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B.C. introduces ‘Better Buildings’ net zero incentive program


October 10, 2018
by Canadian Architect

The Province of BC and Integral Group have launched a new incentive program and juried competition called Better Buildings BC: The Net Zero Energy Ready Challenge. Better Buildings BC is a new provincial incentive program and juried competition designed to support and celebrate the design and construction of multi-family residential, commercial, and institutional buildings that target either the top step of the BC Energy Step Code or the Passive House standard.Better Buildings

The Program offers two sets of financial incentives for net-zero energy-ready buildings: a Design Incentive and a Net-Zero Energy-Ready (NZER) Incentive. Participants that make it through the first round of evaluation will receive the Design Incentive to help offset the additional costs currently associated with designing a net-zero energy-ready building. The Program has established a sliding scale of Design Incentives (to a maximum of $40,000), based on total building floor area.

To be eligible for the Better Buildings BC competition, a project must meet all the following criteria:

  • The project is located in the province of British Columbia;
  • The project is a new Part 3 construction project or a major building renovation of a Part 3 building;
  • An application (e.g. Rezoning, Development Permit) has been submitted to a municipality, and/or the project owner, or an affiliate of the project owner, has secured title to the lands for the project in question or has entered into a binding agreement for the purchase of the lands for the project in question;
  • The project has not yet received a Building Permit.

(BC Hydro) Major Building Renovations are defined as one of the following for which requires a building permits and certified buildings plans by a licensed professional.

  • Change of use and reconstruction of an existing building space or space within; or
  • Change Construction work of a nature requiring the building or space within to be out of service for at least 30 consecutive days; or
  • The renovations are worth at least 50% of the existing building’s value and impact the building envelope.

Applicants must submit Expressions of Interest by 11:59pm on November 30th, 2018. The Program Administrator will verify completeness then forward complete applications to a Technical Review Panel, which will confirm the project’s eligibility for the Design Incentive. The Program Administrator will then invite Eligible Applicants to submit a full Program Application.


More information about the Better Buildings program is available via the efficiencyBC website, linked here.



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