Tools for Reducing Emissions in Existing Buildings

Buildings are the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Most buildings standing today will continue to be in service in 2050. Canada must encourage faster, deeper energy and emissions reductions in its existing building stock, retrofitting nearly every building currently in use. 

The soon-to-be-released Alterations to Existing Buildings code (AEB), Canada’s first retrofit code, is expected to be adopted by provinces and territories by late 2026. Requirements will be based on upgrades, repairs or replacements initiated by the building owner.

Mandatory Building Performance Standards (MBPS), an innovative policy tool Canadian policymakers can use to increase demand for retrofit activity – and a necessary complement to the AEB – can be set at a federal, provincial/territorial, or municipal level. 

Canada needs a practical regulatory framework to encourage faster and deeper energy and emissions reductions in its existing building stock. Beyond meeting our climate commitments, renewing our building stock will support the needs of those who live, work, play, and gather in them for decades to come.

Online workshops

Regulating Energy and Emissions in Existing Buildings

In this workshop, Efficiency Canada’s Kevin Lockhart and Sharane Simon discuss their guide, Regulating Energy and Emissions in Existing Buildings, which offers municipalities and policymakers insights into the role existing buildings are expected to play in meeting Canada’s decarbonization goals. It highlights two unique tools to regulate retrofit activity in existing buildings: the Alterations to Existing Buildings code (AEB) and Mandatory Building Performance Standards (MBPS).

The Path to Sustainable Communities: Benchmarking and Performance Standards for Municipalities

Efficiency Canada’s Engagement Manager Emilie Grenier leads a webinar tailored to municipal staff eager to enhance their community’s sustainability initiatives. In this session, we’ll explore building benchmarking and building performance standards, including presentations from Kevin Lockhart, Janice Ashworth, and Alex Lidstone.

Downloadable resources

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BPS Glossary

A glossary of terms related to building performance standards.

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Residential vs. Commercial Buildings

A graphic that compares Canada’s existing building stock.

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Role of government in enabling MBPS

A graphic that outlines what the government’s role is in enabling MBPS

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Model bylaw template

Use this bylaw as a starting point and customize the content to meet the needs and priorities of the municipality.


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