As of January 1, 2023:
- All permanently installed new air conditioning systems in detached 1-2 dwelling homes must be able to provide both low carbon heating and cooling (electric heat pumps).
- 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. Note An electrical permit is also required.
Get by-law details
- Vancouver Building By-law External link icon
- Review the council report PDF file (698 KB)
- Vancouver Noise By-law
- Mechanical permit brochure PDF file (219 KB)
- Municipal heat pump certification brochure PDF file (274 KB)
Signup for mechanical permit updates
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "mechanical permit mailing lists".
- Help to make sure the design, installation, and commissioning of heating and cooling systems meet the established minimum code requirements, and promotes efficiency and longevity of these systems
- Are required for installation of heating and cooling systems in both residential and commercial buildings
Heat pump installations in multi-dwelling buildings that are on balconies that heat and cool:
- Only 1 unit don't require a building and development permit
- More than 1 unit may require a development permit
As we move towards electrification as part of the Climate Emergency Action Plan, we have developed training to upskill trades to install electric heat pumps.
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 for existing detached homes, duplexes, and laneways
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.
Municipal Heat Pump Certification (MHPC or MHPCR)
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 (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.