New Vancouver By-Law Takes Aim at Greenhouse Gas Emissions

November 4, 2014 | Blog 

New Vancouver By-Law Takes Aim at Greenhouse Gas EmissionsIt’s a shocking fact, but per capita greenhouse gas emissions in Canada are among the highest in the world. And more than half of those greenhouse gas emissions are coming from buildings. Upcoming changes to the Vancouver Building By-Law (VBBL) are positioned to improve this situation.

Monte Paulsen, of Red Door Energy Advisors, spoke about the new changes to the VBBL at last month’s BC Building Envelope Council luncheon. Paulson, a Vancouver-based certified Passive House Consultant, discussed the impact that the by-law, due to come into effect 2015, will have on both the construction industry and the environment.

THICKER WALLS GREATEST OPPORTUNITY FOR INCREASED ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Paulsen pointed out that heating consumes 60 per cent of home energy use, a fact he attributes to thin walls and the use of fossil fuels. Much of that heat is lost through wall and roof assemblies, 35% and 25% respectively. The remaining heat loss is shared fairly evenly between floors and slab, air leaks and windows. The new VBBL sets out of change this, most notably with code changes to family dwellings. Most significantly, attic space insulation requirements have been increased to R50 and entire wall assemblies must be a minimum or R22.

To meet the challenges of these changes, efficiently and effectively, Paulsen suggests beginning with addressing the issue of thin walls, advising that builders:

  • use good exterior insulation and continuous insulation
  • minimize thermal bridging
  • use durable materials
  • implement wall assemblies similar to those used Passive House construction 
INTERCOAST CAN HELP YOU ADDRESS THE CHANGES TO THE VBBL

InerCoast can help you address the changes to the VBBL with BASF Walltite spray foam insulationInterCoast Building Solutions is pleased to offer BASF Walltite™ Closed Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam Insulation as a great solution to the new VBBL requirements. With its high insulation value and continuous air barrier system, Walltite Eco™ reduces heat loss, energy consumption and thermal bridging. Installed by professionals to guarantee excellent performance, Walltite Eco is just one of the fine green building envelope products we offer.