As a member of Bow Valley Climate Action, I am writing to encourage the Town of Canmore to construct our new fire hall as a zero-carbon building.
The bulk of Canmore's emissions as a whole come from buildings, and this is an excellent opportunity for the Town to support climate action and set an example for citizens and developers. In addition, there is a strong business case for low-carbon buildings. They may cost five to 15 per cent more to build initially, but once constructed use 80 per cent less energy than a conventional building.
This creates an opportunity to educate the public around the construction and cost-effectiveness of high-efficiency zero carbon buildings.
If this proves to be successful, it will also be an example to the government of Alberta to integrate efficiency standards into the provincial building code.
Building a low- or zero-carbon fire hall makes environmental sense, but like a lot of eco-friendly updates, it makes financial sense as well.
Amy Herr, for Bow Valley Climate Action