City of Vancouver Advances Toward Zero-Emission Green Buildings

December 10, 2015

An 85-unit six-storey wood apartment is being built on the corner of Skeena and East Hastings streets in Vancouver. When complete it will be the largest Passive House building in Canada.

Across B.C., buildings account for 11 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions, according to a report by the provincial climate leadership team. The report cited Brusselswhich went from amongst the worst in Europe to amongst the best over an eight-year periodto suggest that B.C. could reduce emissions in this sector by 50 percent by 2030.

Our recommendations would see increasing use of wood products and a rapid transition to buildings that are energy efficient enough to be able to meet most of their energy needs with on-site renewable energy (e.g., equivalent to net zero ready or Passive House standards), the report noted. The call for more wood construction was echoed by Pander, so long as it meets fire- and seismic-safety standards. Wood is a great carbon-capture technology, he said.

The six-storey building at 388 Skeena Street has been designed with five storeys of wood, which reduces heat leakage. The structureؙs design, building envelope, high-quality windows, and heat-recovery system also help achieve that objective.