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Renovation permits and the challenge of reducing emissions from legacy buildings Neuberger, Michaela 2018

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RENOVATION PERMITS AND THE CHALLENGE OF REDUCING EMISSIONS FROM LEGACY BUILDINGS by  Michaela Neuberger  B.A.(Hons), The University of the West of England, 2009  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF SCIENCE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Resources, Environment, and Sustainability)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  March 2018  © Michaela Neuberger, 2018 ii  Abstract Vancouver is among a growing number of cities that have set an 80 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target by mid-century. Building use represents the largest single source of emissions and roughly half of the existing building stock will still be in use by 2050. To meet the City of Vancouver’s GHG targets, a mechanism will be required to improve the energy efficiency and carbon content of the fuels used in these buildings. Since 2015, the City has introduced energy efficiency upgrade requirements when existing buildings seek renovation permits. Given that this policy pathway was chosen, compliance with renovation permitting requirements is paramount to achieving the City’s building targets. This thesis examines residential building retrofits and permitting processes in Vancouver from the perspectives of those administering the program and stakeholders who have to respond to it. It does not analyse energy efficiency outcomes. Stakeholder interviews, augmented by an online survey, showed that the new energy efficiency requirements led to significant challenges for both stakeholder groups, particularly in terms of training and staff resources, permit delays, and the transparency and consistency of the permitting process. The results further revealed that estimated levels of unpermitted residential renovations are high, particularly in single family homes. Reasons for non-compliance are largely linked to the permitting challenges. Moreover, there appears to be a potential for increased unpermitted retrofit activity to avoid code compliance in the future should energy efficiency requirements become more stringent. These findings, combined with low residential renovation rates over the past decade, demonstrate the importance of streamlining permitting processes and of creating a supportive environment to make compliance desirable. The results paint a clear picture of challenges in reducing GHG emissions from legacy buildings through permits and potential steps to ameliorate these.   iii  Lay Summary With concern for climate change growing, jurisdictions around the world are looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. In 2015, the City of Vancouver introduced new energy efficiency upgrade requirements for existing buildings when they apply for renovation permits. What impacts have these new demands had on the permitting process, on City staff, and on those seeking renovation permits? How high is the level of unpermitted renovation activity and is there a risk for the City not to achieve its objectives? This thesis aims to answer these questions.  Through stakeholder interviews and a survey, subjective perspectives were gathered on the effects the new requirements had on the permitting system and on compliance behaviours. This was combined with an analysis of Vancouver’s renovation rate over the past decade. The findings paint a clear picture of challenges in reducing emissions from existing buildings through permits and potential ways to alleviate these.     iv  Preface This thesis is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, Michaela Neuberger. My supervisor, Dr. Hadi Dowlatabadi, and I framed the project and all strategies together.  I was responsible for all data collection and analysis, including conducting and transcribing the stakeholder interviews, their coding analysis, and recruiting survey participants. I received support by Dr. Hadi Dowlatabadi for the survey’s analysis. Through personal communication with Statistics Canada, I obtained Vancouver’s residential permitting statistics from 2005 – 2015. Communication with the City of Vancouver’s Green Building team allowed to gather data on Vancouver’s building stock characteristics.   This research was approved by UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board, Certificate number H17-00005-A001 and Project Name ‘Vancouver City Building Energy Code’.      v  Table of Contents Abstract  ......................................................................................................................................... ii	Lay Summary ............................................................................................................................... iii	Preface  .......................................................................................................................................... iv	Table of Contents ...........................................................................................................................v	List of Tables ..................................................................................................................................x	List of Figures ............................................................................................................................. xiii	List of Symbols .......................................................................................................................... xvii	List of Abbreviations ............................................................................................................... xviii	Glossary ........................................................................................................................................xx	Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................. xxiii	Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................1	1.1	 Vancouver’s Real Estate and Construction Market  ....................................................... 3	1.2	 Vancouver’s Renovation Context  .................................................................................. 4	1.3	 Renovation Permitting Requirements and Legal Implications  ...................................... 6	1.3.1	 Legal Implications of Unpermitted Renovations  ................................................... 9	1.4	 Vancouver Renovation Permitting Process .................................................................. 10	1.5	 Vancouver’s Existing Building Strategy ...................................................................... 15	1.5.1	 Characterizing 2014 Energy Efficiency Requirements for Existing Buildings .... 19	1.6	 Utility Incentive Programs  ........................................................................................... 24	1.6.1	 BC Hydro Power Smart Program ......................................................................... 26	1.6.2	 FortisBC Programs ............................................................................................... 27	1.6.3	 Programs for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings  ................................................... 28	1.6.4	 Program Limitations ............................................................................................. 29	1.7	 Problem Statement  ....................................................................................................... 30	1.8	 Research Objectives & Contributions  .......................................................................... 33	1.9	 Thesis Structure ............................................................................................................ 35	Chapter 2: Energy Regulations for Existing Buildings ............................................................37	2.1	 The Need for Code Requirements for Existing Buildings ............................................ 37	2.1.1	 Building Stock Renewal and Renovation Rates ................................................... 38	vi  2.1.2	 Depth of Retrofits ................................................................................................. 40	2.1.3	 Modelled Evolution of B.C. and Vancouver’s Building Stock by 2050 under Deep Emissions Reduction Scenarios ............................................................................................ 41	2.2	 Energy Codes and Standards ........................................................................................ 43	2.2.1	 Energy Code Formats ........................................................................................... 43	2.2.2	 Model & Reference Building Codes used in Canada ........................................... 44	2.2.3	 International Energy Standards for Existing Buildings ........................................ 46	2.3	 Policy Options for Triggering Retrofit Requirements .................................................. 46	2.3.1	 Time of Renovation .............................................................................................. 47	2.3.2	 Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) .................................................. 48	2.3.3	 Time of Sale .......................................................................................................... 49	2.4	 Application of Existing Building Policies in North America ....................................... 50	2.4.1	 Energy Policy Application in Canada ................................................................... 50	2.4.2	 Energy Policy Application in the United States ................................................... 52	2.5	 Compliance and Enforcement of Energy Efficiency Codes and Policies ..................... 59	2.5.1	 Enforcement Challenges of Existing Building Codes and Policies ...................... 61	2.5.2	 Best Practices to Improve Existing Building Code Compliance and Enforcement............................................................................................................................... 62	2.6	 Compliance and Enforcement of Existing Building Energy Codes in North America 65	2.6.1	 Compliance and Enforcement Efforts in Canada .................................................. 66	2.6.2	 Compliance and Enforcement Efforts in the United States .................................. 66	Chapter 3: Exploring Residential Building Demographics, Renovation Permitting Statistics, and Renovation Rates in Vancouver .........................................................................69	3.1	 Methods......................................................................................................................... 69	3.2	 Vancouver’s Residential Building Stock ...................................................................... 69	3.2.1	 Vancouver Housing Inventory by Building Age .................................................. 70	3.2.2	 Vancouver Housing Inventory by Structure Type ................................................ 73	3.2.3	 Vancouver Building Stock Characteristics ........................................................... 76	3.3	 Vancouver Renovation Permitting Statistics 2005 - 2015 ............................................ 81	vii  3.3.1	 Renovation Permitting Statistics compared: Statistics Canada vs City of Vancouver  ............................................................................................................................ 99	3.4	 Vancouver Residential Renovation Rates  .................................................................. 101	Chapter 4: Exploring Permitting Processes and Residential Renovation in Vancouver ....104	4.1	 Research Methods  ...................................................................................................... 104	4.2	 Stakeholder Interviews  ............................................................................................... 105	4.2.1	 Interview Approach and Participants  ................................................................. 105	4.2.2	 Interview Analysis & Coding Structure  ............................................................. 107	4.2.3	 Limitations  ......................................................................................................... 109	4.3	 Online Survey  ............................................................................................................ 110	4.3.1	 Survey Design & Administration  ....................................................................... 110	4.3.2	 Survey Analysis  ................................................................................................. 112	4.3.3	 Survey Respondents  ........................................................................................... 112	4.3.4	 Limitations  ......................................................................................................... 125	4.4	 Research Results  ........................................................................................................ 127	4.4.1	 Rating of the Permitting Process  ........................................................................ 127	4.4.2	 Rating of the Ease of obtaining a Renovation Permit  ........................................ 133	4.4.3	 Permitting Challenges  ........................................................................................ 135	4.4.3.1	 Staffing  ........................................................................................................... 137	4.4.3.2	 Permitting Process Speed  ............................................................................... 139	4.4.3.3	 Estimated Renovation Permit Review Times  ................................................ 143	4.4.3.4	 Compliance Cost  ............................................................................................ 145	4.4.3.5	 Permitting Requirements ................................................................................ 148	4.4.3.6	 Transparency and Consistency of the Permitting Process  ............................. 151	4.4.4	 Positive Aspects of Permitting  ........................................................................... 154	4.5	 Support Services  ........................................................................................................ 155	4.5.1	 Enquiries Hotline  ............................................................................................... 155	4.5.2	 Permitting and Renovations Website  ................................................................. 157	4.5.3	 Development and Building Services Centre  ...................................................... 158	4.5.4	 Evaluation of Support Services  .......................................................................... 161	viii  4.5.5	 Permitting Improvement Suggestions  ................................................................ 162	4.6	 Energy Efficiency Requirements for Existing Buildings  ........................................... 169	4.6.1	 Awareness of Energy Efficiency Requirements  ................................................ 169	4.6.2	 Rating of Energy Efficiency Requirements  ....................................................... 170	4.6.2.1	 Opinions about EnerGuide Evaluations  ......................................................... 172	4.6.3	 Consequences of the 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw ..................................... 175	4.6.4	 Cost of Compliance with Energy Efficiency Requirements  .............................. 179	4.6.5	 Ease of Compliance with Energy Efficiency Requirements  .............................. 180	4.6.6	 Future more Stringent Energy Efficiency Requirements  ................................... 180	4.6.7	 Energy Efficiency from the Utilities’ Perspectives  ........................................... 192	4.6.7.1	 Energy Efficiency Measures and Barriers  ..................................................... 193	4.6.7.2	 Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs  .......................................................... 