Design reduction targets for new buildings are zero emissions by 2030. Existing buildings shall be effectively zero emissions by 2040.
In 2014, we introduced Canada’s first energy code/bylaw with energy upgrade requirements for existing buildings.
Some areas of Vancouver 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.
This energy webpage was created in 2013 to support ongoing industry awareness and provide pertinent information in real-time to maximize understanding of building industry requirements.
Information icon This page is targeted toward building industry designers and constructors and therefore uses industry terms and language.
Quick links to what’s on this page
New communication system for energy webpage updates
The following items were recently added to this Energy webpage:
- January and July 2023 versions of Part 10 were added to the Part 10 Requirements and Classifications section.
- Present and January 2023 versions of “Notes to Part 11” were added to the Part 11 (Existing Buildings) section.
- An NECB/ZEBP alterations checklist was added to the NECB 2015 and ZEBP (10.2.2.5) paths within the Energy Checklists, Tools, and Reference Materials section.
- A revised version of the Energy Statements on Drawings file replaces a previous version within the Energy Statements on Drawings section.
Change in early 2023 will likely include the removal of references, checklists, and tools pertaining to NECB 2011 and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 as these versions were superseded by more recent versions in July 2019 and are in significantly less use as projects complete their construction stage.
Vancouver Building Bylaw
Project types and requirements
Building types, sizes, and classifications
New construction, additions, reconstruction, and alterations projects
Modelled buildings and projects (design enhancement and performance path)
Energy statements on drawings
Additional energy requirements
Certified Professionals (CP) projects
Neighbourhood Energy projects
Passive House (PH) projects
Zero Emissions Building Plan (ZEBP)
Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Plan includes the following Planning policies and Rezoning conditions as well as specific Building Bylaw energy requirements (Part 10 - 10.2.2.5) aligned with BC’s Energy Step Code.
Planning policies and rezoning
VBBL Part 10: Requirements and classifications
VBBL Part 10: Energy standards and conditions
Part 10 consists of three main energy compliance paths for Part 3 buildings and some Part 9 buildings. Building archetype descriptions within 10.2.1. are to be used to determine applicability of one or more of the following compliance paths:
- ASHRAE (10.2.2.2)
- NECB (10.2.2.3.)
- ZEBP (10.2.2.5)
The ZEBP path aligns with BC's Energy Step Code and uses the City of Vancouver Energy Modelling Guidelines while following NECB's Part 8 instructions for the proposed building's performance model.
All supporting documents for these paths can be accessed from the Tools and Reference Materials section at the bottom of this webpage.
Effective June 3, 2019, the Vancouver Building Bylaw requires the use of the energy standard ASHRAE 90.1-2016 or the energy code, National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) 2015, in place of ASHRAE 90.1-2010 or NECB 2011. These standards and codes have been implemented with conditions, but without additional addenda or errata.
VBBL Part 11 (Existing Buildings)
Present and future versions of VBBL’s Part 11 (Sections 11.2, 11.7, and Notes)
Archive drawings available as PDF
Tenant improvements (TI)
First TI (new construction TI)
Part 11 TI (alteration to previously occupied space(s))
Residential Suites TI
NECB TI (language supporting alterations to NECB buildings)
Energy Upgrade Mechanism