The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) recently launched the first phase of its Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative.
The new framework is a precursor to the launch of a Zero Carbon Building Standard in spring 2017. Canada is striving to develop more lower-carbon commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings in an effort to reduce greenhouse gases by 30% by 2030.
The Zero Carbon Buildings Framework establishes five key components for evaluating building carbon footprints:
• Greenhouse gas intensity metric for assessing a building’s emissions taking into account regional emissions factors
• Energy intensity metrics to incentivize design of highly efficient, reliable, and resilient buildings
• Peak energy demand metric to encourage the use of peak-shaving measures
• Embodied carbon metric to recognize importance of building material lifecycle impacts
• Requirement that renewable energy be generated on-site or procured directly
Upcoming phases of the Zero Carbon Initiative will include the identification of specific pathways to zero carbon, a zero carbon building pilot program, and the development of a verification program.