Smart design is good for everyone; our clients, the people in our communities, and ultimately, the environment. That’s why we plan and deliver projects to meet or exceed the highest environmental standards and constantly seek to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Resilience is incorporated into our designs to better manage potential climate events, and aligning with this philosophy, we have implemented a Sustainability, Environmental and Climate Action Policy.

Sustainable design principles are integral to IBI’s vision for smart cities, and for providing healthy, long-lasting communities for future generations. Careful consideration is given to all of the unique physical and digital aspects of a project – from the soil, water and bedrock geology, to its plants, people and future uses – all of which are balanced by consideration for the consequences of technologies being deployed and their carbon footprints, both locally and globally.


Approximately 25% of IBI’s registered architects, engineers, landscape architects and planners are LEED-accredited* professionals

*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a green building certification program used worldwide.

Leaders in Passive House Design

Derived from the German “Passivhaus”, a passive house is a voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building which reduces its ecological footprint. Passive house buildings consume up to 90% less heating and cooling energy than conventional buildings1. The passive house high-performance building standard is the only internationally-recognized, proven, science-based energy standard in construction. Certification ensures that designers and consultants are expertly qualified to design buildings to meet the standard.

University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Student Residence

Toronto, ON

IBI Group is leading the consultant team as part of a design-build contract for a 750-bed passive house student residence that aims to become one of the largest passive house projects in North America. By incorporating advanced energy efficiency principles and construction techniques, the building will provide much needed student housing to accommodate both short- and long-term campus growth projections. Consulting work commenced in mid-2020, with an anticipated project completion of December 2022.

1075 Nelson

Vancouver, BC

As co-designer of 1075 Nelson, a 178-metre-high skyscraper in Vancouver, IBI will demonstrate that contemporary, high-rise architecture can be more sustainable to conform to rigorous passive house standards. Set to become the tallest passive house building in the world, it will contain 480 residential units, and was approved for development in November 2020.

The Future of Business

‘Net-Zero’ Stakeholder Engagement

Through our Digital Engagement Venues (DEVs), IBI is delivering innovative virtual stakeholder engagement and internal programming on a global scale that significantly reduces carbon emissions. Our fully interactive platform incorporates individual and group chats, live-streamed broadcasts, and bespoke content strategies, while eliminating the need for travel and expensive food and beverage programs.

Supporting this initiative, our data analytics team produced a carbon footprint calculator, which compared IBI’s physical Canada West Leadership Summit held in person in 2019 with the virtual event held in 2020.

The impact of going virtual with this single event roughly equates to eliminating the annual CO2 emissions of more than eight cars2.

Kilograms of CO2 Produced from Canada West Leadership Summit






Environment - Carbon Calculator Image

IBI’s Carbon Footprint Calculator

Parametric modelling uses the processing power of a computer to optimize design and planning. Data that would take us months to analyze manually can be assessed in a matter of seconds by our parametric design team, allowing us to efficiently interpret data to understand the carbon impact of our projects. IBI’s dynamic carbon model enables designers to calculate the total energy required to produce a project, and can even show how the choice of material used can impact that project’s carbon footprint. It also allows designers to model the potential for carbon sequestration (the process of removing or capturing carbon from the atmosphere over the long term), a critical factor in net-zero and net-positive design solutions. The model has been developed to integrate with open-source databases like EC3, a tool created through a not-for-profit alliance of architecture, engineering and construction organizations, including the American Association of Architects (AIA) and the Carbon Leadership Forum.

Driving Clean and Efficient Energy

In late 2019, IBI took an equity investment in SWTCH, a company providing turnkey solutions for electric vehicle (EV) charging and energy management, specifically in multi-tenant buildings. With growing EV adoption, SWTCH identified the potential for utilities to benefit from the integration of intelligent EV charging, optimized grid management and energy storage technologies. SWTCH is running an innovative pilot at our Toronto headquarters to demonstrate how an EV charging management platform with bi-directional charging capabilities (back and forth between the EV charging station and the power grid) can significantly reduce the costs of EV charging, while enhancing the overall efficiency of the grid.

Bolstering Our Environmental Capabilities

Environment - Cole Engineering

In December 2020, IBI acquired the assets of Cole Engineering, strengthening our capabilities and competitiveness in water and wastewater demand modelling and planning, water infrastructure and facilities design, and providing opportunities to enhance our BlueIQ™ water operations optimization solution. Additionally, Cole’s training and accreditation program for water facilities staff directly aligns with our priorities in operations optimization and asset management.

In February 2021, IBI acquired Peters Energy Solutions Inc., augmenting our existing energy management business and work in sustainable community development. This acquisition bolsters our capabilities in renewable energy consulting, including solar, wind and energy storage, and the environmental, regulatory and economic considerations of planning, designing and delivering green energy solutions.

Taking a Stand to Combat Climate Change

IBI Group is proud to stand with the following organizations seeking to enable transformational climate solutions:

American Institute of Architects 2030 Challenge Logo
American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Challenge
RIBA - Royal Institute of British Architects Logo
Royal Institute of British Architects Climate and Biodiversity Declaration
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Logo
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Climate Emergency Declaration
ESG - Social Icon
ESG - Governance Icon
(1) Passive House Canada
(2) Natural Resources Canada – The average Canadian vehicle, which burns 2,000 L of gasoline every year, releases about 4,600 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere