Metro Vancouver is seeking your input to develop an approach for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large buildings. Your input is welcome by November 30, 2022.

In fall 2022, Metro Vancouver is hosting a series of meetings with the building sector to discuss two initiatives including regulatory approaches to reduce GHGs and other air contaminants from buildings across the region. If you own, operate, or maintain a building over 25,000 ft2 (2,322 m2), get in touch with our project team to learn more. Sign up to our mailing list to get updates on future engagement opportunities.

Complete online feedback form    Email the Project Team

Overview

Metro Vancouver is developing an approach to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large buildings. Large buildings are those over 25,000 ft2 (2,322 m2) and includes residential, commercial, office, and institutional buildings across the region.

Buildings are the second highest source of GHG emissions, contributing approximately 25% of the total GHG emissions in the region. Proven technologies are widely available to change the way we heat space and water in buildings and reduce or eliminate GHG emissions.

Metro Vancouver’s Climate 2050 Buildings Roadmap, developed with partners through the region, sets a goal for all homes and buildings to be zero emissions and resilient by 2050. In the interim, the target is to reduce GHG emissions from buildings by 35% below 2010 levels by 2030. Reducing emissions from large buildings will make a significant contribution to achieving this target.

Developing an Approach to Reducing Emissions

The proposed approach to managing GHG emissions would require building owners to report the GHG emissions from their buildings on an annual basis to ensure that emissions fall below limits established by Metro Vancouver for specified building types and sizes. This diagram includes the elements under consideration:

Managing Large BUilding GHG Emissions

  • Buildings and Climate Change

    Buildings in Metro Vancouver produce a significant share of the region’s total GHG emissions, second only to transportation. Buildings last a long time, and decisions made today are key to decreasing GHG emissions over the long-term.

    • Building GHG emissions come primarily from burning natural gas, a fossil fuel, for space and water heating.
    • Buildings that use only electricity for space and water heating are very low carbon
    • Equipment replacements for space and water heating usually take place every 10-20 years, and building envelope upgrades may only occur every 30-50 years.
    • Most existing buildings will eventually need retrofits to reduce their GHG emissions to low or zero emissions.
    • Buildings that burn natural gas are a major contributor of other health-harming air emissions. For example, buildings in the region contribute about 12% of total nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions, which are harmful to cardiac and respiratory health even at low concentrations.
    • Early information about future requirements should help building owners plan for effective retrofits
  • Co-benefits of Reducing Building-Related GHG Emissions

    Investments in energy-efficient, low-carbon building systems have several demonstrated benefits that are increasingly valued by occupants, tenants, and investors, include improvements to:

    • local air quality
    • occupant comfort and safety, especially where low-carbon systems such as electric heat pumps (which provide both heating and cooling) are installed
    • occupant health, when improvements to ventilation systems are made in conjunction with emission reduction measures and energy efficiency improvements
    • the resilience of buildings to power outages and extreme weather events if, energy efficiency upgrades are paired with on-site renewable energy systems and energy storage

Related Initiative

Proposed Amendments to Boilers and Process Heaters Emission Regulation, Bylaw 1087

In addition to GHG emissions, buildings are a source of other health-harming air contaminants. Metro Vancouver is proposing amendments to Bylaw 1087. More information is available here.

Your Opinion Matters

Metro Vancouver is seeking input to shape this approach from those who are interested, may be impacted, or have a role in implementation in reducing emissions from large buildings. We encourage you to provide feedback by November 30, 2022.

How to have your say:

Complete online feedback form  Email the Project Team


Contact


  • Metro Vancouver Information Centre

     

    ​604-451-6200

     Email


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