Energy requirements for new single family and 1-3 storey homes

New building energy requirements

Changes to energy requirements for new 1-3 storey residential buildings will go in effect for all building permits submitted after January 1, 2022.

Are you designing or building a single-family or multi-family home? This information is for new, purely residential buildings 1 to 3 storeys tall, including:

  • One- and two-family homes
  • Townhomes and rowhomes
  • Laneway homes
  • Secondary suites
  • One to 3 storey stacked multi-family residential buildings

By 2030 all new homes will be zero emissions in operation. This is outlined in our Climate Emergency Action Plan and Zero Emissions Building Plan.

Rezoning requirements

Review the Green Building Policy for rezoning for current energy requirements and checklists required at this stage.

Vancouver Building By-law (VBBL) 2022 updates

Effective January 1, 2022, we've updated requirements for one to three storey residential buildings to improve envelope efficiency and reduce emissions for new low-rise homes.

Applicants can use one of three options:

  • Prescriptive performance targets for envelope and mechanical components
  • Compliance based on meeting Thermal Energy Demand Intensity (TEDI), Mechanical Energy Use Intensity (MEUI), and Greenhouse Gas Intensity (GHGI) targets verified by energy modeling
  • Compliance granted upon Passive House Certification (third party)

Refer to the builder guide (3 MB) for a summary of upcoming changes.

Mechanical system requirements

Heating and hot water

  • New applications for building permits after January 1, 2022 will require electric space heating and hot water for most new low-rise residential construction.
  • Mechanical permits will be required for all new heating systems as of July 1, 2022 (pending Council approval).
  • Electric resistance and electric heat pumps can be used to meet electric heating needs.
  • Learn more about heat pumps, including training opportunities and certification

Heat recovery ventilators

Additional information

2019 Vancouver Building By-law requirements

Building permits issued for new homes between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2021 must conform to the 2019 Vancouver Building By-law (equivalent requirements as the 2014 by-law).

See the 2019 building and plumbing systems by-laws

Energy requirements for one and two family dwellings, ancillary buildings (laneway and coach homes), townhomes, and one to three storey multi-family buildings are provided in the following tables:

These requirements will change beginning 2022.

For energy advisors and building professionals

As an energy advisor, you conduct EnerGuide home assessments and ensure homes meet the required standards. We've gathered some tools and resources for your quick reference.