Home > Home, property, and development > Building and renovating > Green building and renovating

Green building and renovating

Solar panels on roof

Vancouver will soon lead the world in green building design and construction, thanks to the innovative Greenest City Action Plan.

As part of this initiative, the City is working to reduce the amount of energy consumed by the city's new homes 33% by 2020, with the goal of making all new buildings "carbon neutral" by 2030.

At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings will be reduced by 20% over 2007 levels.

How we are meeting these green building targets

The City is implementing a wide range of green building programs and policies to help reach this ambitious target, including the Green Homes program.

You can help, too. Access the many incentives and programs to help you make your home more energy efficient, so you can reduce your utility bills, carbon footprint, and help Vancouver become the world's greenest city by 2020.

On this page:

  • Guidelines, policies, grants, and resources about green building and renovating
  • Vancouver's top EnerGuide homes for 2014

Energy retrofit case studies 

Guidelines, policies, grants, and resources about green building and renovating

Building your laneway house

Find out if your property is eligible for a laneway house, and get all of the help, advice, and guidance you need to build it.

Demolition permit

Demolishing a building in Vancouver often requires at least one permit. Find out the requirements for your project, including for reusing and recycling demolition materials.

Energy requirements, forms, and checklists for large and retail / commercial buildings

Get the energy checklists and tutorials for ASHRAE 90.1 and NECB submissions, as well as process and requirements information for these projects: rezoning, neighbourhood energy, and energy upgrades for existing buildings.

Grants and loans for energy-efficiency improvements

There are valuable grants and rebates available that can help you offset the cost of making your home more energy efficient. Save money, and do your part to help make Vancouver the world's greenest city.

Green building, renovating, and landscaping resources

Find green home renovation guides to help you create a home that is healthy, saves you money, and is easy on the environment.

Green home building policies

All new one- and two-family homes must comply to Vancouver's new green building requirements. By 2020, all new homes will be carbon neutral.

Green living at home

The City is working hard to meet the Greenest City 2020 target for reduced greeenhouse gas emmissions, but we need your help! Learn what you can do to make your home more energy efficient.

Build a Passive House

Learn if your project meets all of the requirements of the Passive House standard.

Secondary suites

The City allows secondary rental suites in all parts of Vancouver. Learn the rules for installing a suite in your home or apartment, and get help with the approval process.

Solar photovoltaic panels

Learn about the permit process to install solar photovoltaic panels on your home.

Vancouver's top EnerGuide homes for 2015

Thanks in part to the Greenest City Action Plan, Vancouver is a world leader in green buildings.

Designers and builders throughout Vancouver create remarkable homes that are comfortable, quiet, and use very little energy.

Single family homes

East 5th House, the EnerGuide 2015 top single family home

East 5th House, the EnerGuide 2015 top single family home

Project name  Designer/builder  Rating 
East 5th House Lanefab & Stone Creek Homes 87
Pine Crescent House 13 Design Group/Steve Hanzlick/Trademark Holdings 87
West 5th House Battersby Howat Architects/Hart Tipton Construction 86 
Faber Development Project Intarsia Design/Overton Construction 86 
Kitchener Court Franco Tessari Architect/Otivo Development Group 85
Sunny Shaughnessy House Private/Steven Lien from Live West Coast Developments 85

Laneway homes

Eastern Lane House, the EnerGuide 2015 top laneway house

Eastern Lane House, the EnerGuide 2015 top laneway house

Project name  Designer/builder Rating 
Eastern Lane House Architrix Design Studio/Smallworks 85
Bonsai House Lanefab Design/Build 85
Chan-Lee House Lanefab Design/Build 84
East Blenheim Laneway House Smallworks Design/Build 84
Beatrice Street Laneway House Anyone Architecture + Design/Raymond Fung Construction 84
Rough Laneway House Measured Architecture/Powers Construction 84
Hudson Laneway House O'Regan Construction Design/Build 84

EnerGuide rates a home’s energy efficiency from zero to 100.

A rating of 100 represents a house that is airtight, very well insulated, sufficiently ventilated, and has renewable energy systems on site that generate the same amount of energy that the house consumes.

A rating of 82 or higher is excellent.

Green renovation guides

Get the green renovation guides

Create a home that is healthy, money-saving, and is easy on the environment, with the City's series of 9 green home renovation guides.

Get the guides

New to Canada?

Empower me

Contact Empower Me, a free energy conservation program that offers culturally appropriate and in-language energy efficiency education.

Learn more about EmPower Me

Did you know...

54% of all greenhouse gases generated in Vancouver are produced by the construction and operation of buildings?

What we are doing about it

Energy-saving tips for homes and businesses

Visit the BC Hydro Power Smart website

Get energy-saving tips

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre about building and zoning


Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
Ground floor
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am to 4:00pm

Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon

Building your laneway houseRetain your character houseGrants and loans for energy-efficiency improvementsGreen building, renovating, and landscaping resourcesGreen home building policiesGreen living at homeBuild a Passive HouseSecondary suitesSolar photovoltaic panels