Zoning amendments to support the Climate Emergency Response
As part of the Climate Emergency Response, we are committed to reducing Vancouver’s carbon pollution by building on and expanding on our existing work to fight climate change.
Nearly 60% of carbon pollution created in Vancouver comes from our existing buildings, primarily from burning natural gas for heat and hot water in our buildings. One of the Climate Emergency Response big moves commits that by 2025, all new and replacement heating and hot water systems will be zero emissions.
As of January 1, 2022, the Vancouver Building By-law will require zero emissions equipment for space and hot water heating, as well as additional roof insulation, in new low-rise residential buildings.
Feedback from consultation
To address concern about the potential effect of these changes on useable floor space and interior height, Council approved changes to the Zoning and Development By-law for affected buildings.
For projects that provide roof insulation of 0.35 metres (14 inches) or more, the permitted height of the building can be increased by 0.15 metres (6 inches). This increase is intended to ensure that all types of insulation, including commonly used fiber glass and mineral wool batts that require more space, can be accommodated without a loss of interior ceiling height.
The regulation will be added to Section 10 of the Zoning and Development By-law as follows:
- For residential buildings of three storeys or less, an additional 0.15 m in height is permitted if the roof contains at least 0.35 m of insulation.
To provide zero emissions equipment with additional space for better installation, functioning, and maintenance, the Director of Planning may exclude up to 2.3 square metres (25 square feet) of floor area from a dwelling unit.
The regulation may be found in Section 10 of the Zoning and Development By-law as follows:
- For residential buildings of three storeys or less, the Director of Planning may exclude up to 2.3 m2 per dwelling unit from the computation of floor area to accommodate zero emissions mechanical equipment for heating or hot water.
The bulletin Administration of Mechanical Room Exclusion for Zero Emissions Equipment PDF file (111 KB) describes the requirements of this exclusion.