Energy- and water-efficient building design
A sustainable city needs homes, offices, and public facilities that meet high standards for energy and water efficiency and choice of materials.
To help developers and designers create these high performing buildings, City staff have developed guidelines for:
- Passive energy designs
- Water wise landscapes
Passive design toolkit for large buildings
Instead, you harness naturally occurring phenomena, such as the power of the sun, direction of wind, and other climatic effects to maintain consistent indoor temperatures and comfort.
The benefits of passive design
By leveraging the natural environment, buildings that incorporate passive design can:
- Help reduce, or even eliminate, energy bills
- Improve the comfort and quality of the interior environment
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with heating, cooling, mechanical ventilation, and lighting
- Reduce the need for mechanical systems, thereby reducing the resources required to manufacture them
- Make alternative energy systems viable
The Passive Design Toolkit for Larger Buildings
The City has created a passive design toolkit for developers and designers that addresses the specific needs of Vancouver.
The Toolkit provides best practices for passive design for such elements as:
The toolkit will help designers and developers move toward a new, higher standard of energy efficiency without sacrificing thermal comfort.
Water wise landscape guidelines
Water wise landscapes are gardens or outdoor areas that use less water. Any landscape design can be water wise - formal, traditional, or modern.
Vancouver's water wise landscape guidelines provide ideas for a wide range of landscapes (single family homes, multi-unit residences, commercial properties), to help reduce the use of clean, drinkable water for irrigation, while maintaining the quality of our urban landscape.
Why be water wise?
Demand on the city's water supply is increasing, but our supply is not. This creates a water shortage during the summer, when irrigation demands and other activities like car washing are at their highest.
Water wise landscapes help to:
- Preserve water quality and availability
- Create healthy ecological environments
- Increase plant life
- Reduce the urban heat island effect (urban areas are warmer than rural areas)
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Reduce maintenance efforts and costs
- Reduce strain on the local infrastructure
What the water wise guidelines include
These guidelines provide practical advice on how to:
- Create more planted areas
- Reduce the use of clean drinking water for gardening
- Create spaces that are sustainable and enjoyable
- Build it to last