Vancouver: Emission-Free New Office & Residential Buildings By 2030

sustainability through accountability

If Vancouver City Council is successful, by 2030 Vancouver could see a massive reduction in greenhouse gas reductions. A staff report headed to council next week is recommending  all new residential and office buildings in the city to be emission-free and powered entirely by renewable energy by 2030 at the latest. About 55 per cent of Vancouver’s emissions now are reported to come from energy use in buildings. Building systems and envelope are a focus of this GHG reduction initiative.

From from the City of Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy: “When taken together, residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings are the largest single source of emissions in Vancouver, constituting 56% of the city’s total in 2014. The City of Vancouver is tackling building energy use according to where it can have the largest carbon reduction impact—primarily in space heating and hot water.”

“Our strategy is to target building energy—primarily in space heating and hot water use.”

Here is a recent story from the Vancouver Sun: (published July 7, 2016, By Matt Robinson)

“The idea for a zero-emissions target was first raised in Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy — approved by councillors in 2015. Next week, councillors will decide whether to put it into action. But as Pander noted: “Making a commitment’s one thing. Having a plan on how you’re going to get there? That’s a whole other ball game.”

The $2.3-million plan would require changes in new multi-unit residential buildings as early as this year that emphasize reduced energy demand for space heating, ventilation and hot water. Detached houses, meanwhile, have already seen tighter emissions rules in recent years and no more changes are planned until 2020, Pander said.

Staff propose four steps to zero emissions:

  • Set strict greenhouse-gas and thermal energy limits and restrict them to zero by 2030.
  • Require city-owned and managed buildings to demonstrate zero-emission building practices.
  • “Catalyze private leadership.” Consider things like waived permit fees, reduced property taxes, expedited permits, eased development restrictions or boosted building sizes for proposed zero-emission buildings.
  • Establish — with $700,000 in seed funding from the city — a centre of excellence to share knowledge.”

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Energy Conservation and Utility Metering:

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