New ACP provides a recognition path for BC projects going beyond code

Efforts by CaGBC, FortisBC, BC Hydro and industry stakeholders streamline how energy performance is evaluated in British Columbia

Vancouver, BC – December 10, 2020 – The latest addenda to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system include a new alternative compliance pathway (ACP) that streamlines how energy performance is evaluated, helping projects align LEED with local energy codes.

The BC Energy Step Code ACP is the result of 18 months of work by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), its Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and Steering Committee volunteers, and industry stakeholders. The technical evaluations required to secure approval of the ACP by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED’s governing body, were funded through FortisBC, while BC Hydro provided support for market engagement.

“LEED remains the world’s most widely used green building rating system because of its flexibility and market responsiveness,” said Mark Hutchinson, Vice President of Green Building Programs at CaGBC. “Through collaboration, we are able to identify solutions and pathways that address the needs of B.C. market. This new ACP will streamline certification for those projects looking to go beyond code and achieve LEED certification.”

By using this ACP option, LEED projects in British Columbia can now have the local code authority’s energy review recognized if they achieve Step 2 or beyond under the BC Energy Step Code. This approach offers a streamlined path for Part 3 buildings in British Columbia pursuing LEED v4 or LEED v4.1 under Building Design and Construction (BD+C) or Multifamily Midrise.

“FortisBC is proud to support the alignment of LEED with the BC Energy Step Code and help set the path for more energy efficient buildings,” said Saleh Lavaee, Technical Solutions Manager, FortisBC. “Reducing emissions from buildings is a key part of our 30BY30 target to reduce customer emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. Collaboration such as this will help streamline the process for developers to build lower emission, energy-efficient buildings through technical innovation, like high-efficiency natural gas boilers or natural gas-fired heat pumps, and enabling the use of renewable gases across British Columbia.”

The new ACP is part of a robust set of addenda published in November. It is anticipated that these addenda represent the last significant updates to LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C before going to ballot, likely in 2021.

“The Canadian green building market is rapidly evolving, especially here in British Columbia,” said Bertine Stelzer, Program Manager, BC Hydro. “The opportunity for BC industry members to integrate BC Energy Step Code requirements and targets into their LEED projects will support the market in both meeting new regulations while pushing the boundaries on green building leadership. We are excited to see this integration and the impact it will have on market transformation towards BC’s and Canada’s net zero energy ready new construction targets by 2030.”

About CaGBC

CaGBC is the leading national organization dedicated to advancing green building, building retrofit, and sustainable community development practices. As the voice of green building in Canada, CaGBC works with industry and government at the local, provincial, and national levels to make every building greener. CaGBC focuses on reducing carbon emissions and the overall environmental impacts of buildings while improving occupant health and contributing to a vibrant low-carbon economy. To accomplish this, CaGBC sets and verifies advanced green building standards, conducts government advocacy and market research, and provides education and training that has reached over 45,000 Canadian professionals since 2002. In 2004, CaGBC established the LEED® green building rating system in Canada and developed the first Zero Carbon Building Standard in 2017. CaGBC is a member of the World Green Building Council, supporting international efforts to reduce environmental impacts and enhance global health in buildings and communities. For more information, visit cagbc.org.