197	4.7	 Inspections  ................................................................................................................. 199	4.7.1	 Organisation of Inspections  ............................................................................... 199	4.7.2	 Evaluation of Inspections  ................................................................................... 200	4.8	 Unpermitted Renovations  .......................................................................................... 207	4.8.1	 Opinions about Unpermitted Renovation Activity  ............................................ 207	4.8.2	 Estimated Levels of Unpermitted Single Family Renovations  .......................... 210	4.8.3	 Estimated Levels of Unpermitted Multi-Unit Residential Renovations  ............ 213	4.8.4	 Reasons for Non-Compliance  ............................................................................ 215	4.9	 Discussion and Interpretation of Results  ................................................................... 219	4.9.1	 Renovation Permitting Process  .......................................................................... 220	4.9.2	 Permitting Challenges  ........................................................................................ 221	4.9.3	 Positive Aspects of Permitting  ........................................................................... 225	4.9.4	 Support Services  ................................................................................................ 226	4.9.5	 Energy Efficiency Requirements for Existing Buildings  ................................... 227	4.9.5.1	 EnerGuide Evaluations  .................................................................................. 228	4.9.5.2	 Future More Stringent Requirements  ............................................................. 229	4.9.5.3	 Energy Efficiency from the Utilities’ Perspectives  ....................................... 230	4.9.6	 Inspections  ......................................................................................................... 231	ix  4.9.7	 Compliance & Unpermitted Renovations  .......................................................... 233	Chapter 5: Conclusion  ..............................................................................................................237	5.1	 Summary  .................................................................................................................... 237	5.1.1	 Renovation Context and Residential Renovation Rates in Vancouver  .............. 238	5.1.2	 Upgrade Requirements’ Impact on Permitting Processes  .................................. 239	5.1.3	 Compliance and Unpermitted Renovations  ....................................................... 240	5.2	 Practical Recommendations and Policy Implications  ................................................ 241	5.2.1	 Permitting Process  ............................................................................................. 242	5.2.2	 Permitting Statistics  ........................................................................................... 246	5.2.3	 Energy Efficiency Requirements for Existing Buildings  ................................... 247	5.3	 Limitations and Future Research  ............................................................................... 250	References  ..................................................................................................................................254	Appendices  .................................................................................................................................264	Appendix A Total Residential Construction Permit Values 2005 - 2015  .............................. 264	Appendix B Survey: Building Renovation and Permitting in Vancouver .............................. 268	Appendix C Survey Invitation Card ....................................................................................... 278	  x  List of Tables Table 1.1 Split of GHG emissions from existing building sectors ............................................... 17	Table 1.2 Summary of energy efficiency requirements for Single and Two Family Dwellings .. 21	Table 2.1 Retrofit Types and their associated Energy Demand Reductions  ................................ 40	Table 3.1 Vancouver Residential Dwellings by Ownership Type  ............................................... 72	Table 3.2 Vancouver Housing Inventory by Building Age, pre-1946 – 2011 .............................. 72	Table 3.3 Vancouver Housing Inventory by Structure Type, 2001 – 2016 .................................. 75	Table 3.4 Vancouver Building Characteristics, 2015 ................................................................... 79	Table 3.5 Vancouver Residential Building Characteristics, 2015 ................................................ 79	Table 3.6 Vancouver Distribution of MURBs, 2015 .................................................................... 80	Table 3.7 Vancouver Residential Permit Values by Building Type 2005 – 2015  ....................... 92	Table 3.8 Vancouver Residential Permit Numbers by Building Type 2005 – 2015  ................... 93	Table 3.9 Vancouver Average Residential Renovation Permit Values by Building Type 2005 – 2015 .............................................................................................................................................. 94	Table 3.10 Vancouver Median Values of Residential Renovation Permits by Building Type 2005 – 2015 ........................................................................................................................................... 96	Table 3.11 Vancouver Average Residential Renovation Permit Values by Building Type 2005 – 2015 .............................................................................................................................................. 96	Table 3.12 Percentage of Residential Renovation by Building Type in Vancouver 2005 – 2015 98	Table 3.13 Comparison of Residential Renovation Permit Statistics 2005 – 2015  ................... 100	Table 3.14 Vancouver Residential Renovation Rates, 2003 - 2016 ........................................... 101	Table 3.15 Vancouver Residential Renovation Rates for different Building Types, 2015 ........ 102	Table 3.16 Vancouver Residential Renovation Rate, 2015 ........................................................ 103	Table 4.1 Overview of Interviewees ........................................................................................... 107	Table 4.2 Survey Respondent Status .......................................................................................... 113	Table 4.3 Respondents’ Status by Survey Collectors ................................................................. 114	Table 4.4 Respondents’ Gender .................................................................................................. 114	Table 4.5 Professional Respondents’ Line of Work ................................................................... 115	Table 4.6 Professional Respondents’ Company Size ................................................................. 116	Table 4.7 Respondents’ Length of Renovation Experience in Vancouver ................................. 117	xi  Table 4.8 Respondents’ Involvement in Single Family Home Renovations .............................. 118	Table 4.9 Professionals’ Involvement in Single Family Home Renovations by Company Size 119	Table 4.10 Respondents’ Involvement in Multi-Unit Residential Renovations ......................... 119	Table 4.11 Professionals’ Involvement in Multi-Unit Residential Renovations by Company Size..................................................................................................................................................... 120	Table 4.12 Respondents’ Number of Renovated Buildings over the last five years .................. 121	Table 4.13 Survey Analysis: Respondents’ Permitting Experience ........................................... 129	Table 4.14 Survey Analysis: Professionals’ Rating of the Renovation Permitting Process in Vancouver ................................................................................................................................... 130	Table 4.15 Survey Analysis: Professionals’ Rating of the Permitting Process by Permitting Experience and Company Size ................................................................................................... 132	Table 4.16 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Ease of obtaining a Renovation Permit .................. 133	Table 4.17 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Speed of obtaining a Renovation Permit  ............... 141	Table 4.18 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Cost of obtaining a Renovation Permit .................. 146	Table 4.19 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Transparency and Consistency of the Permitting Process ........................................................................................................................................ 152	Table 4.20 Survey Analysis: Rating of Permitting Support Services by Respondents’ Status .. 161	Table 4.21 Survey Analysis: Rating of Permitting Support Services by Permitting Experience 162	Table 4.22 Survey Analysis: Top Three Support Services ......................................................... 168	Table 4.23 Survey Analysis: Respondents’ Awareness of Energy Efficiency Requirements .... 170	Table 4.24 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Cost of Compliance with current Energy Efficiency Requirements .............................................................................................................................. 179	Table 4.25 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Ease of Compliance with current Energy Efficiency Requirements .............................................................................................................................. 180	Table 4.26 Survey Analysis: Rating of Fewer Renovations ....................................................... 181	Table 4.27 Survey Analysis: Rating of more Demolition and New Construction ...................... 182	Table 4.28 Survey Analysis: Rating of more modest Renovations ............................................ 184	Table 4.29 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Impact on Unpermitted Renovations ...................... 186	Table 4.30 Survey Analysis: Rating of the potential Improvement of the Energy Efficiency of Existing Buildings ....................................................................................................................... 189	xii  Table 4.31 Survey Analysis: Rating of the potential Improvement of the Comfort of Existing Buildings ..................................................................................................................................... 191	Table 4.32 Energy Efficiency Measures from the Utilities’ & Energy Advisor’s Perspectives . 193	Table 4.33 Barriers to Energy Efficiency from the Utilities’ & Energy Advisor’s Perspectives 195	Table 4.34 Energy Efficiency Incentives from the Utilities’ & Energy Advisor’s Perspectives 197	Table 4.35 Incentive Program Evaluation & Monitoring from the Utilities’ Perspectives ........ 198	Table 4.36 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Consistency of Inspections with Permitting Requirements .............................................................................................................................. 204	Table 4.37 Survey Analysis: Estimate of Percentage of Single Family Renovations taking place without a Permit by Respondent Status ...................................................................................... 211	Table 4.38 Survey Analysis: Estimate of Percentage of Single Family Renovations taking place without a Permit by Single Family Renovation Experience ....................................................... 212	Table 4.39 Survey Analysis: Estimate of Percentage of Multi-Unit Residential Renovations taking place without a Permit by Respondent Status .................................................................. 214	Table 4.40 Survey Analysis: Estimate of Percentage of Multi-Unit Residential Renovations taking place without a Permit by Multi-Unit Residential Renovation Experience ..................... 214	Table 4.41 Survey Analysis: Top Three Reasons for not seeking Renovation Permits ............. 218	Table 6.1 Value of Residential Construction Permits by Building Type for the City of Vancouver, 2005 - 2015 .............................................................................................................. 267	 xiii  List of Figures Figure 1.1 City of Vancouver Residential Renovation Permitting Process Flowchart  ................ 13	Figure 2.1 Modelled Evolution of the BC Building Stock under Deep Emissions Reduction Scenario  ........................................................................................................................................ 42	Figure 2.2 Modelled Evolution of the Vancouver Vuilding Stock under Deep Emissions Reduction Scenario  ...................................................................................................................... 43	Figure 2.3 Overview of U.S. Building Benchmarking and Transparency Policies ...................... 54	Figure 2.4 Overview of U.S. Cities Building Benchmarking and Transparency Policies  ........... 55	Figure 2.5 Comparison of U.S. Building Energy Benchmarking and Transparency Policies  ..... 57	Figure 3.1 Change of Vancouver’s Housing by Structure Type, 2001 - 2016  ............................ 75	Figure 3.2 GHG Intensities of Residential Building Types, 2015  ............................................... 80	Figure 3.3 Total Vancouver Residential Building and Renovation Permit Values 2005 - 2015  . 83	Figure 3.4 Vancouver Residential Building and Renovation Permit Numbers 2005 - 2015  ....... 85	Figure 3.5 Vancouver Average Residential Building and Renovation Permit Values 2005 - 2015....................................................................................................................................................... 86	Figure 3.6 Vancouver Average Residential Renovation Permit Values 2005 - 2015  ................. 87	Figure 3.7 Percentage Change of Residential Renovation Permit Values in Vancouver, 2005 - 2015 .............................................................................................................................................. 88	Figure 3.8 Percentage Change of Residential Renovation Permit Numbers in Vancouver, 2005 – 2015............................................................................................................................................... 88	Figure 3.9 Vancouver Residential Improvement and Renovation Permit Values 2005 - 2015  ... 90	Figure 4.1 Frequency of the Number of renovated Single Family Homes ................................. 122	Figure 4.2 Number of Renovated Single Family Homes by Length of Renovation Experience 123	Figure 4.3 Frequency of the Number of Renovated Multi-Unit Residential Buildings .............. 124	Figure 4.4 Number of Renovated Multi-Unit Residential Buildings by Length of Renovation Experience ................................................................................................................................... 125	Figure 4.5 Interview Analysis: Reported Permitting Experience by Regulatees ........................ 128	Figure 4.6 Survey Analysis: Professionals’ Rating of the Permitting Process by Permitting Experience ................................................................................................................................... 131	xiv  Figure 4.7 Survey Analysis: Professionals’ Rating of the Ease of the Permitting Process by Respondent Status ....................................................................................................................... 134	Figure 4.8 Survey Analysis: Professionals’ Rating of the Ease of the Permitting Process by Permitting Experience ................................................................................................................. 