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Building Benchmark BC’s first report provides opportunity to baseline and improve

“Building Benchmark BC is laying the data foundation for what we expect will be a series of aggressive climate initiatives to come.”


March 1, 2021
By Anthony Capkun

March 1, 2021 – The first Building Benchmark BC Annual Report has been released, offering insights from energy and emissions data on hundreds of properties submitted by dozens of owners according to building type, use, and location.

“Building benchmarking gives our teams critical insights into energy and carbon of our space and water heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, and it’s helping inform strategic recommendations on capital plans,” said Oskar Kwieton, director of Facilities, Operations & Maintenance, Shape Management.

Building Benchmark BC launched on January 21, 2020, as a pilot initiative of local governments convened by the OPEN Green Building Society, and made possible with support from NRCan, Real Estate Foundation of BC, and BC Hydro.

Building benchmarking is the process of collecting and monitoring energy and GHG data from a number of buildings over time, allowing owners, managers, occupants and governments to compare the performance of similar properties. It helps governments and building owners direct resources into the best interventions, in the right buildings, to achieve the highest climate benefit, say he report authors.

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“Ignoring GHG emissions won’t make them go away; it’s an open secret that the policy landscape is changing, and we’re convinced that benchmarking gives us a competitive edge, to make sure we stay on top and out front,” added Kwieton.

“We’re seeing a clear relationship between effective policy and sound, comprehensive data,” said Donovan Woollard, managing director, OPEN Green Building Society. “Building Benchmark BC is laying the data foundation for what we expect will be a series of aggressive climate initiatives to come.”

You can check out the Building Benchmark BC database and see how a variety of buildings perform on various energy and carbon metrics by visiting the disclosure site.

Meantime, the program welcomes participation from additional owners and/or managers of commercial real estate in British Columbia. Those interested in signing up may do so via buildingbenchmarkBC.ca.

More on the report…

For the first report, owners and managers pledged to submit building performance data on 765 individual properties. As a result of pandemic-related delays and reprioritization, OPEN ultimately received data for 534 properties, or 70% of pledged buildings.

The properties submitted to-date represent 1.9 million square metres of conditioned floor space. By the end of the first year, the following jurisdictions were collecting building performance data via Building Benchmark BC:

• The City of Burnaby
• The City of Kelowna
• The City of Surrey
• The City of Richmond
• The City of North Vancouver
• The Township of Langley
• The City of Victoria
• The City of New Westminster
• The City of Vancouver
• The University of British Columbia
• The City of North Vancouver
• The District of Saanich
• Metro Vancouver

“As we work to improve energy efficiency and decarbonize our civic facilities, Building Benchmark BC is giving the City of North Vancouver a unique opportunity to evaluate and compare the performance of our civic buildings with similar building types across our region,” said Linda Buchanan, Mayor, City of North Vancouver. “Benchmarking is critical for assessing baseline performance and measuring our progress as we work toward becoming a more sustainable and liveable community.”