How can we reach our 2020
Greenest City Targets?

GC 2020

How can we reach our 2020 Greenest City targets?

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  1. Bring Life to our Rooftops

    The roofs of Vancouver are an un-tapped resource from both a social and biodiversity perspective. The City could initiate a program to encourage the conversion of existing flat, inaccessible roofs to useable, productive greenspace. This could include omitting rooftop access points (stairs & elevators) from height restrictions, providing tax breaks to buildings that eliminate rainwater runoff to the sewer system, or establishing financing mechanisms and consultation to support stratas and individuals undertaking renovations.

    The scale of conversion could range from installing standard green-roof systems to rooftop decks with planter boxes to full scale rooftop agriculture. This would help bring back…

    148 votes
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      9 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • rain water toilets

      rainwater can be collected from eco-roofs or rain gutters use in toilets.

      19 votes
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        0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Solidify Laneway Housing Through Ownership Incentives

        Developing a process that will facilitate homes with lanes to be able to subdivide back to front would solidify and incentivize the production of laneway houses, effectively doubling the density in parts of the city without breaking the small scale character of neighbourhoods. The current program allows for lane way houses to be produced with an incentive from rental income, but with current development costs and real estate market the process is not readily viable at a city-wide scale and many home owners do not see enough benefit to warrant financing such a project. However, with the incentive of being…

        9 votes
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          1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Cash and tax incentives for the sale of excess power generated from the installation of solar power.

          If you want people to follow more than dancing with the stars....wave the green in their face and the city will change. Tie into the grid and allow people the choice of where their excess power goes. If you are paid for the power but it's capped at a monthly amount the rest can be credited to shelters for the homeless and lower income housing. All as a taxable write off of course. The ideas are endless and so is the power!

          15 votes
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            0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • Provide a 5 year property break for buildings that go off grid.

            The concept is that if a building goes off grid, they will be given a property tax holiday for 5 years to fund it. They must use BC based technology whenever possible. This will green our existing buildings, create jobs and reduce out carbon footprint. An investment in our future that reflect all three legs of sustainability.

            8 votes
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              2 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

              The plan addresses incentives for low- or no- emission buildings. Off-grid is not emphasized as one way of achieving our energy reduction and carbon neutral goals is through sharing excess renewable energy between buildings – which requires grid connection.

            • Home Energy Labeling in BC

              Home Energy Labelling at the Time of Sale can have significant economic, social and environmental benefits for the Province of BC.

              To date:
              The Climate Action Team recommended that BC implement mandatory labelling at time of sale by 2012.
              Utilities and the BC government are supporting labelling pilots in several BC communities.

              When the homeowner decides to sell their home, they request a home energy assessment to be conducted by a Natural Resources Canada Certified Energy Advisor. The energy assessment takes into account the heating and hot-water systems, insulation levels, windows, doors and includes a test to determine overall air…

              3 votes
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                0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Require Timer Light Swtiches & Motion Sensors for Lights in Building Code / Existing Bldg Retrofits

                It boggles the mind why in North America we light up our interior corridors, parkades and other common areas in buildings 24/7. Motion sensored lights in large parkades and common areas, and light switches on times in corridors and stairwells would keep people just as safe and give them light when it was needed, stopping the energy waste of having lights on all the time. It would also reinforce the conservation mentality that people might then bring into their homes as well.

                39 votes
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                  0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Backyard Oil Tankers

                  Prior to late 1950's, thousands of Vancouver homes were heated with furnace oil, which was stored underground in 300 to 1000 gallon tanks.

                  Tanks today are in various corroded states, and present risk of oil leaching into soil and groundwater. Expense of removal and threat of neighbourly litigation create disincentive for dealing with the problem.

                  A time-limited window of opportunity should be provided by city for homeownerrs to access 0-interest loans and matching funds to mitigate all kinds of nasty contamination threats.

                  Added bonus of creating a few 'green' jobs, and ensuring those backyard gardens won't be growing petrotatoes and…

                  7 votes
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                    0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • Increase indoor temperature range, to connect people to outside and reduce energy. Sweaters! Shorts!

                    Change commercial (including offices) buildings operating temperature range, to decrease air conditioning in the summer, and decrease heating energy in the winter. My estimates show that a changing the range from 2°C to 8°C could decrease overall building energy by 10%.

