Green buildings


Goal: Lead the world in green building design and construction

The electricity and natural gas that our buildings use generate 55% of Vancouver's greenhouse gas emissions.

We are already leading the way on sustainable building design, with our passive design toolkits and a building code that is the greenest of any city in North America.

Our next challenge is to improve the environmental performance of our existing buildings, by focusing on retrofits and upgrades, and looking at how people operate buildings.

Green building targets at a glance

  • Require all buildings constructed from 2020 onward to be carbon neutral in operations
  • Reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in existing buildings by 20% over 2007 levels

How we measure success

Indicator Baseline  2013  % change 2020 target
Total tonnes of community CO2e from residential and commercial buildings  1,145,000
tCO2e (2007)
1,110,000 tCO2e -3% 916,000

Current programs that are helping the City reach this target

Demolition permit

Demolishing a building in Vancouver often requires at least one permit. Find out the requirements for your project, including for reusing and recycling demolition materials.

Replacing Fire Hall No. 5

Fire Hall No.5, located at East 54th Avenue and Kerr Street, will be reconstructed at its current site and a temporary fire hall will operate during the construction period.

Green home building policies

All new one- and two-family homes must comply to Vancouver's new green building requirements. By 2020, all new homes will be carbon neutral.

Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Developments (PDF, 336 KB)

This policy helps to achieve several innovative sustainable features on developments that have large sites (over 8000 m²) and development floor areas (over 45,000 m²).

Vancouver Building Bylaw, 2014 version (PDF, 818KB)

Starting March 20, 2014, the updated Vancouver Building Bylaw requires new one- and two-family homes to meet stricter energy-efficiency requirements, and existing buildings under renovation to complete energy audits and minor upgrades.

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Learn more about this goal

Greenest City 2020 goal 3

Read complete details of our green transportation goal in the Greenest City Action Plan

Get the plan

Did you know...


The City built Canada's first multi-unit residential building that generates as much energy as it consumes?

Learn more about this "net zero" building

Learn about LEED


LEED certification is an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

Learn about LEED

Last modified: Wed, 02 Jul 2014 09:09:48