BC Building Code now requires better energy efficiency for most new buildings

May 15 2023, 8:10 pm

The provincial government has further elevated the green building standards of the BC Building Code, requiring 20% better energy efficiency for most new buildings across British Columbia.

The policy shift went into effect earlier this month, and is part of the provincial government’s strategy to gradually shift BC into becoming zero-carbon for new construction starting in 2030, and net-zero energy ready in 2032.

In addition to the changes to the mandatory BC Building Code on energy efficiency in new buildings, the voluntary Zero Carbon Step Code provides municipal governments with a framework to encourage or require even lower emissions in new buildings.

“We are building a future with better, healthier communities for families, while taking action on climate change,” said George Heyman, the BC Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

With the provincial changes acting as a new baseline, municipal governments can still encourage or require a level of energy efficiency in new buildings that exceed the minimum standards of the BC Building Code.

The City of Vancouver is unique in the province for having its own separate municipal building code, and it has made some aggressive changes in demanding greener designs that reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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