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The City of Vancouver recently introduced some important updates to their Building By-law that may have detrimental impacts on the HVAC and plumbing industry.  Unlike most cities in Canada, the City of Vancouver is enabled under the Vancouver Charter to adopt bylaws to regulate the design and construction of buildings.  The Vancouver Building Bylaw regulates the design and construction of buildings, as well as the administrative provisions related to permitting, inspections, and enforcement of these requirements.  This unique ability allows City Council to quickly respond to issues that have an impact on building safety within the City and more significantly to be (in their own words) “a leader with respect to building regulations” in a variety of ways including energy performance.

The changes adopted by Council over the past year include approval of the Zero Emissions Building Plan to achieve zero emissions for all newly permitted buildings by 2030 that included intermediary, time-stepped, GHG emission and energy efficiency limits for each building type for inclusion in the Building By-law.

In a letter to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, HRAI expressed concern about the absence of consultation with the HVACR industry on a matter that has such important implications for the industry and its customers.  HRAI was not part of any -- nor even made aware of any – industry consultations to assess the impact of the Bylaw changes on the marketplace.  Other key industry representatives (e.g. CIPH) expressed the same concern.

Though HRAI typically maintains a “fuel-neutral” stance in these sorts of discussions, the association always guards against policy initiatives or regulatory changes that force market changes at a pace that may create hardship for consumers and the industry that supplies products for comfort conditioning.  The timeframes adopted are aggressive and may create product shortages leading to confusion, hardship and unnecessarily high costs for consumers.

For a copy of the letter, click here.

Also see http://council.vancouver.ca/20170207/documents/rr3.pdf

For more information, contact Martin Luymes at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 235 or email mluymes@hrai.ca.