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Exterior of Cornerstone Fraser Apartments

Zero emissions buildings

We are working to have no operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from all new buildings by 2030.

Find resources and tools to help you construct a zero emissions building.

Learn about our strategy to achieve renewable buildings.

Moving to zero emissions buildings

We are in position to move to zero emissions buildings. There is a strong network of green builders and designers who are keen to grow.

To advance the education and support for zero emissions building construction, the City will be moving forward with: 

  • Amendments to our bylaws, policies, and guidelines to incorporate zero emission building related rules 
  • Policies and guidelines to remove barriers and facilitate the development of zero emission buildings

How the plan may affect you

The plan is a flexible, phased approach to combat and reduce carbon pollution in Vancouver:

  • The plan establishes specific targets and actions to achieve zero emissions in all new buildings by 2030
  • The plan does not focus on retro-fitting buildings
  • Restaurants can continue to cook with natural gas
  • You are not being asked to replace your gas appliances

Learn more about our position on natural gas.

Our green building and community-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction targets do not account for embodied or upstream emissions.

Emissions from raw materials, transportation, construction, and building end-of-life occur as a result of energy used and GHGs emitted from building material resource extraction, production, and transportation. 

The Zero Emissions Building Plan focuses on zero emissions from the building’s operations.

A Carbon Neutral Building relates to the Greenest City Action Plan goal that all new buildings are carbon neutral by 2020.

Carbon neutrality is achieved through a combination of:

  • Energy use reduction
  • Transition to renewable energy sources
  • Offsetting a building’s operational GHG emissions with reductions in emissions elsewhere

Bylaws and policies

Current energy requirements for large buildings and existing buildings

For more information on the current energy requirements in Vancouver’s Building Bylaw, please visit our dedicated page:

Energy efficiency updates for residential buildings under seven stories - Effective March 1, 2018

On February 7, 2017, Council approved updates to the energy efficiency requirements in bylaw for residential buildings under seven stories, including townhomes, and for exceptionally large single-family homes.

These updates apply to new building permit applications received on or after March 1, 2018. The text of the bylaw updates may be found here:

For other recent updates to the bylaw, visit our dedicated page, Vancouver Building Bylaw.

Proposed energy efficiency updates to high-rise residential and commercial buildings

We are proposing changes to improve energy efficiency in Vancouver’s Building Bylaw and the Green Buildings Policy for Rezonings.

The proposed changes are summarized in a consultation letter sent to industry associations and members, available at the link below. Please send questions or feedback on the proposed changes to Green.Buildings@vancouver.ca by February 9, 2018.

The proposed changes will be presented to City Council on May 2, 2018. 

Resources for building zero emissions buildings

Build a Passive House

Learn if your project meets all of the requirements of the Passive House standard.

Green building and renovating

Access guidelines, policies, grants, and resources about green building and renovating to lower your energy costs.

Neighbourhood Energy Strategy

The Neighbourhood Energy Strategy will help develop additional neighbourhood energy systems throughout Vancouver.

Neighborhood Energy Utility factsheet

We launched a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.

Net-Zero Energy Housing

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation helps you meet your housing needs. Learn about Net-Zero Energy Housing.

Net Zero Home Labelling Program

CHBA provides you with a defined technical requirement that recognizes Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Homes.

Net-Zero Energy HousingNet Zero Home Labelling Program Neighborhood Energy Utility factsheet