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B.C. industry calls for stronger municipal carbon pollution standards for new buildings

DCN-JOC News Services
B.C. industry calls for stronger municipal carbon pollution standards for new buildings

VANCOUVER – The Pembina Institute has sent a letter signed by more than 30 members of the construction industry to mayors and councillors across British Columbia urging them to vote to adopt the Province of B.C.’s new voluntary Zero-Carbon Step Code (ZCSC).

Signatories to the letter include organizations that build commercial, institutional and residential buildings across Canada, B.C., and locally in the Kootenays, Mainland/Southwest and Vancouver Island/Coastal regions. The letter has been signed by multi-disciplinary practitioners in the sector, including architects, builders, engineers, manufacturers, solutions providers, investors and utilities, a Pembina Institute release said.

“B.C. is a leader in building high performance construction. Municipalities have an opportunity to ensure British Columbians are getting the best possible homes and buildings – buildings that are affordable to heat and cool, protect occupants from extreme weather and that won’t cost owners extra down the road to upgrade to maintain those high standards. The province, municipalities and industry need to work together to remove barriers to net-zero emission construction and ensure widespread adoption of this groundbreaking new tool,” Pembina Institute program director for buildings Betsy Agar said in the release.

The letter specifically calls for municipalities to adopt at the highest level possible before 2025, rather than the currently scheduled goal of all new buildings being zero-carbon by 2030.

“Early adoption would avoid unnecessary and costly retrofits in the future by ensuring new homes and buildings are built right the first time,” a Pembina Institute release said.

Signatories to the letter include Bernhardt Contracting, Low Hammond Row Architects, BC Hydro, NAIMA Canada and Fenestration Canada.  

The letter points to the expertise of signatories and others in the building industry as vital to achieving zero-carbon goals and added all-electric buildings can be designed and constructed with zero to minimal additional cost.

If adopted this code would ensure new buildings are heated and cooled by energy-efficient equipment such as heat pumps, rather than traditional furnaces and boilers, the Pembina release stated. The full letter can be read here.

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