  We want to ensure it will meet the mandate of Alberta Environment to reduce the release of greenhouse gases in Alberta through a market-based system. Internally we have been working on measures to ensure compliance with Alberta Environment's Offset Credit Verification Guidance Document. We will be able to either establish the quantification program needed to track performance of carbon offsets, or provide an official level of assurance of carbon offsets that can be registered for sale in Alberta's legislated carbon market. The Guidance Document and Quantification Protocol require that a separate third-party perform each task. We have full confidence that the Protocol will benefit Albertan's and that we can provide the assurance that our clients need to receive economic compensation.

We will be announcing further developments as we build our capacity and as key developments happen. 

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