Energy-efficiency requirements and resources for new homes
Designing, building, or renovating a home? All new homes – single family homes, two family homes, and their secondary suites (Part 9 residential buildings in the Vancouver Building Bylaw) – must be designed for energy efficiency.
Get resources to help you meet the energy-efficiency requirements of the:
- 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw, taking effect January 1, 2015
- Greenest City 2020 Action Plan’s green buildings targets
2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw requirements
Building permits issued for new homes after January 1, 2015 must conform to the 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw. The bylaw includes the 2012 BC Building Code (BCBC) with Vancouver-specific additional requirements and revisions.
Additional requirements and revisions to the BCBC are meant to be read in tandem with the 2012 BCBC until printed versions of the entire 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw are available.
Starting December 18, 2014, the 2014 City of Vancouver Building and Plumbing Systems Bylaws are available online from the Queen's Printer .
Greenest City 2020 green buildings requirements
As of 2008, homebuilders must work with certified energy advisors (CEA) during design and inspection stages to complete:
- EnerGuide and HOT2000 models
- A blower door test
- Visual verifications before your insulation and final inspections to ensure installation of the energy model’s components
As of 2015, homebuilders completing renovations over $5,000 in permitted value must work with a CEA for an initial assessment.
By 2020, new homes must be carbon neutral and use 50% less energy than homes did in 2007.
Does your 1 or 2 family home need an EnerGuide assessment?
Resources to help you meet the requirements
To reduce air leaks as much as possible and achieve air-tightness below 3.5 air changes per hour, read:
- Energy efficiency requirements guides for houses (BC Housing Homeowner Protection Office)
- Achieving air leakage of 3.5 ACH50 or lower in one- and two-family homes (98 KB)
Better walls and envelopes
- Heat loss calculation worksheet (184 KB)
- R-22+ Effective Walls in Existing Single Family Homes briefing note (121 KB)
- R-22+ Effective Walls in Wood-frame Construction guide (24 MB)
- R-value calculation data submission form (140 KB)
- Sample letter for Existing Home Renovations Energy Use Assessment (204 KB)
- Verifying energy performance of windows, doors, and skylights (1.4 MB)
- Projects using average U-value for windows and sliding glass doors - checklist and calculation template (39 KB)
- Why 2x6 walls don't work in Vancouver to meet R-22+ effective (2.4 MB)
- Windows and doors FAQ (60 KB)
Certified energy advisors
Energy advisor tools
Energy models we accept
- HOT2000 models using EnerGuide’s New Homes mode when homes are under 10,000 m2 in area and 10,000 m3 in volume
- PHPP models by trained passive house designers when new homes use the passive house international standard or are above the area and volume limits for HOT2000 models
Other software models must be approved in advance by the City's Housing Review Branch. For more information, phone the Development and Building Services Centre at 604-873-7611.