Oct 2020 Decarb Lunch:Orion – A Cost-Effective, Healthy, Near-Zero Emissions Multi-Unit Residential Building

BC Energy Step Code Airtightness Testing for Part 3 Buildings
October 27, 2020
CleanBC NZER Challenge Workshops Series: High-Performance Prefabrication
October 30, 2020

Orion: A Cost-Effective, Healthy, Near-Zero Emissions Multi-Unit Residential Building

Past Event: Oct 30 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Orion is a 45-unit residential building in Pemberton, British Columbia is expected to exceeded the energy efficiency requirements set for its region and meet Step 4, the highest level of the BC Energy Step Code. Completed and occupied since April 2020, Orion is designed with an envelope-first approach and offers a healthy and comfortable space for its residents, while maintaining the construction cost below the market rate. 

Join us as the project team discusses practical solutions and strategies implemented during design and construction to deliver this affordable, sustainable, low-carbon, building. The Innovation Building Group and HVAC System consultants will provide a detailed look into the HVAC system and the key energy efficiency features that kept cost at the same level or below equivalent conventional code-compliant buildings, giving it a competitive advantage.

Since Orion has been fully occupied since April 2020, and key energy performance data has been monitored by researchers at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, participants will also get a rare chance to learn about the monitoring set up and energy performance data collected in the building.   

The new fire hall is the first in North America to pursue Passive House certification. The project is also pursuing LEED v4 Gold and Zero Carbon Building Standard certifications. To achieve these low carbon and low energy performance targets, design strategies include an optimized orientation to benefit from local climate conditions, an airtight envelope, efficient air and water heat recovery systems, a low carbon mechanical system that utilizes a geo-exchange field with ground source heat pumps, and an on-site solar PV array.


Edward Lau, P.Eng

Edward Lau is a Professional Engineer that has been working in the glazing industry as a consultant for more than 5 years. He recently graduated from the Building Science M.Eng program at BCIT and has conducted energy modelling research with Dr. Fitsum Tariku on the Orion project.

Fitsum Tariku, Ph.D. (Building Engineering), Director, Canada Research Chair in Whole-Building Performance

Dr. Fitsum Tariku is the Director of the Building Science Centre of Excellence and the Building Science Graduate Program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). He is a Canada Research Chair in Whole-Building Performance and an adjunct research professor at Western University. Dr. Tariku’s research areas include advanced and sustainable building materials, high-performance building envelope systems, whole-building performance optimization, and building integrated solar technologies.

Jeevan Thaker, President – HVAC Systems & Solutions Ltd

Jeevan has more than 20 years of executive, business development and operational experience in the HVAC Industry. He was educated at BCIT in the Mechanical Systems Program. Jeevan’s experience also includes construction management, marketing and operational leadership roles where he has previously and currently manages.

Rod Nadeau, Managing Partner – Vidorra Developments Ltd/Innovation Building Group

Rod Nadeau is one of the Principals of IBG, has worked in the development and construction industry since 1979. Rod has a Bachelor of Business Administration and Accounting from Concordia, is the founding President of the Sea to Sky Chapter of the CHBA, has been involved in the R2000 program building several demonstration homes including an EnviroHome and an R2000 MURB in 2003, a member of the BC CHBA team that developed Built Green BC.  Rod oversees all the design and construction details and consultants to produce the high-performance standards the company is known for.