West Vancouver first to require new buildings to be low-carbon or net-zero energy ready
Mar 23, 2021
West Vancouver is the first municipality in Canada to require that new residential buildings be built using low-carbon energy systems or to be net-zero energy ready. Across the nation, these are the highest building construction standards in place for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction. The requirements came into effect on February 28, 2021.
West Vancouver Council adopted these leading standards in 2020 as part of its climate emergency response, and in alignment with the District’s Community Energy & Emissions Plan. Protecting the natural environment, reducing our impacts and adapting to climate change, including sea level rise, coastal erosion and increased wildfire risk, is one of Council’s Strategic Goals.
“I am very proud of West Vancouver’s leadership in addressing climate change. This is an important step to ensure our new buildings meet the high standards required today and in the future,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Booth. “Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and is committed to creating an even more resilient community through our response.”
A building with a low-carbon energy system reduces GHG emissions by 90% by using an electric heat pump for heating and cooling and an electric hot water heater. Net-zero energy ready, the highest step of the BC Energy Step Code, means that a building is 80% more energy-efficient and—with the addition of on-site renewable energy such as solar panels—produces as much clean energy as it consumes. These standards are now under consideration in communities across BC.