Building types, sizes, and classifications
The ASHRAE 90.1 standard and NECB 2011 code are not used for 1 and 2 family dwellings, or residential buildings of three storeys or less. With the exception of Passive House projects, all other building types and sizes are required to use either ASHRAE 90.1 or NECB 2011, including any low-rise buildings that have a non-residential component.
Energy statements on drawings
For ASHRAE 90.1 or NECB projects, starting January 1, 2015, new construction and renovation drawing sets must include the energy criteria used in the project design.
Energy statements must follow the methodology outlined in the appropriate building energy design tool – see the section “Tools and reference materials” below.
Certified Professionals (CP) projects
Official application date: The official building permit application date of a CP application is the accepted application date for Stage 1 only.
Energy checklist submission: You are required to submit either the 90.1 or NECB energy checklist on a staged project at the full construction application stage only.
Passive House projects
Building designs using the Passive House standard are accepted by the City of Vancouver. The Passive House standard is being recognized as an alternate compliance path for some requirements within the 2014 Building Bylaw. For information on our requirements and processes for projects pursuing Passive House certification, refer to the Passive House webpage.
Rezoning projects (Rz): energy and LEED conditions
Rezoning projects must meet the project-specific rezoning conditions listed in the “Prior To” letter approved by the Development Permit Board or the Director of Planning.
The applicable energy and LEED conditions for your project depend on the date of your rezoning project application.
Green Buildings Policy for rezoning projects
2014 Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings (effective June 25, 2014)
On June 25, 2014, the City updated its Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings to increase energy performance expectations and to better align with the neighbourhood energy objectives and requirements.
2010 Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings (effective January 31, 2011 to June 24, 2014)
In addition to LEED and energy conditions, rezoning projects within neighbourhood energy areas must immediately tie into existing neighbourhood energy systems.
2014 General Policy for Higher Buildings
On June 25, 2014, the City updated its General Policy for Higher Buildings to increase energy performance expectations and to better align with the neighbourhood energy objectives and requirements.
City of Vancouver Neighbourhood Energy Interpretation Guide for Rezonings
For projects subject to either the General Policy for Higher Building or the 2010 Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings, and required to tie into the South East False Creek or North East False Creek neighbourhood energy systems, use this guide to help you meet the requirements:
Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) ventilation requirements
Ventilation requirements for LEED certification differ from code and bylaw ventilation requirements. In some building uses the ventilation requirements of the VBBL will dictate, while in other uses or circumstances the LEED requirements will dictate. Installation and distribution requirements also need to be considered to ensure compliance with the VBBL and LEED certification requirements.
The following credit interpretation requests (CIRs) have been published with the written permission of the CaGBC.
CaGBC district energy guidelines
Projects connecting to neighbourhood energy systems and pursuing LEED certification need to be aware of the CaGBC guideline “LEED Canada 2009 Interpretation Guide for District Energy Systems”.
Projects within neighbourhood energy areas (formerly district energy)
Is your project within a neighbourhood energy area?
If yes, design your project according to the area's guidelines.
If your project is tying into a neighbourhood energy system, either as a City requirement or voluntarily, see the section "City of Vancouver Neighbourhood Energy Interpretation Guide for Rezonings" above.
If your project is pursuing LEED certification, whether as a City requirement or voluntarily, see the section "LEED Projects" above.
New construction, additions, and reconstruction
Design all new construction, additions, and reconstruction to the latest energy standard and complete the energy checklist of the standard used.
Starting January 1, 2015, all additions and reconstruction must also comply with the 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw's Part 11, existing building energy upgrade mechanism requirements. Refer to the Part 11 (Existing Buildings) section below.
Tenant improvements (TI)
Tenant improvements are required to comply with the energy requirements of the Vancouver Building Bylaw. To learn about the requirements and processes, and get links to important information and required documentation:
Starting January 1, 2015, all TIs must comply with Part 11 of the 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw including the energy upgrade mechanism requirements, unless the base building already complies with ASHRAE 90.1-2007 requirements or other possible exemptions. See the section "Part 11 (Existing Buildings)" below.
First TI (new construction TI)
Tenant improvements within a space not previously occupied are considered an extension of the original new construction and are to be treated like new construction. The scope of work must comply with the relevant sections within the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 energy standard. First TI projects must complete and submit the following checklist with their building permit applications:
Part 11 TI
Tenant improvements within a space previously occupied are considered alterations to existing buildings and therefore classified Part 11 TIs. The scope of work for a Part 11 TI must comply with the “Alterations” portion within each relevant section of the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 energy standard and the Energy Upgrade Mechanism within the VBBL's Part 11. Effective January 1, 2015, Part 11 TI projects (except residential suites - see below) must complete and submit the following checklist with their building permit applications:
Alterations to residential suites must complete and submit the following checklist with their building permit applications:
Any tenant improvements undergoing a building envelope retrofit or upgrade, where the energy performance of the resulting envelope is not obviously an improvement over the original envelope performance, will use the Building Envelope Energy Performance Comparison Calculator to confirm the building’s overall envelope performance has not worsened. See the calculator in the section "Tools and reference materials" below.