Implementation of the Zero Carbon Step Code

At their meeting held this past Monday, Aug. 28, 2023, Nanaimo City Council voted to support expedited timelines for implementing the Province of BC's Zero Carbon Step Code and BC Energy Step Code.

This will require new buildings to meet the Zero Carbon Performance Level (EL-4) of the Zero Carbon Step Code by July 1, 2024. If implemented, the greenhouse gas emissions from new buildings would be significantly reduced.

Staff will now proceed with drafting the necessary amendment bylaw to the City’s Building Bylaw, which will come back to Council for consideration and approvals prior to its adoption. The changes support Council’s goal of reducing community-wide CO2 emissions to between 50 to 58 per cent below 2010 levels by 2030.

The Zero Carbon Step Code is a provincial standard that sets greenhouse gas emission targets for new buildings. It is a regulatory tool that allows a local government to specify the level of climate ambition they want their new buildings to achieve. Council’s decision on Monday follows similar measures adopted by other BC municipalities who have taken action to restrict carbon emissions from new buildings including the District of Saanich and City of Victoria.

In addition to the Zero Carbon Step Code, Council voted to require Part 3 building types to meet Step 3 of the Energy Step Code by January 1, 2026. If implemented, this will ensure that new large, complex buildings will be built with a 40 per cent increase in energy efficiency above the 2018 Building Code.

More information can be found on the City’s Step Code FAQ page and Project page.



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