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In Canada, the building industry produces 35% of the waste that heads to the landfill. Worldwide, the building industry consumes more than half of the world’s physical resources, and accounts for up to 40% of the world’s energy use.
Environmental performance is often seen as an expensive, non-essential feature to affordable housing solutions. Yet, when considering broader implications of sustainability and livability, integrating environmental performance into affordable housing makes sense. Over the next number of months, our team at Intelligent Futures will be exploring the following question:
How can environmental performance be fundamentally integrated into the economic model of affordable housing projects in order to enhance the long-term livability and viability of projects?
This question is guiding the Better Housing Lab, a Solutions Lab that is funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The CMHC Solutions Lab program is intended to be a catalyst for driving action and innovation in the affordable housing sector.
Our team initiated this lab alongside Attainable Homes Calgary, Alberta EcoTrust the City of Calgary Affordable Housing Division and Dr. Sasha Tsenkova of the University of Calgary.
For the rest of 2020, the podcast will be focussed on all things related to the challenge question of our Solutions Lab. The episodes will explore the variety of factors that influence affordable housing, economics, environmental performance and livability and will also serve as homework for the dozens of folks who are participating in the Solutions Lab process.
Today, you’ll learn about two organizations who provide affordable housing at different points on the housing continuum: Catalyst Community Developments Society and Attainable Homes Calgary.