135	Figure 4.9 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Negative Permitting Experiences . 136	Figure 4.10 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Negative Permitting Experience Staffing ........................................................................................................................................ 138	Figure 4.11 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Negative Permitting Experience Long Delay .................................................................................................................................. 140	Figure 4.12 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Speed of obtaining a Renovation Permit by Respondent Status ....................................................................................................................... 142	Figure 4.13 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Speed of obtaining a Renovation Permit by Permitting Experience ................................................................................................................. 143	Figure 4.14 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Estimated Permit Review Times .... 144	Figure 4.15 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Negative Permitting Experience Compliance Cost ......................................................................................................................... 145	Figure 4.16 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Cost of obtaining Renovation Permits by Permitting Experience ................................................................................................................................... 147	Figure 4.17 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Cost of obtaining Renovation Permits by Respondent Status ........................................................................................................................................... 148	Figure 4.18 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Negative Permitting Experiences Permitting Requirements ............................................................................................................ 149	Figure 4.19 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Transparency and Consistency of the Renovation Permitting Process by Respondent Status ................................................................................... 152	Figure 4.20 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Transparency and Consistency of the Renovation Permitting Process by Permitting Experience ............................................................................. 153	Figure 4.21 Interview Analysis: Positive Permitting Experiences ............................................. 154	Figure 4.22 Interview Analysis: Permitting Enquiries Hotline .................................................. 156	Figure 4.23 Interview Analysis: Permitting and Renovations Website ...................................... 157	Figure 4.24 Interview Analysis: Development and Building Services Centre  .......................... 160	xv  Figure 4.25 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Permitting Improvement Suggestions..................................................................................................................................................... 163	Figure 4.26 Survey Analysis: Ranking of Better Permitting Support Services  ......................... 167	Figure 4.27 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Opinions about Energy Efficiency Requirements .............................................................................................................................. 171	Figure 4.28 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Opinions about EnerGuide Evaluations .................................................................................................................................. 173	Figure 4.29 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Opinions about Compliance under the 2014 VBBL ........................................................................................................................... 176	Figure 4.30 Survey Analysis: Rating of Fewer Renovations by Respondents’ Status ............... 182	Figure 4.31 Survey Analysis: Rating of More Demolition and New Construction by Respondents’ Status .................................................................................................................... 183	Figure 4.32 Survey Analysis: Rating of More Modest Renovations by Respondents’ Status ... 185	Figure 4.33 Survey Analysis: Rating of Impact of Unpermitted Renovations by Respondents’ Status ........................................................................................................................................... 187	Figure 4.34 Survey Analysis: Rating of Fewer Permits will be sought versus More Demolition and New Construction ................................................................................................................. 188	Figure 4.35 Survey Analysis: Rating of the potential Improvement of the Energy Efficiency of Existing Buildings by Respondents’ Status ................................................................................ 190	Figure 4.36 Survey Analysis: Rating of the potential Improvement of the Comfort of Existing Buildings by Respondents’ Status .............................................................................................. 192	Figure 4.37 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Opinions about Inspections ............ 201	Figure 4.38 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Consistency of Inspections with Permitting Requirements by Respondent Status ........................................................................................... 205	Figure 4.39 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Consistency of Inspections with Permitting Requirements by Permitting Experience .................................................................................... 206	Figure 4.40 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Opinions about Unpermitted Renovations ................................................................................................................................. 208	Figure 4.41 Interview Analysis: Regulatees’ Opinions about Reasons for Unpermitted Renovations ................................................................................................................................. 216	xvi  Figure 4.42 Survey Analysis: Most important Reasons for not seeking Renovation Permits in Vancouver  .................................................................................................................................. 217	Figure 6.1 Illustration of the Front and Back of the Survey Invitation Card designed by the Researcher ................................................................................................................................... 278	 xvii  List of Symbols   Statistical Significance  Probabilities are abbreviated below tables and graphs using Symbol   the statistical significance symbols      p < .05    significant at the 95% probability level p < .01    significant at the 99% probability level   Cramer’s V    Measure of association for categorical variables 0 – 0.29   weak association 0.3 – 0.59   moderate association 0.6 – 1    strong association xviii  List of Abbreviations ACEEE American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy ARRA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ASHRAE  American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers  BC  British Columbia (province of Canada) BCNPHA BC Non-profit Housing Association BEPS Building Energy Performance Standard BOMA  Building Owners and Managers Association CO2e  Carbon dioxide equivalent  CoV City of Vancouver CFL  Compact Fluorescent Lights DC  District of Columbia (the capital of the United States) DOB Department of Buildings  DIY  Do it yourself ESCO Energy Service Company ESS  Energy Star Portfolio Manager Score GCAP Greenest City Action Plan GHGs Greenhouse Gases GVHBA Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association HDD Heating Degree Days HERO Home Energy Rebate Offer  HVAC Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning ICC  International Code Council  xix  IEA  International Energy Agency  IEBC International Existing Building Code IECC  International Energy Conservation Code LED Light-emitting Diodes MURB  Multi-unit residential building NECB  National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings  NRCan  Natural Resources Canada  NYC New York City (a city in the United States) RC Retrocommissioning RCAP  Renewable City Action Plan  RCS Renewable City Strategy UBCM  Union of BC Municipalities US United States VBBL  Vancouver Building By-Law xx  Glossary Benchmarking (energy benchmarking) – The process of measuring a building’s energy use and comparing it to the average for similar buildings.  By-Law – Law which is made by a local authority and which applies only in their area. Charter (as in Vancouver Charter) – A provincial statute that contains the rules that govern how the municipality operates, what bylaws the municipal council can create, and how budgets are set.  The City – Spelled with an upper case C throughout this thesis; all City departments and staff working for the City of Vancouver (shortened to City staff) under the direction of the City Manager who are responsible for carrying out City operations.  CO2e (Carbon dioxide equivalent) – CO2 is the most prevalent greenhouse gas after water vapour and has become the proxy by which greenhouse gas emissions are measured (other greenhouse gases are methane, nitrous oxide and ozone) To take into account the emission of other greenhouse gases when calculating the level of greenhouse gas emissions, scientists have devised an equivalent measure – CO2e – allowing other greenhouse gas emissions to be expressed in terms of CO2 based on their relative global warming potential. Conditional land use – Land uses that the jurisdiction considers may have some impact in the community. These uses may be permitted under a development application, typically with conditions.  Conversion (Deconversion) – In the building permitting statistics context, these terms refer to renovations to a building that led to the creation of a dwelling unit (or loss of a dwelling unit).  Development permit – Permits issued for new construction, additions and exterior alterations, changes of use of a building or land, and some building demolitions.  Depth of retrofits – The amount of energy reduced after renovations.  Embodied carbon (also embodied emissions) – The carbon emissions generated to produce building material from the extraction and processing of the natural resources to manufacturing, xxi  transport, and product delivery. For construction, it refers to the carbon emissions associated with the manufacturing, maintenance, and decommissioning of a structure.  EnerGuide for Houses report (also EnerGuide evaluation or assessment) – An evaluation providing information about a house’s energy performance that can help make decisions when operating, renovating, or purchasing a house.  Energy code – A subset of the building bylaw (building code) that sets minimum efficiency requirements for new and renovated buildings.  Energy conservation – A reduction in the level of demand for an energy service.  Energy efficiency – A reduction in the amount of energy required to provide a given level of service (e.g. thermal comfort).  Field review – A sub-category of the minor renovation pathway and permitting process.  Fuel-switching – The substitution of one energy source for another. It plays a role in decarbonising the power generation and when end-use sectors such as transport and buildings move to fuels that are of lower emissions intensity. Examples include switching from coal to gas in power generation and replacing gas by renewable electricity in buildings.  Heat pump – A device that transfers heat energy from a heat source (air, ground, water) to a destination called a "heat sink" (a building). Heat pumps are designed to move thermal energy in the opposite direction of spontaneous heat transfer by absorbing heat from a cold space and releasing it to a warmer one. They can draw heat from air external to a building (‘air source’) or from geothermal energy (‘ground source’).  Minor renovation – Work within a single tenant space which may occupy multiple levels in a building. This may include reconfiguration of the interior space of a suite as well as minor exterior renovations.  Major renovation – Work which may include interior reconfiguration of multiple tenant spaces, interconnected floor spaces, exterior alterations, or alterations that create more than a new tenant space.  Occupancy permit – The final permit issued once construction has been terminated.  xxii  Outright land use – Land uses that are permitted, provided that all the regulations and provisions of the Zoning and Development By-Law and Parking By-Law are met.  Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change – A Canadian plan developed with the provinces and territories to meet the country’s emissions reduction targets, grow the economy, and build resilience to a changing climate.  R value – R values and RSI values are measures of thermal resistance of insulation; they measure how well a material resists the passage of heat. The R value is the imperial measurement and RSI is the metric equivalent.  Reconstruction – A project where extensive renovations are carried on throughout the entire building and the building is completely gutted; only the primary structural elements remain in place.  Repair – A limited scope of interior or exterior renovation work to replace existing building components with functionally equivalent components.  Renovations (also commonly referred to as retrofits) – Minor or major upgrades, improvements, installations or changes to an existing building or to building parts such as the building envelope, heating system, appliances, specific rooms or amenities. Renovations can also include loft conversions or building extensions.  Renovation permit – A legal document signed by a municipality that lists all approved details for a renovation project on the condition that they comply with the building code of the municipality.  Stationary emissions – Term used to refer to all building related emissions in Vancouver. The City of Vancouver GHG inventory includes industrial process loads in the GHG emissions for industrial buildings. Since process loads are different to heating, hot water, ventilation, and plug loads in all other building types, ‘stationary’ emissions is the preferred term to refer to all building related emissions.  Zoning – The regulation of the local land use bylaw.  Zoning and Development By-Law – Municipal law that describes the details of the development that is allowed in a district.  xxiii  Acknowledgements Sincere and profound thanks to Hadi, a deep source of insight, inspiration, and support. I am grateful for learning to think critically, ask questions, and conceptualize problems. I would also like to thank all research participants who shared their time, opinions, and experiences. Without them this study would have been impossible. My gratitude extends to several City of Vancouver staff who provided me with data and were always open to answering questions and assisting this research. Thank you to many wonderful friends and colleagues that I found over time at IRES. Finally, thank you to all my friends, near and far, and to my family who have put up with my intellectual meandering over the years. And to Peter for his support, care, and encouragement throughout this journey.   My research was generously funded by the UBC 2016-2017 Affiliated Fellowship Awards (Westcoast Energy Inc Jack Davis Scholarship in Energy Studies, Theodore E Arnold Fellowship) and the UBC 2015-2016 Spring Awards (R E McKechnie Graduate Scholarship, Wendy Fan Memorial Scholarship, Faculty of Science Graduate Award).    