Jan 2021 Decarb Lunch: The BC Low Carbon Building Policy Toolkit

Nov 2020 Decarb Lunch: Airtightness Testing at UBC Mundell House
December 31, 2020
Case Study: Peatt Commons West
February 2, 2021

The BC Low Carbon Building Policy Toolkit

Past Event: Jan 29 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm


Local governments have numerous development policies and bylaws designed to achieve specific outcomes and goals that sometimes conflict with the requirements of cost effective, low carbon buildings. While many local governments have adopted the BC Energy Step Code and developed ambitious climate plans, many local governments also have policies and bylaws that do not support, and in some cases inhibit, uptake of low carbon buildings. The purpose of the BC Hydro-funded Low Carbon Building Policy Toolkit is to provide local governments with recommended policies, guidelines and bylaws in order to support the transition to low carbon buildings in their communities as soon as possible. 

Join us as the consulting team provides an overview of the Toolkit, including a deeper dive in the following areas:

  • Official Community Plan climate action policies; 
  • Development Permit Form & Character Guidelines that support high performance design strategies; 
  • Addressing barriers in development policies and zoning bylaws such as:
    • floor area ratio definitions that penalize thicker wall assemblies, 
    • building setback definitions that penalize thicker wall assemblies and limit heat pump siting, and 
    • building height limit definitions that penalize thicker roof assemblies and rooftop (low carbon) mechanical equipment and renewable energy systems.
  • Noise bylaws and interpretation to support heat pump uptake; and
  • Heat pump permitting processes to support heat pump adoption.


Devon Miller, Principal, Origin Sustainable Design + Planning

Devon is a sustainability planner with 10 years’ experience working with governments, utilities, First Nations and leading organizations across Canada. He brings expertise at the nexus of design, policy, and sustainability, with experience working on complex and innovative projects at a variety of scales. Devon was previously the Community Energy Planner for the City of Victoria, leading on progressive initiatives such as the adoption of the BC Energy Step Code as well as low carbon building retrofit strategies and programs. He brings an open, collaborative and pragmatic approach to his projects.

Brendan McEwen, Director of Electric Mobility & Low Carbon Strategies at AES Engineering