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 > Home > About Burnaby > News & Media >  Newsroom > Building Benchmarking to Help Drive Burnaby’s Climate Actions

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Building Benchmarking to Help Drive Burnaby’s Climate Actions

The City of Burnaby has shared energy and emissions data for 30 civic facilities in the first annual report from Building Benchmark BC, released today (February 23), and is encouraging more building owners to take advantage of this powerful tool to guide smart investments to reduce carbon, improve efficiency and save money.

“The City was proud to be among the first municipalities to join the Building Benchmark BC program, along with the owners of 19 private sector buildings in Burnaby,” said Mayor Mike Hurley. “Achieving our climate goals will require a community-wide effort, and we applaud the private sector participants who have signed on. We encourage even more participants to join the next cycle.”

Today, buildings account for almost 50 per cent of all carbon emissions city-wide in Burnaby. Building benchmarking is one of the quick start actions identified in This is Climate Action, a framework developed to guide how the City will put into action its commitment to be “carbon neutral” (no longer contributing to the carbon emissions that accelerate climate change) by 2050.

Data released by the City of Burnaby in the Building Benchmark BC report includes:

  • Total greenhouse gas emissions
  • Energy use and greenhouse gas intensity (per square metre)
  • Comparisons to civic buildings in the same use category

Building benchmarking is the process of collecting and monitoring energy and greenhouse gas data from a large number of buildings over time, allowing owners, managers, occupants, and governments to compare the performance of similar properties. It helps governments and building owners direct resources into the best interventions, in the right buildings, to achieve the highest climate benefit.

Benchmarking will enable City of Burnaby staff to better identify opportunities for improved energy management and consideration of greenhouse gas emissions as the City moves forward with plans to retrofit older buildings and build net-zero carbon buildings.

Building on the City’s Existing De-Carbonization Work

The City has already undertaken considerable work on building energy optimization, beginning in 2004 with retrofits to 49 facilities. This early work resulted in a verified reduction of more than 1,200 tCO2e (metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) annually. New civic facilities built over the past 15 years have incorporated energy efficiency and renewable energy systems, such as the geothermal (ground-source) heating system in the Tommy Douglas Library, which eliminates the need for natural gas.

While Bonsor Recreation Complex has the highest total greenhouse gas emissions among Burnaby’s benchmarked civic facilities, recent upgrades, including installation of a solar hot water heating system, have reduced overall emissions. Reducing natural gas demand at facilities has also enabled the addition of new facilities, such as the Edmonds Community Centre in 2013, without increasing overall carbon emissions. In fact, carbon emissions in Burnaby’s facilities trend downward 2011-2019 due to efficiency upgrades, increased electrification and a decrease in natural gas usage, even as the City brought new facilities online.

About Building Benchmark BC

Building Benchmark BC is a pilot initiative of local governments convened by the OPEN Green Building Society, made possible with support from Natural Resources Canada, Real Estate Foundation of BC, and BC Hydro. The project includes participation of municipalities and private sector building owners. Participating municipalities include Vancouver, Victoria, Surrey, Richmond, City of North Vancouver, New Westminster, District of Saanich, Township of Langley and Kelowna.

Building owners and developers can register to participate in the program at

Learn More:
Building Benchmark BC Annual Report and database

Media Contact:
Chris Bryan, Manager, Corporate Communications
Corporate Communications & Marketing Departments
604-570-3616 |

James Glave
Building Benchmark BC
604-833-4368 |

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