Vancouver adopts new Green Building Code

Vancouver, Canada - Vancouver City Council has unanimously approved the Green Homes Program, a package of building by-law amendments and new requirements for one and two family dwellings that will make the Vancouver building code for low rise residential construction the most comprehensive green building code in North America.

The cumulative effect of these changes not only will improve human health, water conservation and blazing a trail for future technologies but most importantly a 33% reduction in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions  over current practice.

Why Greener Homes?

54% of all the GHG’s generated in the City of Vancouver come from buildings, and there are more one- and two-family homes than any other type of building in the City. The majority of land in Vancouver (approximately 75%), is occupied by one- and two-family dwellings.

When faced with these facts, it was clear the City needed to address one- and two-family homes if it is going to address climate change in a meaningful way.

The amendments related to energy efficiency and future renewable energy generation are designed to move new dwellings as far as possible towards Vancouver’s 2030 GHG reduction target without adversely impacting affordability.

City staff estimates that under the new rules, all new dwellings will achieve a minimum rating of EnerGuide 80. The Chart below shows the projected level of performance the Green Homes Program is expected to meet, correlated to the EnerGuide Rating Service measurement system.

Some of the highlights of our new code include:

  • R22 insulation in walls 
  • R12 insulation around the slab
  • Energy Star Windows
  • In home energy use display meters
  • Dual flush toilets
  • Direct vent and electronic ignition gas fire places
  • Heat Recovery Ventilators 
  • Solar ready service shaft 
  • Infrastructure for the charging of Electric Vehicles, and
  • Mandatory Energuide audit with blower door test

Full details on the Green Homes Program are available on the City of Vancouver website

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