1  Chapter 1: Introduction With concern for climate change growing, jurisdictions around the world are looking to accelerate the transition towards a low carbon economy. In recent years, a growing number of municipal governments have claimed that they intend to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in cities. Vancouver is among these cities and has set ambitious climate targets: its Renewable City Strategy (RCS), launched in 2015, aims to shift energy use in the city entirely to renewables and to dramatically lower GHG emissions (City of Vancouver 2015c). Specifically, the RCS sets two main targets: (1) Derive 100 percent of energy used from renewable sources by 2050. (2) Reduce GHG emissions by at least 80 percent below 2007 levels by 2050. Building energy efficiency and conservation measures are recognized as a cost-effective way to enduringly reach those objectives (ibid). Improved building efficiency is also critical to creating jobs and a robust economy.   In this context, energy efficiency is defined as a reduction in the amount of energy required to provide a given level of service. An example of a service is thermal comfort. Energy efficiency often involves the adoption of a technology that converts energy into a useful service (e.g., an energy efficient heat pump that transfers heat energy from the outside air to the building) or helps manage the service more efficiently (e.g., attic insulation to reduce heat loss). In contrast, conservation reduces the level of demand for a service. In the case of thermal comfort, this might involve turning down the thermostat and tolerating cooler indoor temperatures. Conservation can involve technology adoption (e.g., programmable thermostats) but does not have to (e.g. turning down the thermostat when not at home).  2  In Vancouver, buildings are the largest source of emissions, constituting more than half of the city’s total in 2015 (City of Vancouver 2017a).1 Residential buildings and their renovation form the focus of this thesis because they are responsible for half of building related emissions (City of Vancouver 2014b). In addition, residential buildings occupy nearly three quarters of the total building floor area (City of Vancouver 2015c).   Despite considerable new construction, a major fraction of housing in 2050 will be comprised of buildings built long before the new energy efficiency and GHG targets came into force. Achieving significant energy efficiency gains and GHG reductions in existing buildings is a complex challenge facing the City of Vancouver (CoV). Most recent projections show that the City is not on track for the 2020 GHG reduction target of 33 percent which was set as part of the Greenest City Action Plan (GCAP) (City of Vancouver 2017a). This is partly due to insufficient reductions of energy use and carbon pollution from the existing building sector (ibid). The local real estate market and unfavourable economic conditions for energy efficiency investments, which the City has no control over, contribute to the building renovation challenge which will be explained in the following sections.                                                   1 The current focus is only on operational GHG emissions stemming from building use. Increasingly, the importance of taking a life-cycle view towards reducing total construction sector GHG emissions is being acknowledged. This involves considering embodied GHG emissions in addition to the current focus on operational GHG emissions.  3  1.1 Vancouver’s Real Estate and Construction Market Few cities have featured in the news as prominently as Vancouver for its soaring property prices over the last decade. The city has become one of the least affordable places to live in the developed world, and the crisis shows little sign of abating. Like many analysts, Gordon (2016) and Ley (2017) argue that one factor, foreign ownership and investment, is overwhelmingly responsible for the present situation. The authors examine three related pieces of evidence: the history of the Business Investor Program (Ley 2017), the studies of high-end home buying, and recent patterns of capital movement and prices (Gordon 2016). They emphasize foreign investment from China as a specific source.   Driven primarily by foreign demand, high land values and real estate prices have led to elevated levels of demolition and new construction. In addition, Vancouver also witnessed a local construction boom due to infrastructure and construction investments for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. In an economic impact analysis of the Olympic Games, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers (2010) found that incremental venue construction and construction by third party investors amounted to approximately $1.22 bn between 2003 to 2010 (PricewaterhouseCoopers 2010).   Turning to the age and condition of the residential housing stock, 2011 census data reveals that Vancouver’s housing stock is fairly new, particularly compared to other North American cities. About one quarter (28 percent) of all residential dwellings were built pre-1960 and 40 percent of all dwellings are more than 45 years old (built pre-1970) (Metro Vancouver 2017). By contrast, almost one third (32 percent) of residential units were built after 1991 and are therefore less than 4  26 years old (ibid). Generally, owner occupied dwellings tend to be more recent than rental units. Further details of residential building demographics will be discussed in chapter 3, section 3.2.   Despite this relatively new residential building stock, the majority of existing residential buildings will have to be either demolished and rebuilt, or undergo deep energy retrofits, if Vancouver wants to achieve its RCS targets by 2050. The building demographics provide insights into the oldest building types that should be targeted first when it comes to renovation. This is because typically, older buildings were built with poorer levels of insulation, windows, and mechanical systems, therefore using more energy for space heating and domestic hot water production.   1.2 Vancouver’s Renovation Context Given the local context of Vancouver’s mild climate and low energy prices, the business case for building retrofits and energy efficiency upgrades is, in general, relatively unattractive in the Lower Mainland. This is particularly true in residential buildings where, in contrast to commercial towers, no year-round cooling loads exist whose waste heat could be used for heat reclaim systems.   The average outdoor air temperature throughout the year is 10°C (50°F) in Vancouver (Ions Engineering 2015). Based on weather data from 2004 to 2014, temperatures of or below 1°C (33.8°F) are reached during approximately 570 hours per year, or 6.5 percent of the year (ibid). The milder the climate and the lower the number of yearly heating degree days, the less cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades are.  5  Since 2008, natural gas prices have been at historically low levels and they are projected to remain low for at least a decade due to an abundance of relatively low cost supply (National Energy Board 2016). Low gas prices and roughly three times higher electricity prices, mean that energy cost savings from fuel switching technologies, such as heat pumps, are often not significant for buildings in the Lower Mainland (Ions Engineering 2015). As a result, paybacks for mechanical retrofit investments can often be many years long. Such long paybacks are generally highly unattractive to private landlords, property management companies, and Strata owned buildings. A good example of this challenge is the downtown Vancouver district energy system, which currently runs on natural gas, and will not switch to a low carbon energy source by 2020 as originally anticipated by the CoV (City of Vancouver 2017a).   Another factor needs to be taken into consideration when wanting to achieve actual reductions in energy use – ‘the rebound effect’ – which mostly depends on behavioural elements. As efficiency reduces the effective cost of a service, demand for that service will tend to rise. This direct rebound effect may offset efficiency gains (Sorrell & Dimitropoulous 2008). As an example, homeowners who insulate their homes and install energy efficient boilers may ‘re-invest’ money saved on heating bills by turning up the thermostat to provide a higher level of thermal comfort (Milne & Boardman 2000). This direct rebound effect is more prevalent among low-income households, who could not afford to have sufficient service before. Higher heating demand in the residential sector will in the future likely also stem from the aging population who generally spend more time at home and tend to prefer higher indoor temperatures.   6  Efficiency gains from the adoption of an energy efficiency technology may also be counteracted by changes in ‘activity’ levels. Homes may increase in size, in number, or may contain more and more energy-using technologies. These are termed indirect rebound effects (Barker, Ekins et al. 2007; Herring & Roy 2007). As an example, a homeowner may install an energy efficient boiler but may also convert their loft from a storage space into a living space, thereby increasing the floor area of the house that needs heating. Many renovations involve the addition of more liveable space thereby increasing the heated floor space. What is more and particularly relevant for the Vancouver context is that renovations may also involve the deconversion of larger dwelling units into multiple units leading to a significant increase in energy consumption due to the potential addition of a heating system and many household appliances.   Energy efficient renovations can also often increase the embodied carbon of a building which will temper the benefit of increased energy efficiency. This is particularly true if carbon intense insulation material or windows are added that require a lot of energy for their production and transport. The CoV does currently not consider embodied carbon in their existing building policies.   1.3 Renovation Permitting Requirements and Legal Implications Unlike most cities in Canada, the CoV is enabled under the Vancouver Charter to adopt bylaws to regulate the design and construction of buildings. In addition, the Vancouver Building By-Law (VBBL) (often simply referred to as the ‘building code’ or the ‘code’) regulates the administrative provisions related to permitting, inspections, and the enforcement of these requirements (City of Vancouver 2014a).  7  Municipalities have the responsibility to ensure construction projects stay within the bylaws relating to land use, building codes, safety, sustainability, livability, and accessibility. A building permit is a legal document signed by a municipality that lists all approved details for a construction project on the condition that they comply with the building code of the municipality. Building codes regulate specificities such as wall thickness, minimum window size, structural stability, or height of railings.   A development permit provides permission for a specific type of development to take place on a site. It also permits the change of use of a site such as converting a commercial space to a residential one. The review process ensures that the proposed development meets the regulation of the local land use bylaw (zoning) such as height limits, minimum parking requirements, setbacks from the property lines, maximum lot coverage or specific rules on the architecture of the proposal.   The CoV requires building permits and at least one trade permit (gas, electrical, plumbing, tree removal, or other) for most renovation work such as:  • Moving interior walls and partitions • Moving existing or installing new plumbing, electrical, or gas lines • Making structural repairs, or building additions  • Installing energy efficient technologies, such as insulation or heat pumps.  (City of Vancouver website f)   8  No permit is required for replacing fixtures, cabinets or flooring, painting, unclogging drains, or installing roofing, gutters, or drain-pipes (ibid). Certain renovations may also require a development permit depending on the project scope, the building type, and the building’s location.   The CoV is divided into many zoning districts. Each zoning district has a section in the Zoning and Development By-Law which describes the details of development in that district. In each district, land use is categorized as either “outright” or “conditional”. Outright land uses are those that are permitted, provided that all the regulations and provisions of the Zoning and Development By-Law and the Parking By-Law are met (City of Vancouver website g). Conditional land uses are those that the City considers may have some impact in the community. These uses may be permitted under a development application, typically with conditions (ibid). Major residential renovations of buildings that are in conditional zones will likely require a separate development and building permit, as will planned renovations of designated heritage buildings (ibid). In these cases, the development approval may include conditions such as the payment for sidewalk improvements or upgrades to the water/sewer services.   Property owners are legally responsible for complying with all permit requirements for their construction projects (Canadian Home Builders Association n.d.). When owners and contractors draw up a contract, they can specify that the contractor will obtain necessary permits and arrange for inspections on the owner’s behalf (ibid). If a project does not comply with building, electrical, plumbing, or gas bylaws or municipal zoning requirements, the municipality can force the owner to correct deficiencies in the work or demolish it (ibid).  9  1.3.1 Legal Implications of Unpermitted Renovations Property owners face several legal consequences for starting work without a permit or completing renovation work unpermitted which can extend many years after the unpermitted renovation work has been completed. In Vancouver, if property owners are caught in violation with renovation permitting requirements during the construction process, the consequences may include:  • A “work without permit” penalty. This is typically double the original permit fee. • A delay while the permit application is processed. All work must stop during this time.  • Possibly having to undo the work that was done. • Possibly having to do more work than originally planned and budgeted for, such as adding fire sprinklers or making seismic upgrades. (City of Vancouver website d)  In addition, not reporting permitted or unpermitted modifications to the home insurance company could result in loss or denial of coverage should the homeowner file a claim for damages against that work at some point in the future (Herron 2014).  When it comes to selling residences, property owners may be required to provide evidence of valid permits for renovation work undertaken. Passing off unpermitted renovations to a potential home buyer can be exposed by a qualified home inspector or real estate agent. The CoV provides property records to anyone who files an inquiry and pays the relevant fee (City of Vancouver website b). Property records include copies of building plans, building and development permits, property information and bylaw compliance (including outstanding bylaw orders, zoning, approved use, issued permits, issued permits without final inspection approval, pending permit 10  applications and more) (ibid). Many buyers will not take the risk of buying a property with unpermitted construction. Buyers may also have difficulty with bank financing on such a property (Nolo Legal Encyclopaedia n.d.).  There are a few insurance options that can protect home buyers from unpermitted work. While it is not legally required in Canada, most people buy title insurance when they purchase a property (Holmes 2012). Title insurance protects the property owner against encumbrances or defects in their title. A standard title insurance policy will, however, not protect owners against unpermitted construction on their property. There are have, however, premium title insurance policies or title policies with special coverage (called an “endorsement”) that cover unpermitted construction (Nolo Legal Encyclopaedia n.d).   