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Energy requirements, forms, and checklists for large and retail / commercial buildings

Background on the City's energy requirements

As part of the City's Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, we require all new larger buildings – specifically, buildings classified in the Vancouver Building Bylaw as Part 3 and Part 9 non-residential buildings – to be designed to strict energy standards. Energy reduction targets for new buildings are 20% below 2007 levels by 2020, and “carbon neutral” by 2030.

The City also introduced Canada’s first energy code/bylaw for existing larger buildings classified as Part 3 and Part 9 non-residential. The new bylaw requirements were added to the existing upgrade mechanism process used in Part 11 for Life Safety, Structural, and Accessibility. Our 2020 energy reduction target for existing larger buildings is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 2007 levels.

In addition, some areas of the City have been designated for the establishment of neighbourhood energy systems that supply thermal energy for heating, hot water, and in some cases cooling. These areas have specific thermal requirements for buildings to connect and use neighbourhood energy services.

2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw

On April 1, 2014, Vancouver City Council adopted the 2012 BC Building Code (BCBC) with Vancouver-specific additional requirements and revisions. These changes came into effect on January 1, 2015 with the release of the 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw (VBBL). 

In this section:

  • VBBL download link
  • VBBL amendments, bulletins, and additional requirements

Project types and requirements

In this section:

  • All projects
  • Certified Professionals (CP) projects
  • Rezoning projects (Rz): energy and LEED conditions
  • Green Buildings Policy for rezoning projects
  • 2014 General Policy for Higher Buildings
  • City of Vancouver Neighbourhood Energy Interpretation Guide for Rezonings
  • LEED projects
  • Projects within neighbourhood energy areas (formerly district energy)
  • New construction, additions, and reconstruction
    • Passive House projects
    • Multi-unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) of 1-6 storeys
  • Tenant improvements (TI)

VBBL Part 10 (Energy and Water Efficiency)

Energy standards and conditions

Effective January 21, 2014, the Vancouver Building Bylaw requires the use of the energy standard ASHRAE 90.1-2010 or the energy code, National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) 2011, in place of ASHRAE 90.1-2007. The standard and code have been implemented without additional addenda or errata.

In this section:

  • ASHRAE 90.1-2010
  • ASHRAE 90.1-2007
  • NECB 2011
  • Additional energy requirements (starting January 1, 2015)

VBBL Part 11 (Existing Buildings)

In this section:

  • Archive drawings available as PDF
  • Energy Upgrade Mechanism
  • Preview of 2014 VBBL Part 11 (Energy Upgrade Mechanism)


Tools and reference materials

In this section:

  • Energy checklist training videos
  • Energy checklists
    • ASHRAE 90.1-2010
    • ASHRAE 90.1-2007
    • NECB 2011
  • Energy statements on drawings
  • Envelope upgrade – energy performance comparison