As a developer with a difference, Concert is always looking for opportunities to improve its practices. This is especially true as it relates to sustainability and identifying viable ways the company can reduce its environmental footprint.
One of the opportunities being explored is how to incorporate requirements of the new BC Energy Step Code into current building designs. The goal is to stay ahead of the curve by ensuring that tomorrow’s buildings meet the province’s requirements for increased energy efficiency and support BC’s goal of net-zero energy ready buildings by 2032. (The common definition for a net-zero ready building is one that has maximized its energy conservation potential.)
Enacted in April 2017, the BC Energy Step Code is a provincial standard that provides an incremental and consistent approach to achieving energy-efficient buildings that go beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code. The BC Energy Step Code was established through a collaborative industry-government effort, and comprises a set of performance targets that provide a transparent framework for new construction in BC.
Although currently optional, so far 28 local governments have either begun consulting with industry on a BC Energy Step Code strategy, or have referenced it in building bylaws. Concert is active in several of these communities, including Vancouver, North Vancouver and Victoria. In the lead-up to its 2032 target, the province is expected to enact increasing energy performance requirements in future versions of the BC Building Code.
Dave Ramslie, Concert’s Vice President, Sustainability, helped to develop the BC Step Code over a two-year period. He believes the BC Step Code is important because it provides a provincially-endorsed road map to achieve net-zero energy ready buildings and provides a clear pathway for other Canadian jurisdictions, which may help pave the way for a consistent, national approach.
“As someone who is passionate about sustainability and fighting climate change, it’s good to see governments taking a leadership role in this area,” says Ramslie. “By working with industry to design the framework, and providing flexibility in its implementation, the BC Energy Step Code is a good example of a collaborative and practical approach to dealing with climate and energy issues.”
Brian McCauley, Concert’s President & Chief Executive Officer, says considering the BC Energy Step Code today just makes sense both from both a business and environmental perspective. “With a provincially endorsed road map to net-zero ready buildings, Concert can start making investments in developments that are not only aligned with our values, but also help us to keep pace with, and get ahead of, future regulations. The result will be better buildings for residents and a net benefit for our environment.”