1.4 Vancouver Renovation Permitting Process All building and development permits in the CoV are issued by the Development Services, Buildings and Licensing department which was newly created in 2016 (City of Vancouver 2016b). The Development and Building Services Centre (often simply referred to as the ‘Services Centre’) is the public interface of the department where permit applicants can turn to for all building-related inquiries and submit permit applications for certain renovation types.   There are three main residential renovation permitting process pathways in Vancouver. These are illustrated in Figure 1.1. on page 13. The permit application and review process will vary depending on the renovation project scope, cost, and the location of the building. In general, renovations are distinguished between repair, minor and major renovations, and reconstruction. 11  To determine the distinction, the project scope and cost will be compared to the assessed building value and replacement cost of the building today and whether it is an interior or exterior renovation (Interview City staff 1).   Repair pertains to a limited scope of interior or exterior renovation work to replace existing building components with functionally equivalent components (City of Vancouver 2015a).   Minor renovations mean work within a single tenant space which may occupy multiple levels in a building (City of Vancouver 2014a). Minor renovations may include reconfiguration of the interior space of a suite as well as minor exterior renovations or the consolidation of more than one existing suite into a single new tenant space. However, a change of major occupancy classification is not considered to be a minor renovation type project (City of Vancouver 2014a). To be considered a minor renovation, the project value has to be less than 50 percent of the building replacement value (Interview City staff 2). Examples of minor interior renovations include bathroom or kitchen renovations.   Within the minor renovation pathway, so-called ‘Field Reviews’ are a separate sub-category. Field Reviews fall under an alternative permit-issuing process for small renovation projects which do not require major upgrading but which do require a building permit (City of Vancouver 2014a). Field review projects are required to comply with the energy requirements of the VBBL (ibid). Field reviews benefit from a simple and faster permit process: a Project Coordinator carries out minimal plan checking and sends the project to an Inspector. The Inspector will check the drawings and carry out a pre-review on site for approval. If approved, the Inspection 12  department issues the renovation permit. According to City staff, the average processing time is 4 weeks (Interview City staff 2).   By contrast, major renovations mean work which may include (singly or in combination) interior re-configuration of multiple tenant spaces, interconnected floor spaces, exterior alterations, or alterations that create more than one new tenant space (City of Vancouver 2014a). If the project value is more than 50 percent of the building replacement value then it is considered a major renovation or a full upgrade of the building. In this case, applicants need to provide structural drawings, architectural drawings, an arborist report, energy assessments, and ensure to meet the thermal performance of the current building code. They may have to undertake seismic and sprinkler upgrades (Interview City staff 2).   Reconstruction means any project where extensive renovations are being carried on throughout the entire building and the building is completely gutted; exposing the primary structure of the building on all interior and exterior walls, floors and roof with only the primary structural elements remaining in place (the building skeleton) (City of Vancouver 2015a). Permits work in conjunction with inspections, which ensure that the work that was planned (according to the permit) was actually done, and was done safely according to the building code. Following building permit issuance, renovation work can start. Trade and building inspections will take place during the construction process. The permit is only closed once the construction project has been completed and a final inspection has taken place.  T13   Figure 1.1 City of Vancouver Residential Renovation Permitting Process Flowchart  City	of	Vancouver	Residential	Renovation	Permitting	Process	FlowchartServices CentreAll	building	types1/ All inquiries2/ Application pre-screening3/ Landscaping pre-clearance4/ Appointment booking with relevant review branchMinor or major renovation?MajorMinorPermit Intake Field review?Site InspectionInspections Department1/ Simple application review 2/ Permit issued1/ Formal application review*2/ Permit issuedNoApproved?Housing Review Branch1	&	2	family	dwellingsOutright	 zonesBuilding Review BranchMURBs,	1	&	2	family	dwellingsConditional	 zonesDevelopment Review BranchMURBs,	1	&	2	family	dwellingsConditional	 zonesPermit Intake for zoning and building code review* Building code review*Permit Intake for zoning and design review*Permit issuedMultiple Inspections depending on Scope(gas, electricity, plumbing, building)Construction StartsConstruction EndsFinal InspectionYes YesNoPermit closedPermit application review by multiple City departments (e.g. planning, engineering, landscape)*Separate DP required?NoYes*Process greatly simplified.14  Renovation Permitting Process - Flowchart Notes • Process has been simplified.  • Single and two family dwellings that are located in outright zones and don’t require conditional approvals (i.e. use is listed as outright in the zone and no relaxations are required) are processed as a combined development/building permit through the Housing Review Branch. Only a building permit is required if there are no additions or exterior alterations. • Single and two family dwellings that are located in conditional zones and/or require conditional approvals (i.e. use is listed as conditional in the zone and/or relaxations are required) are processed as separate development and building permits. The development permit is processed through Development Review Branch and the building permit is processed through the Building Review Branch, except for zones RS-5/6 /7 which are processed through the Housing Review Branch.  • Multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) are processed as separate development and building permits through the Development Review Branch and the Building Review Branch, respectively.  The development permit process will vary depending on whether it is Director of Planning approval or Development Permit Board approval. • The Services Centre takes care of minor, simple renovation permits of all building types in outright zones. No appointment is required for permit intake. • The Development Review Branch issues development permits for buildings in conditional zones. Appointments are required for permit intake. • The Building Review Branch issues building permits for multi-unit residential buildings and highly complex single and two family renovations in conditional zones (following 15  development permit, if required). Direct permit intake only takes place if no development permit is required. • Landscaping pre-clearance at the Services Centre was introduced in February 2017. Prior to that, the landscaping review was carried out as part of the permit application review. Bringing the landscape oversight to the beginning of the process was meant to increase efficiencies and reduce processing times. • Pre-1940 houses require a character assessment.  • Permit applications that require multiple interactions (back & forth) with the applicant or with other City departments, e.g., due to incomplete material or project complexity, can prolong the review time.  1.5 Vancouver’s Existing Building Strategy To achieve its ambitious carbon reduction targets in the building sector, the CoV’s strategy is first to focus on new construction, with the aim to reduce the need for building retrofits (City of Vancouver 2015c). Council consequently adopted the Zero Emission Building Plan in July 2016 which mandates all new construction buildings to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020 and zero emissions by 2030 (City of Vancouver 2016c).   Action in the existing building sector is, however, still extremely important. In its RCS, the CoV projects that by 2050 about 40 percent of total floor space in Vancouver will have been built after 2020 and be carbon neutral or zero-emission (City of Vancouver 2015c). About 30 percent of the floor space will have been built to current or upcoming building standards, while the remaining 30 percent will have been built prior to 2010 (ibid). The implication is that about 60 16  percent of buildings, constructed before 2020, will have to undergo a retrofit to bring them up to a low emission standard by 2050.   To start addressing this exiting building stock, in 2014, the CoV adopted a Building Energy Retrofit Strategy (short ‘Retrofit Strategy’) for existing buildings to inform and prioritize City action (City of Vancouver 2014b). As part of this strategy, for the first time, energy retrofit requirements were included in the VBBL which came into effect on January 1, 2015 (ibid). Both the current energy retrofit requirements and the Retrofit Strategy are aimed at reducing GHG emissions and energy use from existing buildings to 20 percent below 2007 levels by 2020, as set out in the GCAP. They are not designed to meet the much deeper reductions required by the RCS.   The Retrofit Strategy is aimed at building sectors where the CoV deemed that additional City actions may have the greatest impact (ibid). The relative contribution of each building sector to Vancouver's existing stationary GHG emissions are shown in table 1.1. 2                                                       2 The term “stationary” emissions is preferred to “building” emissions. The CoV GHG inventory includes industrial process loads in the GHG emissions for industrial buildings. Since process loads are different to heating, hot water, and plug loads in all other building types, “stationary” emissions is the preferred term to refer to all building related emissions. 17        Table 1.1 Split of GHG emissions from existing building sectors (Source: City of Vancouver 2014b)  The Retrofit Strategy set out to focus on large commercial buildings, large MURBs, detached homes, and large industrial emitters (ibid). The main approach is to support voluntary action by private owners as well as requiring modest energy upgrades at the time of renovation. In early 2016, Council approved the creation of a $1 million Building Energy Retrofit Fund to help implement the recommended actions (City of Vancouver 2016c). This investment is anticipated to leverage $8 million in utility, private, and provincial funding (ibid).   Detached Homes Funds would go to support 675 homes in the first two years helping to evaluate energy efficiency opportunities, providing coaching to support energy efficiency improvements and taking advantage of existing utility incentives (City of Vancouver 2016c). Thermal imaging was also launched in 2017 to help identify the least efficient homes. In addition, a $150,000 grant was made to the Vancouver Heritage Foundation for the continuation of the Pre-1940s and Heritage Home Retrofit Incentive (ibid). This is arguably a low amount, given the high cost of often complex retrofits.  Heat Utilities (Hospitals, Central Heat)  7% Public Sector Buildings  7% Small Commercial Buildings  10% Large Commercial Buildings 7% Industrial Buildings 20% Multi-unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) 18% Detached Houses 31% 18  Multi-unit Residential Buildings A portion of the funds would also go to MURBs which include both rental apartment and condominium strata type buildings. Nearly all large condo buildings are managed by 8 property management firms. Most surprising is the ownership concentration in rental: 46 landlords own 60 percent of market rental units (City of Vancouver 2014b).   The CoV deems that the Green Landlord Program was piloted successfully. Out of 23 Vancouver rental apartment buildings surveyed in the pilot, 21 committed to undertaking the identified improvements (ibid).3 The program was thereafter expanded to assist owners of apartment buildings and operators of non-market housing to reinvest in their buildings and reduce their energy costs. The objective is that by providing energy audits, retrofit business cases, highlighting available incentives, and contact management support, rental apartment building owners will make investments in efficiency improvements. To expand the program the CoV is partnering with LandlordBC and BC Non-profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) (City of Vancouver 2016a).   Energy Benchmarking and Reporting For several years, the CoV has been wanting to introduce energy benchmarking and reporting for buildings that are larger than 50,000 sq ft to be able to identify and focus on the largest and least efficient buildings (ibid). Benchmarking would require large buildings to track their energy and                                                 3 It is not clear whether there has been a further follow-up study to identify which if any of those who “committed” to improving their property actually did so.  19  water consumption, and to report this data to local governments every year. To authorize this, legislative amendments by the provincial government are required (Union of BC Municipalities 2017).   For the second time, in 2017, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) endorsed the resolution on "Provincial Action on Building Energy Benchmarking" at its annual convention (Union of BC Municipalities 2017). In response to the resolution, the Province expressed support for benchmarking but indicated that while it was “exploring approaches and policy options” to enable benchmarking activities, it was not willing to undertake legislative amendments (ibid).   As previously mentioned, the actions introduced by the Retrofit Strategy seem insufficient to achieve Vancouver’s 20 percent GHG reduction target by 2020. Current projections indicate that the City is not on track for the GCAP targets in existing buildings (City of Vancouver 2017a).   1.5.1 Characterizing 2014 Energy Efficiency Requirements for Existing Buildings The 2014 VBBL requires the use of the energy standard ASHRAE 90.1-2010 or the energy code, National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) 2011.4 Part 11 of the VBBL includes provisions for existing building energy upgrade mechanisms and applies to existing buildings at time of renovation when they apply for building permits. According to the CoV (2014a), the new existing buildings energy upgrade category is designed to provide owners with flexibility and                                                 4 The NECB (2011) does not apply to alterations of existing buildings, except for additions to existing buildings (Pape-Salmon, 2016b) and will therefore not be considered further in this research.  20  uses a multi-option process ranging from Voluntary Upgrade exemptions, to an ASHRAE 90.1.-2010-based menu for MURBs to specific upgrade options for detached Single and Two Family Dwellings (City of Vancouver 2014a).   The energy standard ASHRAE 90.1.-2010 is applied to those building systems being affected by renovation, addition, or change in occupancy types of activities (Pape-Salmon 2016b). This is in addition to energy efficiency requirements for building components and equipment under both the B.C. and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Energy Efficiency Act legislation, triggered at the time of purchase of energy devices such as windows or boilers (ibid).   