Building climate solutions

A proven path to lower carbon emissions

The growing impact of climate change demands action, and buildings must be part of the solution. Slowing the rise in global temperatures means cutting carbon emissions. Today, residential, commercial, and institutional buildings contribute 17% of Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Considering building materials and construction brings that number is closer to 30%, making the building sector Canada’s third-highest carbon emitter.

Green buildings offer a proven solution. They are more energy and resource efficient, use renewable energy, and work with the environment around them. Zero-carbon buildings help lower carbon emissions by addressing embodied carbon from construction materials and processes and from heating, cooling, and refrigerant use. Committing to green, zero-carbon buildings and deep carbon retrofits will reduce carbon emissions, helping slow rising global temperatures. 

CAGBC plays an active role in making zero-carbon buildings the new normal through researcheducation, and the Zero Carbon Building standards.

What’s a zero carbon building? 

A zero-carbon building is highly energy-efficient and minimizes GHG emissions from building materials and operations. Until all emissions can be eliminated, high-quality carbon offsets can be used as a counterbalance.


Édifice Jacques-Parizeau’s ZCB-Performance certification to guide future Ivanhoé Cambridge projects

Located in Montreal’s International District, Édifice Jacques-Parizeau is the home of real estate…
April 28, 2022

The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation

In May 2018, the Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation (JCPI) became the…
December 15, 2020

AMPED Sports Lab & Ice Complex

High-performance focus earns AMPED Sports Lab Zero Carbon certification AMPED Sports Lab and…
December 15, 2020

Rayside Labossière architectes

Rayside Labossière: Existing LEED building shines with new Zero Carbon Building – Performance…
August 24, 2020

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Climate priority

To slow global warming and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, energy efficiency must go up, and carbon emissions must come down. Zero-carbon buildings offer a solution for both new construction and existing buildings, and can spur economic growth and new high-skilled jobs.

Making the Case 

CAGBC’s report Making the Case for Zero Carbon Buildings proves zero-carbon buildings are technically feasible and financially viable. Investment in zero-carbon buildings protects against the rising cost of carbon and offers benefits beyond carbon reduction.

Decarbonizing Canada’s Large Buildings

Existing buildings must be retrofit or renovated to be zero carbon if Canada is to meet its emissions reduction targets. CAGBC’s study Decarbonizing Canada’s Large Buildings examines how building owners can use deep carbon retrofits to accelerate the decarbonization of large buildings.


Green Retrofit Economy Study

Supply chain readiness in a low-carbon world CAGBC and the Delphi Group‘s new…
June 2, 2022

Embodied Carbon: A primer for buildings in Canada

This document provides the building sector with the information needed to understand embodied…
March 23, 2022

Canada’s Green Building Engine

Market Impact and Opportunities in a Critical Decade CAGBC’s report, Canada’s Green Building Engine captures…
March 8, 2022

Decarbonizing Canada’s Large Buildings

2021 report provides a path to zero  For Canada to achieve its 2030…
March 8, 2022

Zero carbon building jobs

In the race to reduce carbon emissions and meet Canada’s climate targets, zero-carbon buildings and retrofits are an important strategy. Already, the federal government has mandated that all its owned or leased buildings should pursue zero carbon. As more building owners follow suit, demand for green building workers will grow.

The CAGBC report, Canada’s Green Building Engine estimates that direct green building jobs could number 1.5 million by 2030 if the government pursues a green recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, investments in workforce reskilling will be needed to meet the technical demands of zero-carbon buildings.


Sept. 29 is the deadline for ZCB-Design v2 registration

Projects seeking to register under Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard v2 should…
September 22, 2022

CAGBC’s Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard to phase out combustion

Ottawa, ON – June 21, 2022 – Today the Canada Green Building Council…
June 21, 2022

CAGBC releases embodied carbon primer

Guide will help building sector seize opportunities for timely and sustainable carbon reductions…
March 15, 2022

Canada’s large buildings have a pathway to zero

New CAGBC study offers viable pathways for deep carbon retrofits, helping supercharge Canada’s…
December 9, 2021