Single family homes consume a lot of energy, but can be made more efficient
A small but important part of the ‘Greenest City Action Plan’, The City of Vancouver hopes to tackle the resource efficiency of existing buildings through a proposed amendment to our building by-law (VBBL) that would require green improvements along with the renovation of one and two family homes. Arguably, it might seem like this will have a small impact on the massive GHG goals taken on by the Province and City, however it is an essential step in any Green Building plan.
When you hear about a new LEED or Built Green Home, you might think, “That’s great, but about all the existing buildings out there?” Legally, the City can only require changes to a structure if a homeowner is in the process of asking for a modification. In 2009, the City held public consultations and specific industry meetings to get feedback on the by-law amendment that will go to council in the next few months (Summer 2010).
Staff from the City of Vancouver indicate that, “Their input helped shape our recommendations. The public was supportive, many were already interested in what small things they could do to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.” Further, affordability was a driving element to this plan, and it is anticipated that the added costs will stay below 10%; one way this was achieved was through selected upgrade strategies that were inexpensive or that aligned with current grant programs.