Green Buildings: Builders

The Township of Langley is committed to working together with builders to continuously improve our green building practices and processes. If you have any questions about the BC Energy Step Code or the Township’s GHG DPAs, please reach out to us at greenbuildings@tol.ca.

Big Move #2 in the Township’s Climate Action Strategy states that all new buildings in the community will produce zero emissions by 2030.

To meet this goal, the Township has adopted the BC Energy Step Code for residential buildings (non-residential buildings coming soon) and has additional green building guidelines in our Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Development Permit Areas (GHG DP Areas). 

Step Code Timeline

Adopted Step Code timeline for Residential Buildings


UBC Scholar Report

Our UBC Sustainability Scholars are researching and writing reports to help inform the Township’s adoption of the BC Energy Step Code and better understand how builders are adapting to create green buildings in our community. See details of the research findings in these reports:


This page details important information related to building green in the Township that builders should go over before and during the building process.

To start, check out the below flowchart which goes over the Step Code and GHG DP Areas process in the Township:

Timeline

To meet the Township’s Step Code and GHG DPA requirements, an energy professional (ie, Energy Advisor, Energy Modeller, or similar) is essential.  However, the process varies between Part 9 (for example, Single Family Dwellings and Townhomes) and Part 3 (such as high-rise apartments and large commercial and industrial buildings). The specific requirements for the BP application process and Step Code are outlined for Part 9 and Part 3 building types in the sections below.

For all buildings, the Township of Langley requires the Abbotsford weather file to be used for energy simulations. The Heating Degree Days (HDD) for Langley, as per Table C-2 in Division B - Appendix C of the BC Building Code is 2,700.

Please note, we are aware of a feature in NRCan’s HOT2000 software where the weather file is automatically selected based on the address of the building. If Abbotsford is not automatically selected, please enter it in manually.

The following documents are required as part of all building permit applications:

Part 9 Buildings

  • BC Energy Compliance Reports - Performance Paths for Part 9 Buildings (please include Section F – Other Energy Modelling Metrics)
    • Pre-construction Report, submitted at time of BP application (in PDF format)
    • As-Built Report, submitted at time of final inspection (in PDF format)
  • An energy modeling report (typically an EnerGuide report with accompanying HOT2000 data for Part 9 houses) must accompany all building permit applications. As-built versions must be submitted at the time of final inspection
  • The application shall also include energy statements on the drawings indicating the project complies with the BC Energy Step Code, the climate zone (Climate Zone 4), the specific Step pursued and the required step code target metrics (e.g., TEDI, MEUI, Airtightness, etc.) and the actual values achieved in the model as applicable
  • Air barrier details shall be shown on the drawings (in red)

The report/calculator used to generate the BC Energy Compliance Reports and more information related to these reports can be found on the BC Energy Step Code webpage under Resources: Compliance Tools for Part 9 Buildings.

For non-residential Part 9 projects, contact the Building department for the building permit application requirements.

Part 3 Buildings

For Part 3 Step Code projects, the following are required as part of all new building permit applications:

For Part 3 non-Step Code projects, the following are required as part of all new building permit applications:

If you have any questions regarding required documentation, email greenbuildings@tol.ca or call the Building department at 604-533-6018.

The BC Energy Step Code (Step Code) is a provincial standard that requires a level of energy efficiency in new construction that goes above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code. Each building type has a certain number of steps (or levels) of increasing energy efficiency, which gradually lead to “net-zero energy ready” construction by 2032. The province defines a net-zero energy ready building as one that has been designed and built to a level of performance, such that it could (with additional measures) generate enough onsite energy to meet its own energy needs.  It’s expected that net-zero energy ready buildings will be required by the BC Building Code by 2032.

The Township of Langley voluntarily adopted the Step Code in 2017 and as of January 1, 2021 is at Step 3 in GHG DPAs and Step 2 in non-GHG DPAs for all new residential construction (please see GHG DPA section below for more information on GHG Development Permit Areas). By voluntarily adopting the Step Code, the Township is preparing builders for the highly energy efficient new construction the Province will require in 2032. Builders must work with an Energy Advisor during the entire construction process to ensure their project is designed and built to meet the Step Code.

The following chart summarizes the Township’s past and future adoption of the BC Energy Step Code for residential buildings:

Step Code Timeline

Our 2020 UBC Sustainability Scholar, Madhur Motwani, researched and wrote a report to help inform the Township’s adoption of the BC Energy Step Code for Part 3 non-residential buildings. Take a look at the report findings!

Adoption of Step Code for non-residential buildings (ie., industrial, commercial and institutional buildings) is in the beginning stages of stakeholder consultation. Email greenbuildings@tol.ca to be included in our Green Buildings email list so you hear of consultation opportunities first.

