Vancouver looks to boost energy-efficiency standards in new homes under seven storeys

The City of Vancouver plans to boost green building requirements for new residential buildings under seven storeys, including “exceptionally large” single-family homes.

The energy efficiency measures, which would kick in March 1, 2018 if they’re approved by council next week, would cut greenhouse gas emissions from the affected buildings by 40 to 55 per cent, according to a city report. The measures include requirements for increased insulation and air tightness, and the use of improved windows, heat-recovery ventilators and more efficient equipment.

The additional green measures would increase building costs by an average of $3.50 per square foot, according to the city.

Sean Pander, a green building manager with the city, said housing affordability is “of critical importance” and suggested any additional construction costs brought on by the policy change would unlikely to be passed on to the buyers of new homes.