How the Standard works
Carbon recognizes the true climatic impact of buildings and brings to light aspects not considered by simple energy efficiency, including the importance of selecting low-carbon construction materials and energy sources for building operations. In simple terms, the CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Standard assesses the carbon balance of a building. When there are no emissions associated with a building’s operations, it has achieved zero carbon.
ZCB-Performance certification is the confirmation that zero carbon has been achieved, earned by demonstrating compliance over one year of operations; verification is required annually.
ZCB-Design certification provides requirements that guide the design of new buildings and the retrofit of existing ones, to best empower buildings to achieve ZCB-Performance certification. Already, buildings have used ZCB-Design to successfully lead them to zero carbon operations.
Unlike other standards, ZCB is the only one that:
- Uses carbon as the main performance metric.
- Is broadly applicable to all types of buildings, new and existing.
- Recognizes the inherent differences in regional energy sources, including local electricity production.
- Is flexible enough to allow all buildings to participate, regardless of age or local grid constraints.
The ZCB Standard was designed with flexibility in mind. Owners of both new construction projects and existing buildings can apply for certification, and ZCB projects now include institutional buildings, offices, multi-unit residential and commercial warehouses ranging in size from 1,800 to 120,000 m2.
Updates coming soon: Zero Carbon Building Standard v2 coming in the first quarter of 2020.