Canada/Vancouver on the road to decarbonizing its tall buildings

Published on 30/05/2024 | La rédaction


Vancouver will soon have new greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting requirements for the city's largest buildings.

The regulation, which comes into force on June1, applies to commercial and office buildings of 9290 square metres or more.

Owners will now be required to report their buildings' GHG emissions.

The measure is part of a multi-decade plan to decarbonize commercial and office space.

Vancouver's goal is to achieve zero emissions from these buildings by 2040. Similar measures are being taken in many cities in Europe and America.

Providing a clear regulatory roadmap and introducing reporting requirements gives owners and managers time to understand current building performance, explore incentives and financing, and plan for any improvements in their investment plans, says the City.

An opportunity or a constraint

Many of our tenants have already set ambitious climate targets and told us it was important to them," says Jesse Gregson, Vice President of Office Operations at Cadillac Fairview, one of the country's largest real estate companies.

The company's portfolio includes 12 office towers in Vancouver and the CF Pacific shopping center downtown.

According to Jesse Gregson, significant amounts are being invested and supported by provincial assistance, notably through Clean BC, and from the federal government.

It's important that we have the support of the state and local communities to make these projects happen, because without that, they would be too costly for most homeowners," says Gregson.

It costs money, and not everyone will be able to afford it," agrees Damian Stathonikos, President of the British Columbia Commercial Owners and Managers Association.

He explains that some owners may choose to demolish or otherwise develop their properties, rather than spend large sums of money to comply with the new regulations.

Amar Paul, president of North American operations at Schneider Electric, a company specializing in energy management and automation, believes that the technologies, business models and financing exist to achieve probably 70% of a transition relatively quickly.

How fast will people drive change? I think it depends on how accessible the technologies are," adds Amar Paul.

As cities and municipalities invest in [decarbonization], the cost will start to come down, he adds.


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