Part 9 Step Code Residential Targets

Table 9.36.6.6.-A
Requirements for Buildings Located Where the Degree-Days Below 18°C Value is less than 3000(1)

Forming Part of Sentence 9.36.6.3.(1)

Step Airtightness
(Air Changes per Hour at 50 Pa Pressure Differential)
Performance Requirement of Building Envelope Performance Requirement of Building Equipment and Systems
2 ≤ 3.0

EnerGuide Rating % lower than EnerGuide Reference House: not less than 10% lower energy consumption

or

the applicable mechanical energy use intensity requirements in Table 9.36.6.3.-G

thermal energy demand intensity

≤ 35 kWh/(m2year), thermal energy demand intensity not exceeding the value calculated in accordance with Sentence (4), or not less than 5% performance improvement over the EnerGuide Reference House
3 ≤ 2.5

EnerGuide Rating % lower than EnerGuide Reference House: not less than 20% lower energy consumption

or

the applicable mechanical energy use intensity requirements in Table 9.36.6.3.-G

thermal energy demand intensity

≤ 30 kWh/(m2year), thermal energy demand intensity not exceeding the value calculated in accordance with Sentence (4), or not less than 10% performance improvement over the EnerGuide Reference House

Table 9.36.6.3.-G
Mechanical Energy Use Intensity Requirements
Forming Part of Sentence 9.36.6.3.(1)

Heating Degree-Days of Building Location,(1) in Celsius Degree-Days Amount of the Building’s Conditioned Space Served by Space-Cooling Equipment Step Floor Area of Conditioned Space (m2)
≤ 50 51 to 75 76 to 120 121 to 165 166 to 210 > 210
Mechanical Energy Use Intensity, kWh/(m2•year)
Less than 3000 Not more than 50% 2 135 120 90 75 65 60
3 120 100 75 63 53 50
More than 50% 2 170 148 108 85 73 65
3 155 128 93 73 60 55

Part 3 Step Code Residential Targets

Table 10.2.3.3.-H
Energy Performance Requirements for Other Residential Occupancies
Forming part of Sentences 10.2.3.3.(1) and (2)

Degree-Days Below 18°C Step Equipment and Systems – Maximum Total Energy Use Intensity, kWh/(m2•year) Building Envelope – Maximum Thermal Energy Demand Intensity, kWh/(m2•year) 
Less than 3000 2 130 45
3 120 30

More information can be found on energystepcode.ca.

Please email greenbuildings@tol.ca or phone 604-533-6018 for more information.

As a leader in green buildings in BC, the Township of Langley has additional requirements for builders to support the construction of high performance buildings above and beyond the requirements of the BCBC. These additional requirements are applicable in areas known as Energy Conservation and GHG Emission Reduction Development Permit Areas, or GHG DPAs for short. GHG DPAs promote conservation and efficient use of energy in buildings, reduce building-generated greenhouse gas emissions, and lead to the development of sustainable communities.

Currently, GHG DPAs include the Latimer, Williams, Smith, and Carvolth Neighbourhoods in Willoughby, and the Brookswood-Fernridge neighbourhood. Strategies to reduce GHG emissions in these areas include but are not limited to:

  • Orienting buildings to optimize passive solar energy heating, reduce heat loss, and support natural ventilation
  • Incorporating high thermally performing windows, doors, and skylights
  • Utilizing sunscreens or overhangs to minimize solar heat gain in the summer while maximizing solar heat gain in the winter
  • Acquiring at least 10% of the building’s total energy demand through on-site renewable energy systems.

Click on the image below to view a map of where the GHG DPAs are located.

Please email greenbuildings@tol.ca or phone 604-533-6018 for more information.

How to Apply for the Green Building Rebate Program

The Township’s Green Building Rebate Program incentivizes high performance new and existing buildings. Rebates for new construction and renovations are outlined below:

Up to $350 Incentives for mid-construction blower door testing. The Step Code has pass/fail airtightness targets for Part 9 buildings. Incentives are available to offset the cost of performing an additional pre-drywall blower door test once the air barrier is in place, but can still be repaired.
 
Up to $300 A subsidized Step Code plan review. An incentive is available to assist with the costs of energy modeling while working with an Energy Advisor on Part 9 Step Code projects.
Up to $1500 Financial incentives for new homes built to the Upper Steps (single-family dwellings brochure; multi-family dwellings brochure). Are you interested in being an energy-efficiency leader? Part 9 residential buildings built to Steps 4 or 5 of the Step Code qualify for additional incentives.
Up to $750 A financial rebate on your building permit. By successfully renovating an energy efficient home, you may be eligible for a building permit rebate from the Township, as well as other industry incentives for both renovations and new builds.

To apply follow these steps:

New Construction

  1. At the start of the building design process, hire an Energy Advisor. View NRCan’s list of service providers at nrcan.gc.ca/homes.
  2. When you apply for your building permit, receive the New Construction GBRP referral form.
  3. Build your home to the meet the targeted level of the BC Energy Step Code and the Township’s GHG DPA requirements (if applicable).
  4. Contact your Energy Advisor to complete the final as-built BC Energy Compliance report.
  5. Within 90 days of final inspection, submit the New Construction referral form, invoices, and EnerGuide and energy modelling (ie, HOT2000) documentation to the Township of Langley.

