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ENERMA Sustainable Solutions Ltd.
Introduced as a voluntary standard in 2017 and now required to varying degrees by municipalities across the province, the Step Code aims at quantifying the total energy consumption of a building and targeting reduction of loads through improved envelopes and heat recovery. Our strength is in finding the most cost effective means of achieving these targets, applying holistic multi-disciplinary solutions.
In Vancouver, nearly 60% of the carbon pollution comes from buildings. That’s why the city of Vancouver has its own Zero Emissions Building Plan to eliminate carbon pollution from new buildings before 2030. Because of this plan, new buildings produce 70% less carbon pollution than they did in 2007. The plan has four strategies to require the majority of new buildings to have no operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and all new buildings to have no greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
These four strategies include:
These strategies for achieving zero emissions new buildings were developed specifically to ensure comfortable and healthy indoor environments, maximize local economic development, ensure long-term building resilience, protect housing affordability and to facilitate achieving the City’s Renewable City Strategy target to have all buildings in Vancouver (including those already built) use only renewable energy by the year 2050.
Zero emissions new buildings will be achieved by incrementally lowering the permitted Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions for new construction in Vancouver`s Building Bylaw over time. This Plan establishes greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) targets (GHG emissions per unit area per year) by building type and includes a stepped reduction timeline to reflect these targets as maximum permitted limits in Vancouver`s building policies and Building Bylaw.
Reference City of Vancouver Zero Emission Building Plan.
Retrofitting is simply upgrading or renovating a house so it will keep the heat in during the heating season and keep it cooler during the summer. This means adding insulation, caulking and weatherstripping, improving or replacing windows and doors, and improving the mechanical systems. Retrofitting also means including energy efficiency measures in all your renovation and repair activities. Within the context of the Canadian climate, retrofitting makes a lot of sense.
The importance of energy retrofits can be summarized as follows:
Energy efficiency. Retrofitting costs less than producing new energy supplies to heat a house. More than 16 percent of Canada’s annual energy goes to heat our homes, and this energy comes mostly from non-renewable resources such as oil and gas.
Comfort and health. A well-insulated, air sealed and ventilated house makes for a comfortable home. It is also much quieter, and there is less dust and pollen to worry about.
Durability. By retrofitting your home, you can also improve air and moisture control. As a result, your house will remain in better shape and last longer.
Save money. Improving a home’s energy efficiency is one of the best investments you can make, paying tax-free dividends immediately in the form of lower energy bills.
Protect the environment. Consuming less energy means fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, retrofitting uses fewer new resources than building a new house.
A professional energy evaluation service is the best way to assess your home’s energy improvement potential. An energy advisor certified by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) evaluates your home from the attic down to the foundation, including a measurement of your insulation levels and a blower door test to determine air tightness. You will receive a personalized report, including a checklist of recommended retrofits to improve overall energy efficiency, as well as an EnerGuide rating so you can compare the energy efficiency of your home with other homes.
Reference Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
As one of the most proactive cities in the country for energy efficiency regulation, Vancouver leads the way by setting aggressive targets for new buildings, especially those undergoing rezoning. Our team can help your project navigate the challenging and dynamic Vancouver energy regulations.