Happy budget day!
Housing has largely been immune from the ravages of globalization. And with good reason – importing housing from other countries is not feasible.
While the design and construction of new housing shall remain homegrown, that doesn’t mean innovative developments from other jurisdictions can’t be adopted. Take off-site panelized construction, which is thriving in the United Kingdom, driven by the need to improve safety, quality and building performance.
It is already being implemented here in the early stages but I believe it will expand rapidly, providing government gets with the program.
Why? Consider these two points: First, panelized housing with conventional roofs requires only 38% of the on-site labour compared to conventional stick-built framing, according to one major report. Second, the carbon footprint of panelized housing is roughly half that of stick. That’s important for Ontario builders because of the provincial government’s intention to impose a carbon tax.
Significant investments need to be made to get this moving in the right direction. Regulators should think seriously about how they can encourage this process.
Speaking of advances in construction, in this newsletter, you’ll find my column in the Toronto Sun on building information modelling (BIM); an article on CANCEA's housing affordability index in Dialogue magazine; CondoBusiness’s and CondoLife’s articles on the intensification report based on independent research by the Consumer Council of Canada that we financed to give consumers a voice; Michael Steele’s Tech Corner blog; and the latest report by the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) called “Creating an Effective Canadian Infrastructure Bank.”
Enjoy the newsletter!