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CaGBC launches Zero Carbon Building Standard

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

In an effort to help meet Canada’s climate change commitments, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has launched the country’s first Zero Carbon Building Standard.

The highly-anticipated Standard evaluates carbon use in commercial, institutional and multi-family buildings in Canada. In order to achieve large-scale market transformation, it was designed for application across many types of new and existing buildings across the country. The Zero Carbon Building Standard is also the only program of its kind to list carbon reductions as the key indicator for building performance.

Focusing on carbon is vital, as the most important factor in the carbon footprint of a building is often not energy performance, but the carbon intensity of the local electrical grid and the fossil fuels used. Recognizing these differences is therefore critical to accurately judge impacts and guiding investments in energy efficiency, heating technologies and renewable energy.

“While there is no doubt that Canada’s building sector has been dramatically transformed over the last two decades, the time has come to be bolder and more ambitious,” said Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the CaGBC, in a press release. “The CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standard brings focus to carbon emissions reduction, and defines new levels of building performance. This Standard will help the building industry to show leadership in eliminating emissions from buildings and contribute to shaping of Canada’s climate future.”

The Zero Carbon Building Standard is part of a larger CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Initiative, created to support the move to lower-carbon buildings to aid Canada’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

The Standard was developed by CaGBC and Integral Group, in extensive consultation with representatives from over 50 industry organizations, utilities, governments and companies across the country. CaGBC is also working with 16 of Canada’s most sustainable projects in the Zero Carbon Building Pilot Program. Participating projects will help further develop the Standard and accompanying resources and education.

The full requirements for the Standard are now available for download on the CaGBC website. Project registration will open on Sept. 5, along with full pricing and additional program details.

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