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Melcom News

Calgary Ranked World's Third Most Livable City By Economist
Intelligence Unit

/ June 23, 2022 / Published by Calgary Economic Development

Calgary has risen to third, our highest ever ranking, in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) annual list of the world’s most livable cities.

 

The annual rankings were released today by the widely respected organization with Calgary as the top city in North America and tied with Zurich, Switzerland for third in the global rankings after first-place Vienna, Austria and Copenhagen, Denmark. 

The EIU says its Livability Survey quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle in 173 cites worldwide. 

City View
 

Cities are rated from 1 to 100 in six categories: Stability, Healthcare, Culture, Environment, Education and Infrastructure. Calgary, which has regularly been among the Top 10 in the EIU rankings since 2008, received top marks for Culture, Environment and Education.  

“More Calgarians are telling the story of their city, and people are taking notice,” said Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “Our climb in the rankings for Most Livable City reflects the welcoming nature of our city, its affordability and the opportunity offered to entrepreneurs. We are exuding optimism and inviting people to join us in shaping our future.” 

The Economist Intelligence Unit is the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper.  

“An important aspect of the rankings is the focus on livability for all citizens given economic challenges and it continues to be a focus for Calgary,” said Brad Parry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Calgary Economic Development. “This ranking is an acknowledgment Calgary is a great city for people to make a living and a life as we help solve global challenges.” 

The rankings align with a broader vision of prosperity championed by Calgary Economic Development to include success for individuals, businesses and the overall community and it reveals the city’s underlying strengths provide a solid foundation for the future.  

This ranking has received wide-spread media coverage highlighting the world's most livable cities for 2022.

The value of Energy Star certification for highrise homes

/ June 17, 2022 / Published by Building Excellence

Collectively, heating, cooling and operating the lights and other fixtures in all the homes across the country are one of Canada’s largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. This is why it’s important to reduce household energy consumption. To date, most efforts have focused on retrofitting existing single-family homes or building efficient new homes.

Residential Buildings with Solar Panels

But there’s a pilot program in Ontario that’s focused on achieving those goals for multifamily high-rise buildings. Energy Star’s Multifamily High-Rise (New Construction) certification provides the guidance to help builders and developers meet or exceed the 2017 Ontario Building Code’s energy reduction requirements by at least 15 per cent. This is the first program in the country to explore an efficiency standard for high-rise multifamily residential buildings. (CHBA was involved in initiating the pilot project and the early phases of developing it before EnerQuality, the organization that coordinates Energy Star programs in Canada, took the lead on the program.)

These goals are met by incorporating a variety of energy savings components including high-performance windows and exterior doors, higher-than-code levels of insulation, improved airtightness, efficient HVAC systems, and the use of Energy Star certified lighting and appliances. “It’s a performance-based metric, so it gives builders a lot of flexibility,” says Monica Curtis, EnerQuality’s newly appointed president and CEO.

Completion of the program is a three-step process: Enroll, submit a design and then submit as-built documents which are reviewed by EnerQuality to complete quality assurance before certifying the building.

Vince Molinaro, president of the Molinaro Group, which are CHBA members in West End Home Builders’ Association, was not only one of the first builders to sign on, he served on the steering committee that developed the program.

“We’ve always tried to build sustainably. It’s good for the environment, and the quality of life for the people living there,” says Molinaro. Prior projects include its geothermally heated and cooled Strata and the LEED Silver Paradigm, both located in Burlington, Ont. Participating in the pilot project was an obvious next step. “It’s about us getting ahead of the [building] code. And we think it’s a great way to get other builders excited,” says Molinaro.

Alberta renewable energy surge could power 4,500 jobs

/ June 14, 2022 / By Drew Anderson / Published by The Narwhal

Alberta has seen a massive increase in corporate investment in renewable energy since 2019, and capacity from those deals is set to increase output by two gigawatts —  enough to power roughly 1.5 million homes. 

Solar Panels on Roof

“Our analysis shows $3.7 billion worth of renewables construction by 2023 and 4,500 jobs,” Nagwan Al-Guneid, the director of Business Renewables Centre Canada, says. 

The centre is an initiative of the environmental think tank Pembina Institute and provides education and guidance for companies looking to invest in renewable energy or energy offsets across Canada. Its membership is made up of renewable energy companies.

