New CAGBC ZCB Interpretation Process

Green Building Team on March 20, 2024

Rating System/Standard
Zero Carbon Building
Zero Carbon

The CAGBC is excited to launch our Zero Carbon Building Standards Interpretations database. This new service provides support for project teams that require clarification beyond what is outlined in the published resources. Project teams may have an alternative approach for demonstrating compliance which should be considered, or believe an exemption is warranted due to a specific set of circumstances.

The decisions on these alternatives involve in-depth research and discussion at CAGBC’s Technical Advisory Groups and Zero Carbon Steering Committee meetings, and the resulting guidance is of benefit to other teams. These Interpretation rulings are posted in the online database to provide guidance for projects yet to submit for certification. The new Interpretation process is designed to provide sound, precedent-setting responses to inquiries that are fair and consistent with the review of projects in the program.

These rulings are supplemental guidance, not new requirements, and therefore apply to all registered projects.

The database launches with five recent decisions by CAGBC committees:

  • #1478 Allowance for wood burning fireplaces supporting / reflecting Indigenous cultures
  • #1479 Separating tenant-controlled areas in a linear, horizontally attached building (this ruling was recently featured in a CAGBC article)
  • #1480 Airtightness testing alternatives for new additions without air barriers
  • #1481 Determining climate zones
  • #1482 What qualifies as a low GWP refrigerant?

The ZCB Interpretations database is available to specialist or catalyst members and can be accessed using the link in My CAGBC. An updated ZCB Certification Guide available here explains how to submit and use Interpretations. Any project leveraging a ruling in their certification submission must clearly indicate the Interpretation number noted in the database in their documentation. Interpretation requests will be able to be submitted at any time using an online form, and do not need to be linked to a project registration. A charge of $575 applies to each request submitted.

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