As of January 1, 2023:
- All permanently installed new air conditioning systems in existing detached homes must provide both low carbon heating and cooling.
- Renovation projects in detached 1-2 dwelling homes, with a construction value over $250,000, are required to electrify their existing space heating and hot water systems to the same requirements in the Building By-law for new construction.
As of July 1, 2022:
- A mechanical permit is required for the installation and replacement of heating and cooling systems for new construction and existing buildings.
Get by-law details
- Vancouver Building By-law External link icon
- Review the council report PDF file (698 KB)
- Vancouver Noise By-law
Mechanical permits help ensure the design, installation, and commissioning of heating and cooling systems meet the established minimum code requirements, and promotes efficiency and longevity of these systems.
Most heat pump installations on balconies and in a multi-dwelling buildings will no longer required a building and development permit – unless the heat pump is being use for more than one dwelling unit.
Ready to get your permit?
What's happeningTrade permit: Question and answer sessions
Join us at a monthly question and answer session for trade permits enquires, including the new mechanical permit which will be required beginning July 1, 2022.
Join the session directly
- On the first Wednesday of each month
- At 10am, PST
Heat pumps can be installed at the ground level for existing detached homes, duplexes, and laneways.
Heat pumps for other residential building types
Heat pumps can be installed on decks and balconies, rooftops, structured parking, or at the ground level for existing residential buildings, such as 4-storey multi-dwelling buildings.
As of July 1, 2022, Municipal Heat Pump Certification (MHPC or MHPCR) is mandatory for the installation of heat pumps by licensed contractors.
- MHPC – This designation permits licensed HVACR HVACR (refrigeration mechanics), electrical, plumbing, and gas contractors to install any type of heat pump, including air-to-air and air-to-water options. Water sourced and ground sourced installations also require this designation.
- MHPCR – This designation permits licensed refrigeration mechanics (HVACR) who are members in good standing of the Home Performance Contractor Network (HPCN) or have completed equivalent training to install air-to-air heat pumps only. Air-to-water or water/ground sourced options cannot be installed under the MHPCR designation.