Light House releases framework for carbon neutral buildings

Light House Sustainable Building Centre has released a research report entitled “Towards Carbon Neutral Buildings in BC: Framework for High-Rise Multi-Unit Residential Buildings”. The report presents clear and consistent performance targets for multi-unit residential buildings that would reduce the carbon footprint of new high-rise residential buildings in the Lower Mainland by up to 70 per cent.

“We hope that this report contributes to the technical, social, and regulatory changes required to achieve carbon neutral building in BC,” explains Dan Paris, president of the board of directors for Light House, a not-for-profit company dedicated to advancing green building and the sustainable infrastructure and economic systems into which green buildings are intrinsically integrated. In B.C., the Greenhouse Gas Reductions Target Act specifies reducing GHGs by at least 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020. The framework exceeds that target, detailing building consumption benchmarks for heating, ventilation, lighting, and building services.

Drawing on European approaches, especially the internationally-leading success of Switzerland, the framework also proposes to simplify the way that building energy and carbon performance is regulated and outlines the next steps on the path towards carbon neutral buildings.

The City of Vancouver is positioned to be the first municipality in B.C. to adopt the framework. In Vancouver, buildings account for 55 per cent of GHG emissions, and the City has set a Greenest City Action Plan goal of all new construction being carbon neutral by 2020.

In addition to Light House, the research team included Intep LLC, who brought substantial Swiss experience and expertise to the project, and BTY Group, who contributed in-kind costing analysis. The research was generously funded by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and the City of Vancouver.

Both the Executive Summary and full report may be downloaded at

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