ASHRAE 90.1-2010 is an energy standard for buildings, except for low-rise residential buildings, that provides minimum efficiency requirements for new buildings, additions to existing buildings, new systems and equipment, or alterations to existing buildings. The standard contains both performance and prescriptive compliance paths to achieve the goal of energy efficient buildings (ASHRAE 2016). Overall, there are numerous exemptions within ASHRAE 90.1.2010, particularly for the building envelope, which results in many renovation activities being exonerated. The standard applies more extensively to mechanical equipment and lighting system alterations (Pape-Salmon 2016b). Depending on the type of renovation activity, the VBBL imposes an additional set of requirements to the whole building, with significant flexibility on compliance options (City of Vancouver 2014a). Generally, as the renovation value increases the complexity and extent of required upgrades increases.   21  Single and Two Family Dwellings (Detached Homes) Since ASHRAE 90.1.2010 does not apply to low-rise residential buildings, the 2014 VBBL introduced the following energy efficiency requirements for existing Single and Two- Family Dwellings at the time of building permit applications:   Renovation Application Value Upgrade Level Below $5,000 No energy upgrades required. More than $5,000 but less than $25,000 Applicants to provide an EnerGuide5 for Houses report. If the homeowner has a report, it must have been completed in the past four years.  If work includes replacement of boiler or furnace, Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) should be 90% or higher.  More than $25,000 but less than $50,000  As above plus: If EnerGuide report indicates more than five air changes an hour, building envelope air sealing is required.  Above $50,000 As above plus: Attic insulation required. If less than R12 (RSI 2.11), increase to R28, if between R12 and R28, increase to R40. Cathedral and flat roofs must be upgraded to R14.6  Aside from these tiers, new work (for instance, new ventilation, new walls, or a new roof) must comply with the 2014 VBBL.   Table 1.2 Summary of energy efficiency requirements for Single and Two Family Dwellings (Source: City of Vancouver 2014a)                                                  5 EnerGuide is an official mark of Natural Resources Canada.  6 RSI values and R values are both measures of thermal resistance of insulation meaning that they both measure how well a material resists the passage of heat. The R value is the imperial measurement and RSI is the metric equivalent. To convert RSI to R value multiply by 5.67826; to convert R value to RSI divide by 5.67826. 22  The EnerGuide home evaluation is carried out by a third-party certified energy advisor who completes a home visit and performs an air tightness test. The advisor provides advice and recommendation identifying the most cost-effective opportunities to improve the home’s energy efficiency and lower the heating bill. The EnerGuide for Houses report summarizes these recommendations for the homeowner. Costs for the EnerGuide home evaluation vary depending on the energy advisor’s rate and the assessment scope. In interviews with industry stakeholders, reported costs ranged from $500 to $1,500 (Interview Energy Advisor and Builder 2).   For minor renovations, none of the recommended actions have to be implemented by the homeowner, except for the building envelope air sealing and attic insulation outlined above. For major renovations, the required energy upgrades depend on the results of the EnerGuide evaluation. While the specific upgrades are chosen by the homeowner, owners have to ensure to meet the thermal performance of the 2014 VBBL new construction standard (City of Vancouver 2014a). For major renovations, the energy advisor needs to perform a post-evaluation after the energy upgrades have been completed to confirm that the upgrades meet the 2014 VBBL (ibid).   Owners who are adding additional dwelling units or additional floor space must ensure that the new sections fully comply with the 2014 VBBL (City of Vancouver, 2015d). Thermal performance requirements may be relaxed if the building is deemed a character or heritage home (City of Vancouver 2014a). Homeowners may be eligible for grants and incentives to help finance the energy efficiency upgrades. A summary of currently available incentive programs will be provided under section 1.6.   23  Multi-unit Residential Buildings For MURBs, a complex diversity in types of buildings and potential improvements exist. Tables of energy efficiency options enable applicants to align required efficiency improvements with planned work (ibid). Buildings that are designed and constructed to ASHRAE 90.1-2007, ASHRAE 90.1-2010, or NECB 2011 are exempt from the energy upgrade trigger process (City of Vancouver 2015a).   In addition, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) BEST 7 continuous optimisation certification offers an alternative compliance pathway for existing MURBs and commercial buildings in Vancouver (ibid). The CoV (2015a) states that “the intent of the inclusion of the BOMA BEST rating system is to recognise the efforts made towards improved building performance” (ibid). Buildings need to show proof of valid certification and ongoing commissioning (ibid). The certification is administered by BOMA.   Voluntary Upgrades When the entire scope of work consists of upgrading energy related equipment and/or components the Voluntary Upgrade option is applicable. Any additional work not directly related to the upgrading of energy related equipment and/or components, negates this option (ibid). The CoV (2015a) states that “the intent of the Voluntary Upgrade exemption is to allow buildings to voluntarily upgrade energy related equipment or components without triggering additional                                                 7 BOMA BEST is Canada’s largest environmental assessment and certification program for existing buildings. It is a voluntary program designed by industry that provides owners and managers with a consistent framework for assessing the environmental performance and management of existing buildings of all sizes (BOMA, n.d.). 24  upgrade requirements” (ibid). All energy related equipment being changed must be replaced with either a higher efficiency model or the most efficient model available. Examples of energy related equipment eligible for this option are boilers, furnaces, lighting, building envelope components, heat pump systems, or renewable energy systems (ibid).   Compliance and Enforcement  The CoV verifies compliance with these energy efficiency requirements when building owners or contractors apply for renovation permits. Depending on the building and renovation type, submission of energy documentation such as energy checklists, the EnerGuide for Houses report, and appropriate ASHRAE forms need to be provided with the permit application. The entire set of documentations will be reviewed by City staff, and if approved, a building permit will be issued. Enforcement of the energy upgrade requirements is carried out during the construction process via inspections.   1.6 Utility Incentive Programs In Canada, both government and utility support for privately owned home retrofits have generally taken one of two approaches. Most common is the provision of standard information on how individual households can benefit from energy conservation and efficiency as well as from related cost savings, often in the form of flyers or emails. The kinds of consumer “energy behaviours” targeted by such programs can include both purchase behaviours, such as one-time investments in more efficient appliances or building envelope upgrades, as well as maintenance behaviours, or occasional activities that improve energy efficiency through switching to higher efficiency light bulbs, for instance. A second and often complementary approach is to provide 25  financial incentives to homeowners who undertake retrofits to offset the cost of upgrading their building envelope or heating and cooling system.   In B.C., residential household energy reduction schemes have been funded and administered through two major programs. From 2008 to 2014, the LiveSmart BC program provided incentives and guidance for residential, commercial, transportation, and community energy efficiency activities (Westerhoff et al. 2017). The program was funded by significant federal and/or provincial incentives (City of Vancouver 2016a). The LiveSmart at Home stream included an efficiency incentive program that offered rebates for various kinds of retrofits, from improving insulation to the replacement of mechanical ventilation systems. To be eligible, homeowners were required to hire a certified energy advisor to perform a home evaluation that provided information on total energy consumption and recommended upgrades, followed by another assessment after any upgrades were performed (LiveSmart BC 2014). In 2014, the LiveSmart program was estimated to have incentivized roughly $110 million in energy retrofit investments, with an estimated 15-28% reduction in energy bills for participating households (ibid).   Since 2014, energy efficiency rebate and incentive programs are now administered by the two provincial utilities, BC Hydro and FortisBC. The two companies launched the Home Energy Rebate Offer (HERO) program8, offering home energy retrofit incentives but at a reduced                                                 8 In 2016, the Home Energy Rebate Offer (HERO) program was renamed the Home Renovation Rebate Program (FortisBC 2017).  26  amount, for a more limited range of energy retrofit improvements, and with a shorter time horizon (City of Vancouver 2016a). In a 2016 Administrative Report, the CoV (2016a) deemed that in the first year “uptake of the HERO program has been slow with relatively low market awareness” (ibid).   1.6.1 BC Hydro Power Smart Program BC Hydro’s Power Smart program offers information on behaviours to reduce energy use, sources of high efficiency products and technologies, and rebates for insulation upgrades, draft-proofing, and improvements to heating and ventilation systems. As of September 2017, the incentive program provides up to $1,200 for upgrading insulation, up to $500 for draft-proofing, up to $800 for installing a ductless heat pump, and a $750 bonus for making three or more eligible upgrades (BC Hydro 2017).   BC Hydro’s direct residential rebate expenditures amounted to $2.2 million in 2016, up from $972,000 in 2015, a 120 percent increase (BC Hydro 2016). The expenditures and electricity savings of the residential renovation rebate program in 2016 were, however, below what was expected. BC Hydro attributed this to the mix of project measures installed by customers which varied from the planned measure mix (ibid).  In addition, BC Hydro, FortisBC and select municipalities also propose a Municipal Partner Offer for homeowners in several municipalities in the Lower Mainland, including Vancouver. Currently available until December 31, 2017, qualifying homeowners can receive a $500 bonus rebate and personalized energy coaching services (BC Hydro n.d.b). Homeowners can also 27  receive a $150 rebate when they complete an EnerGuide home evaluation with a program qualified advisor (BC Hydro 2017). This energy coach home evaluation rebate is funded by the Province of B.C. through the Innovative Clean Energy Fund financial contribution (ibid).   1.6.2 FortisBC Programs Under the HERO program, FortisBC similarly offers rebates of up to $1,000 for high efficiency natural gas water heaters and up to $300 for EnerChoice natural gas fireplaces (FortisBC n.d.). In 2016, FortisBC estimated a reduction in natural gas consumption of 120,000 GJ/year across the Residential Energy Efficiency Program area (FortisBC 2017). The gas utility reported that 3,285 households participated in the EnerChoice fireplace program across the province in the same year with a total of $1.5 million spent on incentives (ibid). As for the water heater program, an estimated 3,159 households took advantage of the program with incentive expenditures of $2.3 million (ibid).   Finally, FortisBC and BC Hydro also offer a low income residential demand side management program called Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP). Eligible measures may include low-flow fixtures, water heater pipe wrap, professional draft proofing, outlet gaskets, window film, insulation, improved ventilation, carbon monoxide detectors, and furnaces (FortisBC 2017). FortisBC reported that investments in low income programs increased by 46 percent in 2016 over 2015, with a total of $1.2 million spent on low-income incentives across the province (ibid). In 2016, the utility launched three new programs: Low Income Space Heat Top Up, Low Income Water Heating Top Up and the Non- Profit Custom Program (ibid).  28  1.6.3 Programs for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings Generally, there are fewer energy efficiency incentives available for MURBs. The buildings’ common areas fall under utilities’ commercial programs and in-suite measures are included in residential programs.   BC Hydro launched a MURB pilot that was targeted at rental apartment buildings offering free access to an energy advisor and some incentives for in-suite and common area upgrades including lighting, appliances, and fans. BC Hydro states, however, that this program is now fully subscribed and does not accept new participants (BC Hydro a). Certain measures, such as common area lighting upgrades, may still be eligible via the Power Smart Business program (ibid).   In October 2015, FortisBC launched the Rental Apartment Efficiency Program for owners and managers of rental apartment buildings that are nine units and larger (FortisBC b). The no-cost services that are provided through the program include: a) a water-efficient shower head and a kitchen and bathroom faucet aerator installed in each unit, b) a building energy assessment to identify energy-efficiency improvements and upgrades, c) professional assistance from a rental apartment energy advisor to guide owners/managers through the process of making energy upgrades (ibid). In addition, replacements of central gas fired condensing boilers and water heaters may be supported through incentives (FortisBC 2017).   In 2016, the Rental Apartment Efficiency program counted 27,438 participants across the province (each apartment unit is counted individually) which was 17 percent more than projected 29  (ibid). The utility reported total program incentive expenditures of $673,000 for the same year (ibid). 9   1.6.4 Program Limitations Most residential utility program incentives are targeted at single family homes, duplexes, and row or townhouses. Little support is available for rental MURBs and none for condominiums. While the programs listed above have certainly helped to increase residential energy efficiency and reduce household’s energy costs, rebates largely incentivize higher-efficiency like-for-like technology replacements, with no support available for fuel-switching technologies that would achieve much higher GHG emission savings.   Research has demonstrated several limitations to the success of such incentive programs, including uptake, additionality, and effectiveness (Westerhoff et al. 2017). First, in order to increase the uptake of deep energy retrofits, higher incentives and more inclusive programs will be needed to mobilize building owners into taking action. Second, the issue of additionality (or the degree to which such programs stimulate retrofits above and beyond what homeowners would have undertaken without the program) remains a question. So-called “free-riders” are thought to simply take advantage of funds made available to reduce the costs of home renovation plans already in place (ibid).                                                   9 Low-income rental participants and incentives were excluded from the total calculations since they are already reported under the low-income Energy Conservation Assistance Program.  