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Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Large Buildings


Thank you for participating in our initial engagement​

Metro Vancouver’s first phase of engagement on an approach for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large buildings is now complete. We thank everyone who submitted feedback through our online feedback form, webinar series, and engagement meetings. Your input is important to us and staff will consider all comments in developing an approach to reduce GHG emissions from large buildings. A summary of the feedback received is expected to be shared to the Climate Action Committee in 2023.

You can contact the project team anytime by emailing or by calling 604-432-6200.

Sign up to our mailing list to get updates on future engagement opportunities.


Metro Vancouver is developing an approach to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large buildings. Large buildings are those over 25,000 ft2 (2,322 m2) and includes residential, commercial, office, and institutional buildings across the region.

Buildings are the second highest source of GHG emissions, contributing approximately 25% of the total GHG emissions in the region. Proven technologies are widely available to change the way we heat space and water in buildings and reduce or eliminate GHG emissions.

Metro Vancouver’s Climate 2050 Buildings Roadmap, developed with partners through the region, sets a goal for all homes and buildings to be zero emissions and resilient by 2050. In the interim, the target is to reduce GHG emissions from buildings by 35% below 2010 levels by 2030. Reducing emissions from large buildings will make a significant contribution to achieving this target.

Developing an approach to ​​reducing emissions

The proposed approach to managing GHG emissions would require building owners to report the GHG emissions from their buildings on an annual basis to ensure that emissions fall below limits established by Metro Vancouver for specified building types and sizes. This diagram includes the elements under consideration:

Managing Large Building GHG Emissions 



Buildings and climate changeBuildings and climate change<div class="ExternalClass551F2145478243FC8595F083CFF1F347"><p>Buildings in Metro Vancouver produce a significant share of the region’s total GHG emissions, second only to transportation. Buildings last a long time, and decisions made today are key to decreasing GHG emissions over the long-term. </p><ul><li>Building GHG emissions come primarily from burning natural gas, a fossil fuel, for space and water heating.</li><li>Buildings that use only electricity for space and water heating are very low carbon</li><li>Equipment replacements for space and water heating usually take place every 10-20 years, and building envelope upgrades may only occur every 30-50 years. </li><li>Most existing buildings will eventually need retrofits to reduce their GHG emissions to low or zero emissions. </li><li>Buildings that burn natural gas are a major contributor of other health-harming air emissions. For example, buildings in the region contribute about 12% of total <span id="ms-rterangecursor-start"></span><a href="/services/air-quality-climate-action/documents/nitrogen-oxides-fact-sheet.pdf" target="_blank" title="nitrogen oxides (NOx) fact sheet"><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end"></span>nitrogen oxides (NOx)</a> emissions, which are harmful to cardiac and respiratory health even at low concentrations. </li><li>Early information about future requirements should help building owners plan for effective retrofits</li></ul></div>
Co-benefits of reducing building-related GHG emissionsCo-benefits of reducing building-related GHG emissions<div class="ExternalClass62F3F3B01A9F4D45871ABA1186209121"><p>Investments in energy-efficient, low-carbon building systems have several demonstrated benefits that are increasingly valued by occupants, tenants, and investors, include improvements to: </p><ul><li>local air quality</li><li>occupant comfort and safety, especially where low-carbon systems such as electric heat pumps (which provide both heating and cooling) are installed </li><li>occupant health, when improvements to ventilation systems are made in conjunction with emission reduction measures and energy efficiency improvements </li><li>the resilience of buildings to power outages and extreme weather events if, energy efficiency upgrades are paired with on-site renewable energy systems and energy storage</li></ul>​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end"></span><br></div>

Relate​​d in​​​itiative

Proposed am​​endments to boiler​s and process heaters emission regulation, Bylaw 1087

In addition to GHG emission​​s, buildings are a source of other health-harming air contaminants. Metro Vancouver is proposing amendments to Bylaw 1087. More information is available here.

Your opinio​​​n matters

Metro Vancouver welcomes inpu​t to shape this approach from those who are interested, may be impacted, or have a role in implementation in reducing emissions from large buildings.

How to have yo​ur say:​

Email the Project Team​​




Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Large Buildings - Discussion Paper Summary, Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Large Buildings - Discussion Paper SummaryManaging Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Large Buildings - Discussion Paper Summary
July 19 2022 Webinar slides: Buildings Emissions Action, July 19 2022 Webinar slides: Buildings Emissions ActionJuly 19 2022 Webinar slides: Buildings Emissions Action
Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Large Buildings In Metro Vancouver, Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Large Buildings In Metro VancouverManaging Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Large Buildings In Metro Vancouver
Introductory Video to Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Large Buildings, Introductory Video to Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Large BuildingsIntroductory Video to Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Large Buildings

 Related links



Climate 2050 Buildings Roadmap, Climate 2050 Buildings RoadmapClimate 2050 Buildings Roadmap
Clean Air Plan, Clean Air PlanClean Air Plan
Climate 2050, Climate 2050Climate 2050


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