The B.C. government’s buildings inventory includes a large and varied portfolio of modern and iconic buildings with historical and architectural significance, including state-of-the-art correctional centres, courthouses, residences and warehouses in remote communities, health centres, Service BC Access Centres, and strategic properties with complex and diverse uses.
This wide portfolio of real estate-assets provides a provincewide opportunity to showcase made-in-B.C. cleantech building technology; accelerate green technology commercialization; and to generate jobs.
Since 2010, B.C. has achieved carbon neutrality each year across its entire provincial public sector, including hospitals, schools, universities, colleges, Crown corporations and core government.
This is a first in North America and an achievement that is driving growth in clean energy and technology.
- The government’s property portfolio consists of more than 1,100 owned and leased buildings, totalling almost 1.5 million square metres (16 million square feet).
- In 2007, B.C. committed that all new public sector buildings or major renovations must target LEED Gold certification or better.
- B.C. public sector organizations have 96 LEED Gold projects complete or underway since 2007, including:
- Okanagan Correctional Centre (Oliver, completed 2016)
- Wood Innovation and Design Centre (Prince George, completed 2014)
- Surrey Pre-Trial Services Centre (Surrey, completed 2013)
- This certification has an emphasis on providing a sustainable site, water efficiency, energy reduction, managing waste through recycling during construction, improving the indoor environment for building users through low volatile organic compound products and enhancing thermal comfort.
- For example, the Okanagan Correctional Centre uses the Senkulmen Business Park’s geothermal infrastructure for heating and cooling of the building thus reducing the energy load.
- Many public service organisations (PSOs) are pursuing the highest LEED certification level of Platinum, and some are pursuing the Living Building Challenge – a complementary rating system to achieve the highest level of sustainability currently possible.
- Under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Targets Act, all PSOs are mandated to report annually on actions to reduce GHG.
- In 2015, B.C.’s public sector invested $15.6 million in 624,585 tonnes of carbon offsets, encouraging innovative reduction projects across all sectors.
- Since 2010, emissions are down by 5% or approximately 44,000 tCO2e after weather normalization, showing B.C.'s public sector can still cut emissions while serving B.C.'s growing population.
- PSOs are demonstrating excellence in emission reductions. For example, Capilano University’s integration of sustainability into its curriculum, operations and campus design has reduced emissions by 41% since 2010.
- In the health sector, Bella Bella’s residential passive house produces 80% less GHG emission than standard construction.
- The K-12, post-secondary education, and health sectors now receive $14.5 million annually for GHG emission reduction and conservation projects.