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What Are Deep Energy Retrofits?

Pre-fabricated exterior panel being loaded (source)

Tomorrow Foundation for a Sustainable Future wants to help kickstart a critical new climate change initiative in Edmonton. To live up to its international commitments Edmonton needs to drastically reduce our carbon emissions over the next decade, with all buildings within city limits using zero energy (on a net basis) by 2050. And 65% of the buildings that will be standing in 2050 already exist today.

So what will happen to the 200,000+ single family homes in Edmonton that people live in today? Will they be using net zero energy by 2050? How can we affordably make them “2050 ready”?

The answer: deep energy retrofits. There is a new technique emerging out of Europe that involves laser scanning the outside of an old, leaky house, and then building super-insulated exterior panels in a factory. The panels are then fit to the outside of the house.


A crane moves a super-insulated panel into place on the exterior of a building

A crane moves a super-insulated panel into place on the exterior of a building. (source)

Because the panels are fabricated centrally, and the work is done from outside of the house, the process is cheaper and more efficient than traditional renovations.

Deep Energy Retrofit technology is in its infancy in Canada. Tomorrow Foundation is keen to help it proliferate in order to fight climate change and provide lower energy bills and higher comfort for Canadians.

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