CaGBC launches new version of its Zero Carbon Building Standard

Version 2 draws on lessons from more than 20 zero carbon projects.

March 19, 2020 |

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The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) recently unveiled an updated version of its Zero Carbon Building Standard.

Version 2 incorporates lesson from over 20 zero carbon projects that represent a wide spectrum of building types including schools, offices, commercial offices, and industrial buildings. “These projects demonstrate that the industry is ready to raise the bar on expanded requirements for embodied carbon and energy efficiency,” according to a CaGBC news release.

The updated standard aims to get more buildings to zero, faster, by providing more options for different design strategies, by recognizing high-quality carbon offsets when necessary and providing new tools to help design zero carbon buildings and measure results, the release says. The standard provides two pathways for any type of building project—new construction or retrofit— to get to zero carbon. The standard provides a framework for verifying that buildings have achieved zero carbon, and it must be revisited annually.

Among the new requirements:

· Projects must now reduce and offset carbon emissions for the building’s life-cycle including the manufacture and use of construction materials.

· Best practices must be followed to minimize potential leaks of refrigerants.

· More stringent energy efficiency and air-tightness requirements were added.

· Projects must demonstrate two innovative strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

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