North Vancouver commits to sustainable building
Zoning bylaw changes expand opportunities for green technologies
The City of North Vancouver has introduced new incentives and requirements for all new construction. In addition, amendments to the City’s Zoning Bylaw will provide more opportunities to include higher energy efficiency, waste and water diversion, local food production and healthy living environments into construction design. A summary of the zoning amendments, which was presented at a public meeting on October 20, 2014, included the following changes:
• Ventilation: A Gross Floor Area (GFA) exclusion for areas used exclusively for natural ventilation up to a maximum of one per cent of the total GFA.
Rationale: Natural ventilation can provide a low cost alternative to mechanical ventilation and improve building comfort and energy efficiency. Already supported on a case-by-case basis, through a rezoning process.
• Mechanical room: A floor area exclusion for green building systems, up to a maximum of 100 sq ft per building and 15 sq ft per dwelling.
Rationale: To incentivize sufficiently-sized and accessible mechanical rooms and sustainable technology. Cellars in principal buildings are already excluded for approximately 97 per cent of new construction. Exclusions for solar collectors, heat pump systems, waste heat recovery systems, biomass systems, rainwater and grey water equipment.
• Solar roofs, green roofs: Solar collector height exemption (four feet for ground-oriented residential and six feet for all other zones) and green roof exemption (1.5 ft for ground-oriented residential and up to 3.5 ft for all other zones).
Rationale: To remove a barrier to green building designs that provide insulation, harness the sun’s energy and storm-water mitigation. Building permit to address interconnection between systems.
• Solar/green walls: Include solar shading, solar panels and green walls into allowable setback projections.
Rationale: To remove a barrier to green building designs that provide sun control, harness the sun’s energy and provide pleasing street-scapes. Similar provisions have been adopted by the City of Vancoouver since 2008. BC Building Code spatial separation requirements will remain in place. Building permit requirements will address interconnection between systems
• Other: Remove floor area exclusion for bay windows but still permit them as a design features.
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