By setting the bar so that new homes and buildings perform better and pollute less -- at no additional cost -- we are taking an important step toward reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and bringing construction standards in line with those being adopted across Europe and North America. The city's new policy will save us money, expand the number of jobs in green construction, and benefit our health. It's an exciting blueprint for what will become the new normal in construction in B.C. and across Canada.
With the new federal budget, Canada's government is sending a strong signal that it intends to follow through on its commitment to curb carbon pollution from our homes and buildings. By focusing on social housing, the budget also signals a resolve to ensure energy efficiency will benefit all Canadians.
Building energy benchmarking is a key tool for enabling informed and sound decision-making in energy management. Requiring reporting enables governments to prioritize and evaluate policies including regulation and incentives, while public disclosure enables the real estate sector to measure and value high performance buildings.
The number of Passive House units in North America has quadrupled in the last year, from 500 to over 2,000 units, and a quarter of these are in Vancouver alone. Once the projects on the books are completed, North America will boast nearly 2 million square feet of certified Passive House buildings, three times more than in 2015.
The establishment of a net-zero energy ready code target for new buildings by 2032 and the development of an energy "step code" for local governments are positive steps toward a sustainable future for B.C.'s buildings.
In less than 10 years, near-zero emissions homes and buildings will be the new normal in Vancouver. In addition to reducing emissions and energy use, the city's Zero Emissions Building Plan will lead to improvements in the quality of homes and buildings. This plan will be an important catalyst in the local, clean, low-carbon economy.
In B.C., the green building sector already supports more than 20,000 jobs. The right vision, a strong Climate Leadership Plan and sufficient investment will ensure this sector of the clean economy continues to thrive and expand.