                    4 votes
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                      0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Energy efficiency training

                      Grassroots training in home energy efficiency assessments so community members can learn and support each other in improving home energy efficiency. A few workshops around the city, and you could train a number of neighbourhood efficiency "experts" to do assessments and workshops in their area.

                      3 votes
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                        0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Reduce light pollution

                        Relatively easy to correct and largely the result of bad design, light pollution is a common problem throughout the city. Make sure that lights are designed to focus light downwards and not allowed up into the night sky where it disrupts the diurnal patterns of many species (including people).

                        14 votes
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                          1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Develop a restoration economy

                          Promote preservation and redevelopment rather than new development whenever possible in order to minimize destruction of natural and cultural heritage. Capitalize on underutilized and abandoned infrastructure. Revitalize places that have already been developed. Create incentives for the preservation and restoration of buildings rather than tearing them down. This could include incentives for improvements in energy efficiency; community access to services; and improvement or creation of habitat around buildings, for instance.

                          27 votes
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                            1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Implement Vancouver Zoom Your Roof Project

                            Since building heating is one of the biggest uses of natural gas in BC it should be a priority to reduce this footprint. In Belgium communities are implementing a project where residents can easily see how effective their insulation is. This lets people actually see for themselves whether investing in insulation would be worth it for them.

                            More info on Belgian project:
                            http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/011446.html
                            http://infosthetics.com/archives/2010/07/zoom_into_your_roof.html

                            1 vote
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                              0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                              Building labeling and energy audits will help building owners and occupants understand how their buildings are performing and where they are losing heat. While we may not implement the “zoom in” program per se, these other tools included in the draft Greenest City Action Plan address same issue.

                            • 5 votes
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                                1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                This is addressed by the planned green renovation strategy which will require upgrades to all buildings during the time of renovation, and also by the building labeling program which will require mandatory disclosure of energy performance and eventually mandatory performance standards.

                              • Cool roofs to combat the "heat island" impact, and save energy and reduce emissions

                                From July 22 "Science News" (everything old SHOULD be new again...)

                                Global model confirms: Cool roofs can offset carbon dioxide emissions and mitigate global warming

                                Light-colored roofs and pavements would help in 2 ways. First, the "urban heat island" effect would be mitigated. Second, by reflecting incoming solar radiation back into space, the whole globe would, on average, become a bit cooler. In terms of CO2 emissions, an offset of two years worth of emissions could be attained. Provided of course, such a huge amount of light-colored stuff can be produced and installed in a carbon-neutral manner.

                                Can light-colored rooftops…

                                16 votes
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                                  2 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Mandatory Lighting Controls for Commercial buildings

                                  Why are there so many office lights on in commercial office buildings, when nobody is occupying those areas. Mandate the use of green lighting controls (Daylight Harvesting, Absence/Presence detection etc.)

                                  25 votes
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                                    2 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • Free Door to Door Efficiency Upgrades!

                                    Let's have teams of semi-skilled energy and water efficiency technicians provide at-your-door, free upgrade services. It's easy to be lazy when it comes to making our homes more energy and water efficient. Sometime we just need a kick in the pants!

                                    The City could partner with BC Hydro, Terasen Gas, the water utility, and other utilities and energy providers to establish teams of people that take energy/water efficiency information and products door-to-door. The neighbourhood visit schedules would be advertized and specific visits could be requested by citizens.

                                    Citizens would have a choice between products or could choose not to upgrade.…

                                    11 votes
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                                      1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • 12 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Enable home and building owners to retrofit existing buildings for energy efficiency

                                        Instead of building it all from scratch, let's fix what we already have... Low hanging fruit here. Maybe we need to tie retrofits to property tax bills to create the right incentives.

                                        18 votes
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                                          1 comment  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Create program for low-income individuals to weatherize existing buildings

                                          Create incentives as well as training program for low income / marginalized individuals to weatherize existing buildings.

                                          Weatherizing (caulking and weather stripping gaps in walls, win­dows, doors, roof, and floors) is a simple and affordable energy conservation solution that makes a HUGE difference, often with a payback of less than year. There are many existing buildings in Vancouver that are poorly performing due to a lack of weather-proofing.

                                          Think of all the green jobs we could create if people were trained in how to do this, and there were incentives make it easier to implement.

                                          22 votes
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                                            4 comments  ·  Green existing buildings  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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