Green Building Policy for Civic Properties
The City of Victoria has taken a leadership role through the development of a Civic Green Building Policy which requires all new construction of civic facilities to be LEED Silver (with a goal of LEED Gold). The City is currently examining ways to increase the sustainability of existing civic buildings.
The Burnside Gorge Community Centre was completed in 2007 and built to a LEED Gold Standard. The City also created the framework for the award-winning Dockside Green Development to become the first LEED® platinum level community.
Green Building for Private Development
Providing green building details is a requirement for all Rezoning Applications and Development Permit Applications that include new construction, and including the green building features within the development is encouraged. Using the indicators as a guide, the applicant will submit details of the green features contained within the development along with the other requirements of the application. This can be included in the letter to Mayor and Council or as an appendix to this letter. By submitting and signing the application, the applicant is providing a voluntary commitment to include the green features as indicated in the letter to Council. In the cases where the green features are required as a condition of rezoning, further documentation may be required.
Green Building Indicators
These indicators are to be used as a guide for helping applicants set a green building course. It also serves as a tool for staff and Council to help assess the merits of an application.
City of Victoria Green Building Indicators
• Site selection and design
• Innovation and design
• Building retention and reuse
• Energy efficiency
• Renewable energy
• Water conservation and reuse
• Site permeability
• Landscaping and urban forest
• Urban agriculture
Third Party Rating Systems There are a number of green building rating systems that may be considered for the project. These rating systems may provide the proponent with guidance on how to incorporate green building features:
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), as endorsed by the Canada Green Building Council (see www.cagbc.ca)
- Built Green, as endorsed by the Built Green Society of Canada (see www.builtgreencanada.ca)
BC Energy Step Code
The BC Energy Step Code is a provincial standard enacted in April 2017 that establishes progressive performance steps in energy efficiency for new buildings from the current BC Building Code level to net zero energy ready buildings by 2032. It was developed through wide-ranging stakeholder consensus over a two year period through a series of working groups and committees convened by the Building and Safety Standards Branch of the BC Provincial Government.
The Step Code provides a consistent provincial standard for energy efficiency to replace the wide range of existing policies and programs unique to each local government. It also supports consumer choice by taking a new performance-based approach rather than a prescriptive approach. This allows builders flexibility to develop using all available technologies as the Step Code does not specify how to construct a building, only identifies an energy efficiency target that must be met.
City of Victoria Step Code requirements
Council adopted the Step Code on April 26, 2018, as per the following:
- Projects that have applied for building permit prior to November 1st, 2018 will be considered in-stream and will not be subject to Step Code requirements.
- Building permits applied for between November 1st, 2018 and December 31st, 2019 will need to demonstrate compliance with Step 1 of the Step Code.
- Building permits applied for after January 1st, 2020 will need to demonstrate compliance with the Steps adopted for that building typology:
- Step 3 for Part 9 homes (excluding small homes/garden suites)
- Step 2 for Part 9 small homes/garden suites
- Step 3 for Part 3 mid-rise/wood-frame residential buildings
- Step 2 for Part 3 high-rise/concrete residential buildings and commercial buildings.
For applicants seeking information on how the BC Energy Step Code affects a project and/or project timelines, please see BC Energy Step Code: Information for Applicants - Land Use Applications and Building Permits. [PDF - 69 KB]
For information and resources on the BC Energy Step Code, including the implementation guide, costing study, technical webinars, and FAQs, visit www.energystepcode.ca.
We want to hear from you!
To provide your input regarding adoption of the Step Code and the best mechanisms to support industry in its implementation, contact email@example.com.