The addition of two gigawatts is over two times the amount of renewable energy added to the grid between 2010 and 2017, according to the Canadian Energy Regulator

This is driven directly by what we call power purchase agreements,” Al-Guneid says. “We have companies from across the country coming to Alberta.”

So far this year, 191 megawatts of renewable energy will be added through purchase agreements, according to the Business Renewables Centre. 

Alberta’s electricity system is unique in Canada — an open market where companies can ink deals directly with private power producers to buy a set amount of electricity produced each year, either for use or for offset credits. The financial security provided by those contracts helps producers build out more renewable projects without market risks. Purchasers get cheap renewable energy or credits to meet internal or external emissions goals. 

It differs from other provinces where there is a monopoly, often government-owned, on power supply. 

In those provinces, investment in renewables largely depends on whether the company with the monopoly is in a buying mood, says Blake Shaffer, an economics professor at the University of Calgary who studies electricity markets. 

Dr. Martha Hart and Oje Hart show their support towards Melcom
Homes at Calgary's 4th St Lilac Festival event!

/ June 6, 2022

There were hundreds of people who came out to attend the Lilac Festival this past Sunday. It was a great opportunity for us, members of the Melcom Homes team and even acquaintances to come together and enjoy the festivities.

Dr Martha Hart, Oje Hart, Melcom Homes
Melcom Homes Team
Melcom Homes, Lilac Festival

We want to take the chance to say a very special thank you to Dr Martha Hart and Oje Hart from the Owen Hart Foundation. They came out to our booth, talked to us about some of our previous work and even took a look at some our newest projects that are underway. We are very thankful for all of their support and happy that we could provide them with information about our current products within the community. Melcom Homes is proud to announce we will be sponsoring the Owen Hart Foundation's  "An Intimate Evening with Sarah McLaughlan" event in October. 

It was people like Oje Hart and Dr Martha Hart who made our first ever Lilac Festival event so memorable. We may not have been the only booth there, but seeing a familiar face from the community made us feel like we were special. We would like to thank everyone who stopped by our booth and made the event a huge success. We hope that you enjoyed the company's activities and entertainment, as well as the unique eco-friendly projects that we featured. This was the first of many events that we intend to attend during this warm summer season. If you have any questions about the events or projects, or even if you simply wish to get in touch with us for any other reason, please do not hesitate to send us an email info@melcomhomes.com.

/ March 3, 2022 / Published By Carbon Grief

How do heat pumps work?

Experts see heat pumps as one of the main solutions for tackling the carbon emissions associated with keeping buildings warm, both in the UK and internationally. Yet sales of the technology, often likened to a fridge running in reverse, have remained stubbornly low in many countries.

The latest figures, collated in this article for Carbon Brief, show the tides beginning to turn, with sales in 2021 seeing double-digit growth in countries ranging from Austria to China.

While rapid growth in the market seems assured, heat pumps might still fall short of the levels required for a global pathway to net-zero by 2050, without further government action.

Highly efficient

Heat pumps are a low-carbon heating technology with the potential to deliver large-scale reductions in carbon emissions from building heat. 

They use electricity to move heat from ambient outside air, water or soil to a building’s interior and to heat water. This process is highly efficient, with heat pumps delivering three to four units of heat for each unit of electricity needed to run them.

When the electricity used to drive a heat pump is produced from low-carbon sources, all this heat is also low carbon. It is this simple capacity to deliver heat very efficiently and cleanly that makes heat pumps a key technology in most pathways to net-zero.

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) pathway to net-zero by 2050, for example, includes 1.8bn heat pumps in buildings in 2050 providing 55% of energy demand for heating globally. This compares with just 180m units installed today, providing 7% of heating.

Similarly in the UK, the most cost-effective Climate Change Committee (CCC) “balanced” pathway to net-zero sees the majority of homes being heated with heat pumps by 2050.

Until recently, however, the heat pump market has been growing far more slowly than required in the IEA or CCC scenarios. This is evident from the IEA’s global heat pump stock figures in the chart below, which shows that at current trends only 253m heat pumps would be installed globally by 2030, compared with the 600m units needed by that year in the IEA’s net-zero scenario – a shortfall of 58%.

How heat pump sales are starting to take off around the world.