When talking about climate change, the focus is increasingly on cities, but not so much on buildings, which are the main physical elements that structure the city. But the truth is that the construction industry and buildings themselves generate up to 30% of emissions of global greenhouse gases. They are also the cause of up to 56% of the particles emitted in the European Union, compared to to 13% of road traffic, also contributing to air pollution. Reducing emissions caused by buildings and construction was consolidated as one of the main challenges of the COP22 in Marrakech, one year after the famous agreement from Paris. With this, the Global Alliance of Buildings and Construction (Global ABC) was created, whose members are countries and diverse organizations from all continents. .
But now in Western Canada, between the North Pacific and the Rocky Mountains, Vancouver once again stands out for being at the forefront of urban sustainability. The city about to end its ambitious plan Vancouver 2020 redoubles its efforts at sustainable construction. This Canadian city stands out in its commitment to ZEBs (Zero Emissions Buildings) dedicating an exclusive area to them within the city’s environmental department (Green Vancouver< /a>). The city has a catalytic plan and policy that seeks to achieve by 2030 that 100% of new constructions are ZEB. Policies that are linked to its other great objective of achieving by 2050 that 100% of the energy consumed by homes is renewable.
ZEB buildings are those that meet two requirements. First of all, being Passive Houses (Passive Houses) meeting the highest standards in emission reduction. Passive houses could achieve up to 90% reduction in energy consumption thanks to their design with strict energy efficiency and thermal insulation criteria. ZEBs are also known as Zero Energy Buildings since, in addition to being more energy efficient, their balance of demand annual energy is less than or equal to zero. In other words, these are buildings capable of generating enough energy to be self-sufficient. At the end of the year, they pour more energy into the network than they consume. This energy, in general, comes from renewable sources installed in and/or around the building, where biomass, thermosolar, photovoltaic and geothermal energies stand out.