The current state of play

Blog (link) August 2021


  • The 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change called for the development of a retrofit code that will create regulatory requirements for existing buildings.
  • Known as the Alterations for Existing Buildings (AEB), early work suggests AEB requirements for existing buildings will be voluntary, triggered only when a building is "altered," and will not consider carbon emissions as a primary objective.
  • This approach does not reflect the urgent need to rapidly cut energy use and emissions in the buildings sector while also increasing the pace and scale of how we currently retrofit existing buildings.
  • In part 1 of this 4-part blog series, we propose mandatory building performance standards as a regulatory tool to help meet Canada's net-zero climate goals.

We need to take advantage of the limited opportunities that arise when improving the efficiency and carbon performance of buildings coincides with planned building upgrades, as well as target the worst performing buildings and bring them up to a standard consistent with our national net-zero emission goals. This calls for a comprehensive policy framework, centred around stringent codes and standards, for existing buildings.