Vancouver benefits from a long history of innovation at every stage of the green buildings vale chain; including manufacturing, design, installation, maintenance and deconstruction
Vancouver is widely regarded as a global centre of excellence in green buildings. Green building design and construction is the second-largest sector under Vancouver’s Green Economy umbrella, driven by progressive, green building policies and international demand for local expertise.
Companies and entrepreneurs are not only working to meet, but are driving far beyond, the City of Vancouver’s and British Columbia’s highly advanced green building standards. Vancouver has innovative, world-leading designers, builders, and manufacturers in mass timber, low-embodied carbon buildings, building deconstruction and circularity, and adaptive and resilient buildings.
Value of the Green Buildings & Construction Industry
As more of Vancouver’s design and construction firms meet globally-recognized green certification standards, sustainable and regenerative buildings are increasingly the norm. As a result, Vancouver’s planners, architects, contractors and engineers are in especially high demand. Drawing from two of Vancouver’s largest employment categories, Professional & Technical Services and Construction, the green buildings sector is driven a a sophisticated and expert workforce. In fact, the green builds sector is the largest employer in Vancouver’s green economy, accounting for over 7,600 jobs.
Employer in Vancouver's Green Economy
Value of construction permits issued in City of Vancouver
market value for green building products in Metro Vancouver
Over 2019-2032 | VEC, 2019
Vancouver’s green building success is part of the much larger Canadian architecture, engineering, and construction industry (AEC), which is the fifth largest in the world. In BC as of 2019, there is over $205 billion of proposed construction on the books, $114 billion in construction underway and $16 billion delivered annually. The industry employs nearly 250,000 people, making it the largest employer in B.C.’s goods sector. As the industry increasingly moves towards low-carbon, low-impact, and high-performance building, the ‘green’ share of this industry will only grow more impressive.
Construction industry contribution to BC’s GDP
in construction delivered annually in B.C.
1 in 10
Canadians Work in Construction
Drivers of Vancouver’s Green Building Growth
In the City of Vancouver, much of the green building sector’s growth has been spurred by innovative programs and policies, such as as the goal to produce carbon neutral buildings by 2025 in the Zero-Emission Building Plan, as well as numerous other policies and regulation focusing on EV connectivity, water use, and de-constructability.
Vancouver also stands out on the global landscape for its innovative and paradigm shifting designers and consultants and the projects they work on, such as Brock Commons, one of the tallest mass timber buildings in the world; Vancouver House, a structural engineering marvel, or The Heights, Canada’s largest Passive House project.
Culture of Innovation
Part of what makes Vancouver’s green buildings sector so exciting is the speed of innovation and movement that is occurring within different sub-sectors, including high-performance solutions, deconstruction, mass timber, smart building control systems, and robotic (pre)fabrication.
Home to World-class Conferences
Vancouver is where sustainability experts regularly convene, with events such as GLOBE (the world’s largest sustainable business conference), BUILDEX, the Canada Green Building Council Conference, all of which gather sustainable businesses, environmental practitioners, and innovators from around the world.
Support for Green Building Business & Investment
VEC is developing a range of sector-specific programming for green building companies and entrepreneurs. We continue to work with a wide group of partners with a focus on the following:
- Supporting manufacturers in transitioning to meet future demand
- Enhancing B.C.’s industry relationships with key overseas markets
- Creating more local IP while gaining access to global innovations
- Conducting and publishing original research on the green economy
- Improving affordability and supporting the development of more efficient local supply chains
Green Buildings Market Forecast
Measuring the impact of the BC Energy Step Code
Author: Juvarya Veltkamp
Published: March 7, 2019
Download the Report
Green Buildings Market Demand Tool
See how the BC Step Code will influence demand for building components
Developed By: OPEN Technologies
Launched: November 2019
Looking for more resources?
We’ve compiled a list of local industry associations, support networks, and training providers that provide resources for green building and construction businesses.
Discover More Resources