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Resilient Infrastructure

When properly built and cared for, infrastructure can last decades. That means it needs to not only meet the needs of today but also anticipate the demands of tomorrow, like climate change, new technology and an aging population. Innovative also means sustainable and resilient.

In a world increasingly dealing with dwindling resources and the impacts of a warming planet, both governments and the private sector need to think green when choosing and recycling building materials and in selecting more energy efficient designs and technology.

In the short term, these efforts may have more upfront capital costs but provide significant cost savings and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the long term. Given the long-term nature of agreements, P3s are particularly adept at taking climate change and resiliency features into account when planning a project.

The Tłı̨chǫ All-Season Highway project in the Northwest Territories is one example of such a project.

Governments do not have a strong track record of maintaining infrastructure, which often leads to more expensive problems down the road. Before deciding on infrastructure projects, governments need to weigh how a project is built and the long-term costs of operating and maintaining it — not just focus on the initial price tag of building the bridge, road or hospital.

Right now, P3-procured infrastructure are the only projects consistently tracked across Canada for Value-for-Money, cost, time and life cycle performance.

With contracts that include maintenance and operations, teams involved in P3s have a financial incentive to ensure projects are built to serve the needs of their communities for decades and use innovative cost-savings measures such as green energy.

CCPPP recommends governments consider an asset's entire estimated lifespan and explore the opportunities P3 agreements can bring to improve long-term life cycle performance, drive innovation, yield improved energy efficiencies and improved cost savings for taxpayers.

Case Study: ESAP/ESM Project

A pressing need to upgrade aging critical infrastructure and a desire to build back with a vastly improved system that lowers greenhouse gas emissions has led the Government of Canada to embark on North America’s first conversion of a large district energy system from steam to electric for cooling and low-temperature hot water for heating.

Built between 50 and more than 100 years ago, the district energy system services 80 buildings with heat and 67 with cooling.

ESAP will use carbon neutral heating and cooling for baseload operations and lower government greenhouse gas emissions from the system by at least 90 per cent, the equivalent of taking more than 21,000 cars off the road.

Read the full Case Study