Students and government officials were on-hand at BCIT in Burnaby on Friday to showcase technology that will be used in the CleanBC Government Buildings Program.

The program plans to retrofit over 1,000 government facilities with aims of cutting building emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

“We are backing this with an investment $58 million over the next 5 years,” said B.C.'s Minister of Citizens’ Services Jinny Sims.

The program will focus on energy retrofits, switching from fossil fuel to clean energy sources, the use of smart building technologies and installation of electric vehicle charging stations in courthouses, correctional facilities, warehouses and other government buildings throughout the province.

Government statistics reveal the targeted buildings account for about eight per cent of total provincial public sector emissions. 

“We will use renewable energy, green design, smart building technology, electric vehicle charging stations and energy retrofits to transform our buildings,” Sims added.

Those new technologies are being developed and tested at BCIT’s Performance Building Lab, a one-of-a-kind facility in Canada which provides hands-on training to develop expertise in construction techniques and the testing of those skills to achieve zero emission buildings.

Mary McWilliam, project manager of the Zero Energy Building Learning Centre said the skilled application of these technologies is integral to reducing carbon footprints, reducing energy costs and total life cycle costs of buildings. 

According to government statistics, energy retrofits generally result in a 25 per cent energy saving. 

CleanBC Efficiency Rebates are also available for people and businesses to improve their homes and buildings by installing new heating and cooling systems, upgrade major appliances, improve insulation and complete BC Hydro energy-saving evaluations.