CaGBC Zero Carbon Buildings Framework:

For Commercial, Institutional and Multi-Family Buildings in Canada




The Executive Summary of the Zero Carbon Buildings Framework is available publically.

If you are a CaGBC Member,
click here
now to view the full,
48-page Zero Carbon Buildings Framework.

Not a CaGBC Member?
Become one today for access to this and other great content and benefits.

The Zero Carbon Buildings Framework is the first stage of a broader CaGBC Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative to champion the move to lower-carbon commercial, institutional and high-rise residential buildings in support of Canada’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. The next phases of the Zero Carbon Initiative include the identification of specific pathways to zero carbon, a zero carbon building pilot program, and the development of a verification program to be completed and launched by CaGBC by the end of the second quarter of 2017

To develop the framework, the CaGBC consulted with approximately 50 individuals representing 40 organizations in the building sector. The Framework facilitates broad participation across a range of building types and sizes, provides a clear definition for zero carbon buildings, and establishes five key components for the evaluation of building carbon footprints that are detailed below.

  • A greenhouse gas intensity metric for assessing a building’s emissions,
    calculated using regional emissions factors.

  • Energy intensity metrics to incentivize the design of highly efficient, reliable and resilient buildings.

  • A peak energy demand metric to encourage the use of “peak shaving” measures.

  • An embodied carbon metric to recognize the importance of building material lifecycle impacts.

  • A requirement that renewable energy be generated on-site or procured directly in order to
    ensure the addition of clean power generation.


The following infographic details how
net zero carbon works in an office building.