Green Building Sector: A 3.3 billion opportunity for Swiss and European manufacturers

Vancouver set a goal to become the greenest city in the world, aiming to use 100% renewable energy by 2050 with all new buildings producing zero emissions before 2030. Find out more why this poses great market potential for Swiss companies.

On their journey to become the greenest city in the world, the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) has published the Green Buildings Market Forecast. The report points out huge new market opportunities in the green construction sector. The VEC estimates a strong and innovative 3.3 billion market for green building materials in Metropolitan Vancouver until 2032 and provide extensive market information for manufacturers, architects, engineers and developers in segments such as fenestration, insulation, heat recovery ventilators, heat pumps, domestic hot water, and drain water heat recovery. 

While sustainable construction is clearly the future in Western Canada, not all these supplies can be sourced locally yet. Canadian companies have been importing building materials, knowledge and craftsmanship from Switzerland for many years. The construction sector has proven to be particularly open to products, engineering and new technologies from Switzerland and Europe. 

Image: Dan Burton via Unsplash

Passive Houses: Reinventing residential construction in BC 

The forecast also especially points out the demand for Passive Houses and the interest in complete Passive House-certified units to be imported from Europe. But what is a Passive House? The way the houses are built allows for heating and cooling related energy savings of up to 90% compared with typical buildings and over 75% compared with average new buildings. The building heats and cools itself without the need for air conditioning or a furnace thanks to special wood fibre insulation and other high-performance products such as air-tight windows or doors. 

Especially the wood fibre insulation or high-quality fenestration products are currently not an area of expertise in BC and are of great potential for Swiss and other European companies.

Image: Josh Olalde via Unsplash

Swiss pioneers in Western Canada

To put Passive Housing and business opportunities for Swiss construction companies in the spotlight, the Swiss Global Enterprise produced a 20-minute video. The project also involved the work of three members of the Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Marcel Studer, Director of the Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Board Member of Passive House Canada, the SwissReal Group which is also featured in the video as well as the producer and director of the clip, Josias Tschanz.

It documents Swiss (and European) pioneers who impacted the green construction industry in Western Canada significantly. For example the SwissReal Group who developed The Exchange in Vancouver with the vision of being the most sustainable building in Western Canada. They were not only awarded the Leed Platinum Sustainability Designation but also received certification from BC Hydro for using 65% less energy than any other new comparable building.

The video further also portraits Matheo Dürfeld, owner of BC Passive House in Pemberton. The BC Passive House history began for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with the construction of Austria Haus, now known as Lost Lake Passive House. The building was made as a prefabricated panel-system in Austria and set up in Canada. It has been modeled and certified to meet the passive house building standard and was the first Passive House in Canada. BC Passive House has not only accomplished successful residential projects, but they have also built their own industrial factory space with a biomass heating system!

Watch the video now and share your thoughts in the comments!

Join the fact-finding mission

The Swiss Global Enterprise is hosting a business trip for Swiss companies in the construction industry in 2022. Are you interested to learn more about sustainable construction and business opportunities in Canada? Then register now and become part of Canada’s future in construction!


Vancouver Economic Commission

BC Passive House

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