Burnaby buildings contributing to greater understanding of emissions in B.C.

Last updated: March 1, 2022

Burnaby continues to be a strong supporter of a voluntary pilot program that is compiling data on carbon emissions from buildings across British Columbia. The Building Benchmark BC Program just concluded its second year, and the City of Burnaby is excited to see that a number of local building owners and organizations have joined the City in reporting their buildings’ emissions and energy use to the database in year two.

On March 1, Building Benchmark BC released its second annual report, which indicates that province-wide, there are now 1,163 buildings registered in the program, up from 551 in year one. In Burnaby, 107 buildings are now contributing data to the project, up from 61 in year one. The City has included 30 of its buildings in the benchmarking project, representing a cross section of building types including fire halls, libraries, community centres and smaller buildings.

“As one of the first municipalities to join Building Benchmark BC, it’s great to see our community embrace this great opportunity to deepen our understanding of building emissions in B.C.,” said Mayor Mike Hurley. “This project is intended to drive and accelerate emissions reductions, and I applaud all organizations and private building owners who have demonstrated leadership by participating."

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 construct new low-carbon facilities, such as the planned Burnaby Lake Aquatic and Arena Facility.

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.

Later this year, the City will launch a building retrofit task force to bring together commercial and industrial property owners, government representatives, technical experts and local homeowners to develop quick starts and recommendations for the City’s Zero-Emission Building Retrofit Strategy.

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 16 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.

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, the CleanBC Building Innovation Fund, Real Estate Foundation of BC, and BC Hydro. The project includes participation of municipalities and private sector building owners. Burnaby is one of 16 local governments participating in Building Benchmark BC.

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

Learn More:
Building Benchmark BC Annual Report and database

Media Contact:
Chris Bryan, Manager, Public Affairs
Public Affairs Office
604-570-3616 | [email protected]

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