Advancing the market for green building technologies in B.C. using a data-based model and stakeholder engagement - BC-412

Preferred Disciplines: Business Administration, Public Policy, Economics, Engineering with a focus on buildings (Masters or PhD) / Post doc with focus on green building innovation; climate change policy; business and sustainability; economics; or similar
Project length: 1 year (3 units)
Approx. start date: February 2019
Location: Vancouver, BC
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: None
Company: Vancouver Economic Commission

About Company:

VEC works to position Vancouver as a global leader for innovative, creative and sustainable business.

VEC engages directly with entrepreneurs, investors, SMEs, global enterprises and a wide range of community stakeholders – including elected officials, departments of all levels of government, industry associations and educational institutions. By staying connected, informed and agile, we’re able to recognize trends and constraints in Vancouver’s green economy.

Vancouver consistently ranks among the greenest cities in the world, driven largely by its innovative policies, environmental ethos, and entrepreneurial culture. Top growth sectors in the green economy over the past eight years have been green buildings, cleantech and materials management.

Summary of Project:

VEC is seeking to work with a stellar graduate student or post doc to advance the market for green building technologies in British Columbia. The selected candidate will use a data-based model created by the VEC (the Product Demand Forecasting Tool), as well as direct engagement with stakeholders such as green building product manufacturers and suppliers; government and public-sector agencies; industry associations; and trade and investment representatives.

VEC has created a Green Building Economic Development Strategy for the Metro Vancouver region using data from our own Product Demand Forecasting Tool and a comprehensive supply chain analysis. The strategy has wide industry and government support and was created with input from an advisory group including the Province of B.C., the City of Vancouver, BC Hydro, CMHC, Natural Resource Canada, BC Housing, and private sector partners such as the Canada Green Building Council, Ledcor Construction, Perkins and Will Architecture, Cascadia Windows and Doors manufacturers and Integral Mechanical Engineering Group.

VEC is looking for a motivated and personable graduate student or post-doc with professional experience to deliver on key actions in the strategy, including:

  • Evaluate, optimize and evolve the Product Demand Forecasting Tool
    • Collect and update economic inputs for the tool to ensure latest forecasts for green building product demand
    • Provide input and guidance for the development of a web-based version of the tool
  • Advance local cluster development for the Green Building sector: Convene a local community of manufacturers, R+D centres, real estate developers and others to identify how to support green building manufacturers with expansion and retooling to ensure they can keep pace with growing demand and produce high performing building products
  • Advance trade and investment activities
    • Convene a community of local manufacturers and suppliers to identify opportunities for international partnerships and gather data for focused business cases
    • Conduct outreach to key international markets, e.g. liaise with Trade Commissioners and BC Government Trade Representatives, and develop contact databases for potential partners and investors to connect to local partners
    • Help shape agenda for a transactions-focused business to business CaGBC conference event, to stimulate local and international partnerships and technology transfer agreements
    • Collaborate with industry and government partners on Export Promotion activities for the green building sector (e.g. help construct and deliver a survey; evaluate results; identify trade shows to attend and support)
  • Disseminate the data 
    • Maintain a wide network to ensure the data is shared widely with relevant stakeholders including trade and investment stakeholders, industry professionals and manufacturers/suppliers of green building products
    • Create, update and deliver promotional and presentation materials
  • Manage important stakeholder relationships: Create and manage a detailed database of green building sector companies and industry and government contacts
  • Provide feedback to optimize this novel data-driven approach to assessing green economic development initiatives.

Research Objectives/Sub-Objectives:

  • Advance the market for green building products in B.C.
  • Use relationships to drive R+D and innovation in the green buildings sector in B.C.
  • Evaluate, optimize and evolve the approach and the model


    • Collecting and updating data related to: population growth; construction starts; and adoption rates for the B.C. Energy Step Code
    • Facilitating stakeholder roundtables (design and format of the roundtables; documentation of outcomes; follow up with attendees on action items)
    • Collecting data to inform business plans and investment attraction materials
    • Creating and managing a database of green building contacts and status within VEC’s CRM tool (Salesforce)
    • Designing and administering a survey; evaluating results
    • Work cross functionally with other VEC staff including Marketing team in delivery of event management and logistics, design of surveys etc.
    • Schedule and organize meetings, roundtables, seminars and other events as necessary
    • Contribute to other VEC publications including the quarterly newsletter

    Expertise and Skills Needed:

    • Excellent writing, presentation and communication skills with a demonstrated understanding of green buildings
    • Demonstrated interest or expertise in building product development and R+D; trade and investment; workshop facilitation
    • Familiarity with web development and software projects (non-technical)
    • Ability to translate technical information and convey complex ideas to non-specialist or non-academic audience
    • Independent work ethic with excellent time management skills and adherence to deadlines
    • Good network within green buildings sector; manufacturing; R+D; trade
    • Ability to identify and apply for funding opportunities and scope projects appropriately
    • Ability to synthesize a broad and complex landscape of changing business sector priorities, partnership opportunities and other local dimensions to define a clear path to action
    • Collaborative work ethic and ability to work cross functionally on delivery of projects including scheduling workloads with other VEC staff
    • Able to contribute to an energizing and empowering work environment where people are engaged
    • Able to promote a culture of broad thinking and frank discussion, welcoming input into the decision-making process, and building on others' ideas
    • Understanding of the highest level of brand quality in all public documents
    • Holding highest standards of ethical integrity, transparency and fairness

    For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

    1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
    2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform