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Vancouver Bets Big on Zero Emissions Building Code

Aug. 18, 2016
The city of Vancouver, B.C., is staking a claim to being the greenest city in North America with a new law

The city of Vancouver, B.C., moved to put some teeth into its green building principles and establish itself as a center for innovation with a new requirement that all new buildings in the city must meet zero-emissions standards by 2030, according to a report in Greentech Media.

The dense coastal city will require zero emissions from any new buildings by 2030, based on a policy approved July 13. That means the building sector will have to roll up its collective sleeves and figure out how to heat, cool and power every new construction without any net greenhouse gas emissions. If that sounds daunting, the authors of the policy agree.

“This is a plan to fundamentally shift building practice in Vancouver in just under 10 years,” the document states.

The article looks at the implications for builders as well as the need for new technology to help the city reach its goal. Such a stretch goal may be out of reach for other North American cities where the electric grid is not so well endowed with emissions-free hydroelectric power, but will no doubt serve as inspiration for other cities.

Read: Vancouver Leapfrogs Energy Efficiency, Adopts Zero-Emissions Building Plan, by Julian Spector