30  Finally, while fiscal rewards remain important motivators for home retrofits (Hoicka et al. 2014), they cannot be the only ingredient of energy efficiency programs and must be included into a broader array of program components. A lack of technological options or prohibitive costs are often pointed to as reasons for low engagement, but this is not always the case (Pacala & Socolow 2004; Munasinghe & Swart 2005). Whether or not someone chooses to participate in a retrofit program can be determined by a host of other factors, from the perception of its (in)convenience, what is considered an acceptable standard of comfort at home, or whether or not retrofitting activities have been undertaken by one’s peers (Kollmuss & Agyeman 2002; Bamberg & Moser 2007). Improved strategies to reduce residential energy use include multiplying the type of engagement approaches through word of mouth and community-based techniques, simplifying program participation by reducing the number of steps and paper work involved, engaging homeowners directly to ensure outcomes are aligned with their personal habits and preferences, and partnering utility-led programs with trusted local organizations (Westerhoff et. al. 2017).   1.7 Problem Statement The above sections highlighted the challenge the CoV faces to achieve deep energy use and GHG emissions reductions in existing buildings. Even though energy efficiency and conservation measures are recognized as a cost-effective way to reach those objectives, the local conditions of a mild climate, low energy costs, and high land values render marked-driven energy efficiency upgrades unattractive. Currently available utility incentives also seem insufficient to catalyze deep emissions reductions in the residential sector.   31  While supporting measures such as financing, incentives, energy labelling, and voluntary programs are critical measures for market transformation in the building sector, deep emissions reductions in the building stock by mid-century are not likely to be possible without an ambitious and clear pathway set through codes and regulations. The CoV commenced pursuing such a pathway via its 2014 energy efficiency upgrade requirements for existing buildings. Most recent projections suggest, however, that current measures are not enough to reach the 2020 GHG emissions reduction target of 20 percent for existing buildings (City of Vancouver 2017a), let alone the 80 percent GHG emissions reduction target by 2050.   Residential buildings and their renovation form the focus of this thesis for multiple reasons: They are responsible for half of building related emissions in Vancouver (City of Vancouver 2014b) and occupy nearly three quarters of the total building floor area (City of Vancouver 2015c). The rental building stock, in particular, contains some of the oldest and least efficient buildings in the city with many of them soon requiring replacement or major refurbishment. In contrast to commercial and industrial buildings, residential buildings operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year. They require more energy for heating, washing, and showering and need to operate at night. As a result, this building demographic consumes large amounts of energy over the entire course of the year.   Despite their potential and need for energy efficiency improvements, residential buildings and MURBs, in particular, pose a challenge when it comes to retrofits. Private owners, Strata Councils and building managers often avoid complications, face time constraints, and are unwilling to take risks. Even when the economics are positive, energy efficient retrofits are 32  frequently declined due to lack of time, insufficient technical knowledge, and little experience and help with coordinating retrofit projects. Maintenance managers can also be reluctant to test a new technology and learn how to maintain a new piece of equipment.   The CoV has chosen to use renovation permitting to enforce energy efficiency standards for existing buildings. Heerema (2017) highlights multiple benefits that improving the performance of existing buildings through permitting and codes has, including:  • Improving the longevity and performance of buildings, and addressing deferred maintenance issues. • Improving occupant health and comfort. • Creating economic benefits by stimulating retrofit activity and investment in the building stock. • The opportunity to consider the house as a system, and determine the optimal path to lowering energy and emissions. • The possibility of requiring, measuring and/or verifying energy and emissions reductions — providing a more reliable path to meeting targets. • Reducing operating costs to homeowners through reduced energy and/or maintenance costs.  On the other hand, there are some inherent challenges surrounding the regulation and enforcement of existing building performance, including:  • Introducing new capital and construction project spending requirements for home and building owners.  33  • Disturbance to tenants and residents during renovation activity.  • Unpermitted retrofits undermining potential gains from energy upgrade requirements. • The potential for increased unpermitted retrofit activity in order to avoid code compliance. • Increasing the administrative, training, and enforcement burden on local governments, administrative departments and their staff.  In addition to new energy efficiency requirements for existing buildings, the 2014 VBBL introduced new demands in the fields of health and safety, fire protection, seismic upgrades, and landscaping (City of Vancouver 2014a). The impacts that these new requirements have on industry stakeholders who seek renovation permits, on permitting processes, and on City staff and resources remain unclear. The level of unpermitted renovation activity and compliance patterns in Vancouver have also received little attention so far.   1.8 Research Objectives & Contributions Considering the gaps outlined above, Vancouver is used as a case study in this research to examine the regulation implemented so far to improve the energy efficiency of existing residential buildings as well as the regulation’s impact on permitting processes, enforcement and compliance patterns.   This thesis characterizes the nature of renovation permit seeking, permit processes, and enforcement for different residential building types with a focus on energy efficiency requirements. The objective of this study is to understand enforcement mechanisms and 34  compliance patterns and to identify barriers in achieving current and future more stringent standards. This thesis does not examine the energy efficiency outcomes of the implemented requirements, nor does it investigate whether the nature of the requirements is sufficient to reach the 2020 GHG emissions reduction targets for the building sector.   Analysis of compliance patterns is particularly salient because: a) the construction industry professionals have had two years to gain experience with current energy efficiency requirements; b) the forthcoming update to the VBBL will likely impose more stringent standards; and c) stakeholder experiences from the past two years can yield recommendations on how to improve the capacity of the CoV to guide building renovations towards their energy and GHG emissions reduction targets.   The goal of this research is to design a supportive environment for improving the building stock energy efficiency. To the best of our knowledge, there is no prior research on motivations for permit seeking and challenges facing different stakeholders in Vancouver. Data for this study was gathered using semi-structured interviews with stakeholders: construction industry professionals, City staff, an Energy Advisor, and utility residential Program Managers. In addition, an online survey was used to collect information from: industry professionals, homeowners, and DIY renovators.   The research study makes new contributions in the fields of energy efficiency renovations, permitting, enforcement, and compliance in Vancouver. Conclusions consist of practical recommendations and policy implications. We hope to offer recommendations that can enhance 35  the capacity of the CoV to guide building renovations towards reaching its energy and GHG emission reduction goals.   Specific objectives of this research benefitting construction industry professionals and homeowners seeking renovation permits include:  • A better understanding of barriers to permitting and energy efficiency requirements. • Support for compliance with increasingly complex energy standards. • Improving support and streamlining permitting processes to reduce delays and non-compliance.  Specific objectives of this research benefitting the CoV include: • A better understanding of how the CoV can work with their stakeholders. • A roadmap for the types of support services needed to help construction industry professionals and homeowners adopt increasingly stringent standards. • Eventually, reduced energy use and GHG emissions from the residential sector.  1.9 Thesis Structure The first chapter offers background information on Vancouver’s GHG reduction goals, the local real estate market and renovation context, the characteristics of the residential sector, renovation permitting requirements and processes, as well as legal implications of unpermitted renovations. Vancouver’s Energy Retrofit Strategy and current energy efficiency requirements for existing buildings are characterized. In addition, utility retrofit incentive programs are summarized.   36  Chapter 2 discusses theoretical building stock turnover and renovation rates as well as the challenge of compliance and enforcement of building codes and energy efficiency requirements. It presents a literature review of pathways and strategies used in other North American cities to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings, including compliance and enforcement practices.   Chapter 3 explores the Vancouver building stock and renovation rates. The history and development of residential renovation permits are assessed from 2005 to 2015 and permit statistics are compared between official sources from Statistics Canada and the CoV.   Chapter 4 introduces the primary research methods used in this thesis – semi-structured interviews and an online survey. The results of the interviews are contrasted with survey findings to understand the different perspectives of construction industry professionals, homeowners, City staff, and utility managers. Specific areas that are explored in detail encompass the renovation permitting experience, the evaluation of the permitting process, permitting costs, support services, energy efficiency requirements for existing buildings, inspections, and the reasons for and estimated levels of unpermitted renovations. The results’ interpretation provide useful insights into how permitting processes could be streamlined, what type of resources and support services would be most valued by different stakeholder groups, and what strategies could be useful to reduce unpermitted renovation activity. Chapter 5, the last chapter, briefly summarizes the thesis, research findings, and provides practical recommendations and policy implications based on the findings. The limitations and future research directions are also discussed.  37  Chapter 2: Energy Regulations for Existing Buildings The development and implementation of building codes for existing buildings by federal and provincial governments are critical steps in ensuring that the building sector meets decarbonization goals. Energy codes are, however, only one part of a holistic strategy that needs to comprise of capacity-building efforts in compliance and enforcement competences, both for building officials and industry professionals. This section begins with explaining the need of code requirements for existing buildings. Section 2.2 outlines that compliance pathways can be based on performance, prescriptive, and/or outcome-based energy codes and summarizes energy standards used in North America. Section 2.3 describes the different policy options for triggering a model energy code, followed by a review of currently applied policy options in North America. A concluding section 2.5 explains the challenges of compliance and enforcement of existing building codes, recommended best practices to overcome these barriers, and efforts made by North American jurisdictions to increase energy code compliance rates.   2.1 The Need for Code Requirements for Existing Buildings While much attention has been focused on policies and measures to improve the energy efficiency of new buildings, less has been directed at the existing building stock due to the inherent and perceived difficulties in improving their energy performance. There is a growing consensus that deep emissions reductions in the building stock by mid-century will require an ambitious and clear pathway set through codes and energy regulations. This is largely because, if purely left to market forces, natural building stock turnover and renovation rates tend to be too low to achieve ambitious carbon reduction targets. A second related problem is that the natural depth of retrofits, meaning the actually achieved energy and emission reductions through 38  renovations, are generally too shallow to significantly cut existing building emissions. Policy intervention is therefore necessary to mandate, support, and incentivize the quality and quantity of renovations. There are, however, inherent challenges surrounding the regulation and enforcement of existing building performance, which need to be addressed through careful code design and implementation.   2.1.1 Building Stock Renewal and Renovation Rates Buildings have long lifespans in most countries. Renovations can, therefore, become important levers for improving energy efficiency beyond the original design parameters. On average, residential buildings are renovated, in most International Energy Agency (IEA) member countries,10 every 30 years to 40 years for the envelope, and 15 years to 20 years for heating and cooling systems (Philibert & Pershing 2002, p.34). Most components in existing buildings will only reach the end of life once between now and 2050, making it important to capture energy and emission reduction opportunities at these times.  As described in Chapter 1, section 1.1., Vancouver has an active property development market compared to many cities. The driver behind technical renovation cycles is usually a need to improve operational efficiency, comfort level, appearance, and to increase the asset value of the building (IEA 2013). The asset value motivation for energy efficiency renovation is, however,                                                 10 To be a member country of the IEA, a country must also be a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2002, the IEA had 26 member countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States (IEA 2002).  39  likely less significant in Vancouver where land values far outstrip the value of the building structure as a proportion of the total property value.   In 2017, Dahmen and von Bergmann, two Vancouver-based researchers, developed a teardown predictor tool using municipal data and B.C. Assessment records on detached homes bought and sold in Vancouver between 2005 and 2015 (Dyck 2017). The two researchers compared land value, building value, and lot size with variables such as whether the property had been torn down a couple of years before or after the sale to predict how many homes could be demolished in the city by 2030 (ibid). The results show that given the recent surge in property values, one-quarter of Vancouver detached homes could be torn down by 2030 (ibid).   Similar to the CoV, the Province of B.C. also has an overall GHG emissions reduction target of 80 percent by 2050 (Government of British Columbia 2008). Modelling estimates show that annual retrofits of 2 percent of existing floor area would renew most of the province’s building stock by 2050 when combined with the current rate of demolition (Pembina Institute 2016). Since 2007, the average annual renovation rate in B.C. has stood at around 1 percent (ibid). For Vancouver, empirical data for the last ten years show that residential renovation rates have been around 0.5 percent (based on Metro Vancouver Housing Inventory 2017 and CoV permit statistics). (Vancouver’s housing inventory and permit statistics will be discussed in detail in chapter 3). This means that not only is it necessary to capitalize on technology life cycles for replacing equipment with the most efficient versions available, the average retrofit rate also needs to be accelerated to reach the desired emissions reduction targets.   