Green Building & Land Development

Learn about the different kinds of approvals you need to develop or change land use in Burnaby

The planning division coordinates development applications, including those for rezoning, subdivision and preliminary plan approval (PPA). Submit your application to the planning division for review, including applications for a relaxation to the development setback required per the Streamside Protection and Enhancement Areas Bylaw (Zoning Bylaw Section 6.23).

Phone: 604-294-7400
Email: [email protected]

Submit development applications for single and two-family homes (with no associated rezoning, subdivision or PPA) to the building division.

Phone: 604-294-7130
Email: [email protected]

The climate action and energy division is responsible for ensuring development projects achieve the following:

  1. Protect and improve the health and quality of the environment.
  2. Ensure compliance with municipal standards, codes, bylaws and applicable provincial and federal regulations and acts for the following development applications: rezoning, subdivision/consolidation, strata title, preliminary plan approval, building plan, liquor licence application and the contaminated sites process (per the Environmental Management Act).

Additional requirements may be requested for review. 

Phone: 604-294-7850
Email: [email protected]

Additional requirements

Your land development must also be compliant with the following requirements:

In BC, the Provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy manages contaminated sites per the Environmental Management Act and Contaminated Sites Regulations.

Per new changes by the Ministry of Environment, the City of Burnaby now requires a Site Disclosure Statement along with any Rezoning, Subdivision and Building Permit applications (except internal renovation) with current zoning of commercial and industrial sites (including non-conformant sites), or as requested by staff. 

Helpful resources

The City has policies to prevent silt-laden runoff in construction sites from entering the downstream drainage system and ending up in creeks and lakes.

All construction projects in Burnaby must contact the Engineering Department on whether a Erosion and Sediment Control Permit is required.

To preserve groundwater as a resource and prevent contamination, flooding and sanitary system overflow and groundwater flows must not enter the storm and sanitary sewer systems.

All development applications that involve constructing permanent structures below the water table, including perched, static and artesian aquifers, must include an assessment/investigation of the impact of the proposed activity on groundwater. You must also demonstrate that the proposed works will not impact neighbouring properties or the environment. You may need to include in-situ (in the original place) management of the groundwater and recommendations to address areas of uncertainty or concern.

Learn more about the requirements for groundwater management.

Multi-family residential, commercial, industrial and institutional complexes must meet the City's solid waste and recycling requirements.

Acoustical requirements address the growing population and densification of urban centres while ensuring the health and lifestyle concerns of the community.

Rezoning applications involving the construction of residential units or livable spaces must include an acoustical study of the sound implications at the proposed site. The building must comply with the acoustic engineer's recommendations.

Learn more about the acoustic requirements.

Green buildings

Buildings are a significant source of carbon emissions in Burnaby. To achieve our climate action targets, we are requiring new buildings to be energy-efficient and use alternatives to fossil fuels for heating, cooling and hot water. 

New Zero Carbon Energy Step Code requirements coming in 2024

Updated: September 1, 2023 

Starting January 1, 2024, the City will be updating our building requirements to align with the BC’s new Zero Carbon Step Code and higher steps of the Energy Step Code. We’ll be engaging with stakeholders in building and construction on our implementation strategy (Council Report, May 8, 2023). Please check back here for updates.

Both Step Codes are a part of the BC Building Code, and both apply to the most common types of new buildings. The Energy Step Code lays out the requirements for energy-efficiency in newly constructed buildings, while the new Zero Carbon Step Code focuses on emissions reductions from those same buildings. 

Proposed new requirements for large (Part 3) buildings - arriving in 2024

Beginning January 1, 2024, all new Part 3 buildings (C, D and E occupancies) applying for a building permit would need to meet the following minimum requirements in Sections 10.2 (Energy Efficiency) and 10.3 (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) of the BC Building Code: 

  • Energy Step Code, Step 3
  • Zero Carbon Step Code, EL-4 (Zero Carbon Performance)

In-stream rezoning applications which have progressed to Second Reading by December 31, 2023 would not be subject to the new requirements. These projects would proceed through the development approval and building permit process according to the current requirements for building energy efficiency and carbon performance.

Proposed new requirements for small (Part 9) buildings - arriving in 2024 and 2025

Beginning January 1, 2024, all new Part 9 residential buildings applying for a building permit would be required to comply with the minimum requirements laid out in Sections 9.36.6 (Energy Step Code) and 9.37 (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) of the BC Building Code:

  • Energy Step Code, Step 3
  • Zero Carbon Step Code, EL-3 (Strong Carbon Performance)

Beginning January 1, 2025, the Zero Carbon Step Code minimum requirements for Part 9 residential buildings would increase from the EL-3 (Strong Carbon Performance) to EL-4 (Zero Carbon Performance).

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