Bannerman Green is more than just the construction of new homes and the retrofitting of satellite properties; it signals a social transformation away from individual carbon-based homes to zero-carbon communities, a transformation that is essential if Canada is to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and contribute to a sustainable future.

In order to further this vision, Bannerman Green applied for and was awarded a grant from the McConnell Foundation, a private Canadian foundation that supports diverse and innovative approaches to address community resilience, reconciliation, and climate change. This grant has allowed us to undertake three initiatives to further our community goals.

Tracking our progress: 30 of the current homes of Bannerman Green members will undergo an energy audit within the next year, assessing air quality, radon levels, humidity, mold, allergens, and comfort levels. Assessors will advise these homeowners of renovations that would increase the efficiency and comfort of their current homes, and of the Canada Greener Home Grants they can access to assist with those renovations, should they choose to do so before selling their homes. Benchmarks will also be established for the residents’ energy and water use, carbon emissions, waste, transportation and food.

After the Bannerman Green Co-op is operational and residents have occupied suites for 6-12 months, another audit will be conducted using the same metrics, to assess the overall impact of the move of these members to the co-op.

Photo of the blower door test that diagnoses how much air is entering and escaping a home.

Telling our story: The McConnell Foundation grant will also assist Bannerman Green in documenting its story. Mindscape Studios has been engaged to produce a video documentary in five chapters: Vision (focusing on the co-op’s commitment to cultural diversity and zero-carbon living), Start-up (looking at the development of the co-op’s structure, funding, committees and mission statement), Design, Construction, and Results. Brochures, posters, and web content will also be produced to inform the wider community about Bannerman Green.

Analyzing results: The McConnell Foundation grant will allow Bannerman Green to analyze and summarize the impact of its efforts to pass third-party evaluation benchmarks established by LEED, Living Building Challenge, Zero Carbon Building, and Passive House.

Our goal is that these initiatives will provide a helpful template to other co-operatives and communities as they transition away from fossil fuels. We’re grateful for the generous support of the McConnell Foundation, as we undertake initiatives that represent our wider vision for community transformation.