A made-in-Canada solution

CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Program offers the standards, education and research the building sector needs to contribute to Canada’s climate goals.

Canada has committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and the building sector will have a significant role to play. Today, Canadian buildings account for almost 30 per cent of all emissions when materials and operations are considered. If Canada is to reach its target, every building design and retrofit project must target zero carbon now.

CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Program is helping the sector rise to the challenge, with education and events, research, and the industry’s foremost standards.

Zero Carbon Building Standard

The Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) Standard provides a framework to help buildings achieve zero carbon in design and in annual operations.

It has been successfully used by a broad range of buildings, including tall office towers, arenas, warehouses, multi-unit residential buildings and schools. Requirements draw on learnings from real-world projects including a variety of new and existing buildings. The latest ZCB Standard balances the rigour required to ensure zero carbon and the flexibility needed to encourage widespread adoption. Key updates include:

  • Requirement to offset embodied carbon and refrigerants
  • Multiple energy efficiency paths to choose from
  • Airtightness testing
  • Recognition of carbon offsets
  • Requirement for impactful and innovative technologies and design approaches
  • New and improved tools and resources

What is a zero-carbon building?

A zero-carbon building is a highly energy-efficient building that produces onsite, or procures, carbon-free renewable energy or high-quality carbon offsets to counterbalance the annual carbon emissions from building materials and operations.

Explore ZCB projects

Zero carbon & the green recovery

Zero carbon buildings are a cost-effective solution for significant reductions in carbon emissions. Zero carbon buildings spur innovation and, as part of Canada’s post-pandemic green recovery, create new jobs and business opportunities.

Learn about the green recovery

Making the case for zero carbon buildings

Zero carbon buildings are technically feasible and financially viable. Investment in zero carbon buildings protects against the rising cost of carbon and offer benefits beyond carbon reduction.

Read the report

ZCB Standard Information & Resources

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Events and education

Frequently asked questions

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Zero Carbon Steering Committee Members

The Zero Carbon Building Standard v2 was developed through extensive consultation with experts and stakeholders across the country and guided by our Zero Carbon Steering Committee. Interested in getting involved? Email us at zerocarbon@cagbc.org.

Douglas Webber (Chair)
Purpose Building

Sheena Sharp
Coolearth Architecture inc.

Maeri Machado
WSP Canada

Maxime Boisclair

Ryan Zizzo
Mantle Developments

Wendy Macdonald
Stantec Consulting Ltd.

Matt Tokarik
Subterra Renewables

Darryl Neate
Oxford Properties

Arjun KC
Alberta Energy

Ed Cullinan
Nova Scotia Power

Christian Cianfrone
Ellis Don

Morgan McDonald
Ledcor Construction Ltd.

Maria McGibbon
Public Services and Procurement Canada

Iain MacFadyen
ZGF Architects

Ariel Feldman
Choice Properties REIT

Lisa Westerhoff
Integral Group

Mathew Cable

Ready to get started?

Learn more here.