In October, 2014 the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and the High Commission of Canada in London announced the Canada Innovation Competition for 2015. The competition aimed to find new and innovative products/services from Canada to meet current and emerging challenges in the UK green building and sustainable design sector.
Entering into its 2nd year, the Competition is run in collaboration with the Canada Green Building Council and the Canada UK Sustainable Building Network (www.cuksbn.org). In the UK this is supported by Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency working in the Built Environment.
The competition was established to seek market ready or near to market innovations from Canadian companies that address the following challenges in the UK market, providing innovative solutions in terms of both construction and process.
‘Zero Carbon’ Standard – By 2016, green building will be an obligation in the UK when all new domestic buildings must meet a ‘zero carbon’ standard, extending to all new buildings by 2019.
Housing Shortage – The UK projects a shortage of a 1 million homes by 2021. New and modern methods of construction is in demand which speed up construction, improve quality and performance as well as increase profitability. A rapidly emerging priority for innovation is the need to lift the focus from individual buildings to groups of buildings and ultimately cities.
High Rise construction – To assist in meeting the housing shortage the UK has begun to build vertically. With urban land in short supply developers are building more high rises with over 200 in in development across the UK.
Process innovation – the demands placed on the industry through increased legislation, performance requirements, labour shortages and resource restrictions necessitate a step change in the process for delivery of buildings. Underpinned by government policy innovative solutions are required to reduce build times and costs; improve predictability, precision and quality; and deliver high carbon efficiency
Government assistance programs – To assist in meeting policy objectives the UK government facilitates energy efficiency through the following programs:
- The Green Deal – Launched in October 2012, the ‘Green Deal’ will overhaul the UK’s entire building stock by driving through C$22bn in energy efficiency measures over ten years increasing this market tenfold instantly
- Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – RHI is a world-first government financial incentive scheme designed to increase the uptake of renewable heat technologies and reduce carbon emissions
- Feed In Tariff (FIT) – Feed-In Tariffs were introduced on 1 April 2010 and replaced UK government grants as the main financial incentive to encourage uptake of renewable electricity-generating technologies.
- Energy Company obligation (ECO) provides funding to improve energy efficiency in difficult to treat housing and the homes of ‘those most in need’.
Resource efficiency – With legislative requirements for conservation of water and waste, the UK represents an ideal market for innovation in these sectors. Water conservation is a key component in the UK’s governments drive for sustainability with water use in the home accounting for 5.5% of UK emissions. Waste diversion and reuse/recycling programs are deeply embedded into legislation and present a significant opportunity for new product development.
Entries for the Competition closed on January 30th, 2015.