Buildings cause pollution when we build them, maintain them and power them.

How buildings cause pollution

Most pollution from buildings comes from the natural gas we use to heat them.

Buildings are also tied to pollution from industry, because we use oil, gas and coal to:

  • Make building materials like glass, cement and steel
  • Move building materials
  • Power construction equipment
  • Tear down buildings

Tracking pollution from buildings

Heating homes and buildings caused 10% of B.C.'s total pollution in 2020.

Heating homes and commercial buildings caused 10% of B.C.’s total pollution in 2020.

Changes in climate pollution from buildings

Pollution from commercial buildings went down by 1% between 2007 and 2020. Pollution from homes went down by 5% between 2007 to 2020.

Pollution from homes in B.C. has been just over 4 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent between 2005 and 2020. It has gone down  by 5% between 2007 and 2020. Pollution from commercial buildings has been around 3 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent between 2005 and 2020. It went down by 1% between 2007 and 2020.

Reducing pollution from buildings

We’re working toward buildings that don’t cause climate pollution.

By 2030, all new buildings in B.C. will be required to emit zero climate pollution. This can be achieved with choices like:

  • Energy-efficient heating and hot water equipment, such as heat pumps
  • More renewable building materials, such as wood fibre insulation
  • Better insulation and airtight windows and doors to keep heat in

After 2030, all new space and water heating equipment sold and installed in B.C. will be 100% efficient.

A view of the skyscrapers in B.C.'s downtown core from False Creek.

Getting buildings ready for climate change

We’re helping the construction industry make more energy-efficient buildings that have less of an impact on the environment.

B.C. is taking action

Explore how we are making buildings more energy-efficient and promoting clean building materials.

Making home energy upgrades more affordable

We’re helping homeowners with the costs of energy efficiency upgrades.

Learn more about Better Homes rebates and incentives.

Adopting mass timber products

Mass timber is made by joining layers of lumber to create structural parts for buildings. It offers significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from construction and creates new economic opportunities in B.C.

Read more in the Mass Timber Action Plan.

Encouraging energy-efficient commercial buildings

Funding and incentives are available to support energy-efficient commercial building design, construction and renovation.

Learn more on Better Buildings.