Renovation

  1. Complete a pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation with an Energy Advisor. View NRCan’s list of service providers at nrcan.gc.ca/homes.
  2. When you apply for your building permit, receive the Renovation GBRP referral form.
  3. Complete your home renovation incorporating Energy Advisor recommended energy improvements.
  4. Contact your Energy Advisor to complete a post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation.
  5. Within 90 days of final inspection, submit the Renovation referral form, invoices, and EnerGuide documentation to the Township of Langley.

The below flowcharts outline the GBRP process at the Township:

Please email greenbuildings@tol.ca or phone 604-533-6018 for more information.

New Construction Rebates

The CleanBC Better Homes New Construction Program provides rebates up to $15,000 for the construction of new, high-performance, electric homes. Through the CleanBC plan, the Province is supporting the adoption of the BC Energy Step Code and making energy efficient, climate-friendly homes more affordable and accessible for British Columbians.

The below table and PDF outline the two different pathways you can take (Energy Step Code OR Heat Pump pathway), as well as add-on rebates through CleanBC and separate rebates through the Township of Langley’s Green Building Rebate Program. Examples of how these rebates can be combined are on the second page of the PDF.

The CleanBC Better Homes New Construction Program is administered by CleanBC. To learn more, visit their New Construction Program. The Green Building Rebate Program is administered by the Township of Langley. For more information on the Township’s Green Building Rebate Program, contact the team.

Contact Rebate type Details Amount Rebate table

CleanBC

Energy Step Code Pathway Step 3 $4,000

New Home Construction Rebates 

New Home Construction Rebates
Step 4 $6,000
Step 5 $10,000
Heat Pump Pathway Air source heat pump1;2 $3,000
Air-to-water hydronic heat pump2 $3,000
Combined space and water heat pump2 $4,000
Heat pump water heater2 $1,000
Energy Advisor Support Rebate (optional) Per individually modelled home or unit $1,000 
($800 to builder, $200 to EA)
All-Electric Bonus (optional) Per home or unit $4,000

1 Variable speed mini-split, multi-split, or central (Tier 2) air source heat pump; HSPF ≥ 9.3, SEER ≥ 16; Variable speed compressor

2 Must be on the Qualifying Product List

Renovation Rebates

CleanBC, in partnership with FortisBC and BC Hydro, are offering over $5,000 in rebates for energy efficient home upgrades. Eligible projects include insulation, water heating, windows, and space heating for your home. Visit BetterHomesBC for more information.

Check out the below table and PDF for rebate amounts.

Contact Rebate type Amount Details

CleanBC

Heat Pump Up to $3,000

Home Heating Rebates 

Rebate Chart

Electric Heat Pump Water Heater Up to $1,000
Windows Up to $2,000
Electrical Service Upgrade Up to $500

Near Zero Emissions Building Program

Rebate

Building a highly energy efficient home (Step 4/5 or Passive House) with a heat pump for space heating? Share your project information from design, construction and the first year of occupancy in exchange for financial compensation of approximately $15,000 to $22,500. Visit the NearZero website for more information and to apply.

Preference will be given to projects scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020. 

Funded by the Province of BC.

Passive House Logo

Certification: Passive House
Project Type:  New construction
Building Type:  Residential and Commercial

Optimize your building’s envelope to maintain heat through insulation, airtightness, high performance windows, efficiency heat recovery ventilation, and by minimizing thermal bridges.

Living Building Challenge

Certification: Living Building Challenge
Project Type:  New construction and renovations
Building Type:  All

Performance-based standard that covers site, water, energy, health + happiness, materials, equity, and beauty. The end goal of the LBC is to create a regenerative built environment, with buildings that contribute positively to the environment. Includes other certification options such as Petal Certified, Core Green Building Certified, Zero Energy Certified, and Zero Carbon Certified.

LEED Logo

Certification: LEED
Project Type:  New construction, renovations, and existing buildings
Building Type:  All

Focuses on sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

Built Green Logo

Certification: Built Green
Project Type:  New construction and renovations
Building Type:  Residential

Specifically for new homes, Built Green has requirements for resource efficiency, comfort, home health, durability, and waste reduction.

Zero Carbon Building Logo

Certification: Zero Carbon
Project Type:  New construction, renovations, and existing buildings
Building Type:  All except single family dwellings and small MURBs

Goal of building reaching a zero carbon balance. For new builds, there are thresholds for onsite renewable energy, energy efficiency, and thermal energy demand performance. For existing buildings, energy use and GHG emissions requirements must be met over a 12-month period.

BOMA BEST Logo

Certification: BOMA Best
Project Type:  Existing buildings
Building Type:  Commercial (offices, shopping centres, open-air retail plazas, light industrial buildings, and MURBs)

Assesses the energy and environmental performance of existing buildings and leverages ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to help building owners and managers track their energy consumption. Focuses on energy, water, waste reduction and site, emissions and effluents, indoor environment, and environmental management systems.

WELL Building Standard Logo

Certification: WELL
Project Type:  New construction, renovations, and existing buildings
Building Type:  All

A performance-based system for measuring, certifying,  and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. Designed to work harmoniously with LEED.