40  2.1.2 Depth of Retrofits Retrofits are often heuristically sorted into 3 levels: shallow, moderate, and deep. These terms are generally used to refer to the proportion of energy demand reduction after a building has been renovated. Research by Shnapp et al. (2013) showed that there is no common definition of a deep retrofit, neither at a regional or international level.11 For B.C., the following categories are proposed:  Retrofit Type Energy Demand Reduction after Renovation12 Shallow 10% - 20% Moderate 30% - 50% Deep 50% - 80% Table 2.1 Retrofit Types and their associated Energy Demand Reductions (Source: Pembina Institute 2016, p.10)  Currently, shallow retrofits with energy reductions of < 30 percent are relatively common and are supported by utility incentives from BC Hydro and FortisBC, as outlined in Chapter 1, section 1.6. Projections for the province have shown that to reach 80 percent GHG reductions by 2050, without the addition of an explicit fuel switching strategy, all existing buildings still                                                 11 According to Shnapp et al. (2013), in Europe, most deep retrofit definitions focus on heating, cooling, ventilation and hot water and the general understanding is that these should lead to an energy use reduction of at least 75% after the building has been renovated. In the US, deep retrofit calls for improvements in the range of 30% - 50%, however, this is based on full energy consumption including plug loads.  12 The energy demand reduction categories are proposed based on a review of 20 retrofit case studies, mostly located in North America with 3 case studies located in the Netherlands and Germany. Methods of energy demand reduction calculations likely differ between the case studies. For details, please see sources provided in Pembina Institute (2016, p.10.).  41  standing in 2050 would need to undergo the equivalent of a deep retrofit (Pembina Institute 2016). Thus far, there have been few examples of deep retrofit projects (as defined above) in B.C or across North America.   2.1.3 Modelled Evolution of B.C. and Vancouver’s Building Stock by 2050 under Deep Emissions Reduction Scenarios Cost-optimization exercises for emissions reductions within Canada have been conducted by various teams of economists, many of which have been reviewed in the Federal Mid-Century Long-Term Low-Greenhouse Gas Development Strategy. In these modelling studies, the emissions reductions expected in the building sector are greater than the percentage target for economy-wide reductions, and range from 76 to 99 percent by 2050 (Government of Canada 2016 pp. 85-87).   Navius Research conducted economic modelling for the Province of B.C. to provide a quantitative forecast of what policies would be required for provincial emissions to fall by 80 percent from 2007 levels by 2050. For the building sector, under a “business-as-usual” scenario, the replacement of older stock by more efficient stock more or less balances out the additional demand, holding total emissions at current rates (Navius Research 2015).   To reach the GHG reduction objectives, the research team recommended implementing aggressive carbon pricing, retrofit codes and standards, and equipment regulations (ibid). In their modelling work, Navius Research assumes projected demolition rates of ~1.4 percent per year. 42  By 2050, around 50 percent of existing buildings would still be in use by 2050, while the total floor area would have increased by 50 percent (see Figure 2.1) (ibid).   Figure 2.1 Modelled Evolution of the BC Building Stock under Deep Emissions Reduction Scenario (Source: Navius Research 2015, p.20)  In partnership with BC Hydro, the CoV also commissioned Navius Research to conduct economic modelling to inform the Renewable City Action Plan (RCAP) presented to Council in November 2017 (City of Vancouver 2017a). The modelling project simulated Vancouver’s energy demand out to 2050 with four scenarios explored – each of which was designed to achieve the RCS 2050 objectives (ibid). Figure 2.2 shows the modelled evolution of Vancouver’s building stock under a policy package focused on reducing carbon pollution in the building and transport sector with an extra emphasis on energy efficiency (ibid). The growing orange wedge shows new and redeveloped buildings built to a zero emissions standard. The transition from light to dark turquoise shows the rising number of existing buildings that will require zero emission retrofits and fuel-switching to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.  43   Figure 2.2 Modelled Evolution of the Vancouver Building Stock under Deep Emissions Reduction Scenario (Source: City of Vancouver 2017a, Appendix A, p.19)  2.2 Energy Codes and Standards Energy codes and standards set minimum efficiency requirements for new and renovated buildings, assuring reductions in energy use and emissions over the life of the building. Energy codes are a subset of building codes, which establish baseline requirements and govern building construction and increasingly building performance.   2.2.1 Energy Code Formats Three methods exist for achieving compliance and enforcement of energy codes that can be applied to new construction and existing buildings: 13                                                 13 For details of each approach’s benefits and drawbacks, please see Cascadia Green Building Council 2011.  44  • A Prescriptive path is a definitive approach to code compliance but does not take building systems or performance into consideration. Materials and equipment must meet certain levels of stringency, such as minimum requirements for the R-values of insulation materials, maximum U-values for windows, or the minimum energy efficiencies required of mechanical systems.  • Performance-based codes are designed to achieve particular results from systems, rather than meeting prescribed requirements for individual building components. They generally require computer modelling to verify compliance. This path is a more flexible, technology neutral approach than the prescriptive one but does also not verify actual building performance.  • Outcome-based codes are more recent and are designed to measure the as-built rather than the as-designed or as-modelled performance of a building. They establish a target energy use or GHG intensity level and provide for measurement and reporting of energy use and/or GHG emissions. They can also take into account energy use that is unregulated by other codes, such as plug and process loads. These codes are therefore the only standards that verify that the performance objectives of a building have actually been met. (Adapted from Cascadia Green Building Council 2011, VanGeem 2016)  2.2.2 Model & Reference Building Codes used in Canada Provincial and municipal building energy codes in Canada typically make reference to one or more external standards, with modifications as necessary to meet the needs and goals of each jurisdiction. The most commonly referenced whole-building energy standard in Canada is the 45  National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB), published by the National Research Council (National Research Council Canada 2017). It is intended as a model code, meaning that it is intended to be adopted by provinces and other authorities having jurisdiction, but has no legal authority in its own right (ibid). 14 The NECB is, however, not intended to apply to existing buildings, except to additions (Pape-Salmon 2016b).   The other commonly referenced whole-building standard in Canada and North America, that includes provisions for existing buildings, is ASHRAE 90.1 offering both prescriptive and performance-based pathways. ASHRAE standards for low-rise residential buildings (ASHRAE 90.2) and existing larger buildings (ASHRAE 100) also exist, but are not in common use in Canada (Heerema 2017).   The 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, developed by the federal government together with the provinces and territories, committed to the development of a national model code for existing buildings by 2022 (Government of Canada 2016b, p.16). The goal of this code will be to “help guide energy efficiency improvements that can be made when renovating buildings” (ibid). Moreover, the framework states that “federal, provincial, and territorial governments will work together with the aim of requiring labelling of building energy use by as early as 2019” (ibid).                                                   14 Currently, only two provinces (Nova Scotia and Ontario) reference the most recent 2015 revision of the NECB, with B.C., Alberta, and Manitoba referencing the 2011 version (Heerema 2017).  46  2.2.3 International Energy Standards for Existing Buildings Founded in 1994, the International Code Council (ICC) is a U.S.-based association dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build, and compliance process of building construction (International Code Council a). ICC publishes a comprehensive set of International Codes, or I-Codes, which are updated every three years. The most recent versions are the 2018 I-Codes (International Code Council b).   For existing buildings, parts of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the International Existing Building Code (IEBC) are applicable. It is only since the 2015 code revisions that the IECC includes two dedicated chapters for existing building additions, alterations, and repairs (New Building Institute 2013). The standard contains both prescriptive and performance-based compliance paths. In addition, ASHRAE 90.1 is referenced as an alternative compliance path for commercial buildings (Pape-Salmon 2016b).  Different revisions of the IECC are in use or adopted in 49 U.S. states, the District of Columbia (DC), the U.S. Virgin Islands, New York City (NYC), and Puerto Rico (International Code Council b). Jurisdictions commonly use the IECC and ASHRAE 90.1. as model codes and develop their own local building codes. Reference on the use or adoption of the IEBC could not be found.   2.3 Policy Options for Triggering Retrofit Requirements Retrofit requirements can be triggered at time of renovation, time of sale, or based on performance; there are pros and cons to each. The triggering pathway need not be prescribed by 47  a model code, instead leaving the decision of which pathway to use up to the relevant jurisdiction. However, a predictable trigger mechanism is necessary to provide clarity and confidence to owners and industry, who can prepare and invest for bringing buildings into compliance (Heerema 2017). This section provides a brief overview of the theoretical advantages and disadvantages of each option with section 2.4. summarizing the current application of these policy options in North America.   2.3.1 Time of Renovation Energy code compliance can be required when specific building components, systems, or parts are affected by a planned replacement, alteration, or renovation. This time of renovation approach offers the advantage of leveraging work already done, and reducing the incremental cost of compliance with the energy code (Pape-Salmon 2016a).   However, time of renovation requirements may encourage building owners to defer capital investment, or to conduct upgrades without permits in order to avoid the additional requirements. They also do not ensure compliance with a certain time frame and therefore provide no certainty that overall emissions reduction targets will be met (Heerema 2017). Ideally, requirements at time of renovation should be embedded in a long-term retrofit strategy or be combined as a compliance option with one of the other retrofit policy triggers to ensure that each intervention is consistent with the long-term goal for the building.   48  2.3.2 Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) Triggering enforcement of energy code compliance based on the relative performance of a building is often referred to as a Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS). It requires pre-existing information on the energy performance of the building stock. Therefore, a benchmarking requirement is a prerequisite for enforcing a retrofit code based on BEPS (Pembina Institute 2016). Under such a system, the worst-performing buildings are generally targeted first, and compliance can be required periodically, rather than depending on the initiation of a retrofit activity or sale. Compliance pathways can be prescriptive requirements or performance-based.  One of the key reasons for enacting the first step, benchmarking and disclosure mandates, is to convey building energy consumption data to real estate consumers, such as tenants, investors and lenders, who may be affected by buying, leasing, or financing properties with lower energy costs. With more available energy consumption data, building consumers can begin to factor energy efficiency and costs into their purchasing decisions (Institute for Market Transformation 2015).  BEPS can be designed to achieve significant carbon reductions by targeting the worst performers. This is also, in a sense, the main weakness of the approach; the very reason why targeted buildings underperform might be because owners lack the means or the knowledge to invest in the buildings. To mitigate costs, BEPS sometimes allows for less stringent ‘retrocommissioning’15 as an alternative compliance route (Heerema 2017). This reduces costs,                                                 15 Retrocommissioning, or “existing building commissioning,” is a systematic process for identifying and implementing operational and maintenance improvements in a building to ensure continued good performance over time. The intent of the process is to optimize the performance of building subsystems as well as how they 49  but also the depth of energy savings expected. Thus, to be effective, BEPS must both require a high level of performance, and provide support for owners to meet these requirements.   2.3.3 Time of Sale Efficiency requirements for existing buildings that are triggered at time of sale tie code compliance to a transfer of ownership. Such an event provides a clear opportunity to require compliance, just as time of listing is used in some jurisdictions to require energy use labelling and disclosure (ibid). However, unlike energy labelling, energy code compliance may require substantial alterations, placing a financial burden on the seller or buyer that would need to be considered as part of the overall valuation of the property.   Energy upgrades could be integrated with a buyer’s mortgage allowance and investment plan, and align with any renovations conducted as part of their other capital improvement plans. However, some buyers do not plan to conduct any renovations and may prefer not to disturb tenants. Flexibility could be provided by taking into consideration when the property was built and last upgraded; options could include a long-term commitment to a phased-in deep retrofit (Pape-Salmon 2016a). Like the time of renovation pathway, there is no guarantee that carbon reduction targets will be achieved with this option, since jurisdictions don’t control the rate of property sales.                                                   function together. Retrocommissioning focuses on operations and maintenance improvements and diagnostic testing, although needed capital improvements may be identified and recommended through the process (ACEEE n.d.). 50  2.4 Application of Existing Building Policies in North America  2.4.1 Energy Policy Application in Canada  Existing building energy efficiency policies are currently very limited in Canada. The only jurisdictions that have implemented mandatory policies are the CoV and the Province of Ontario. The City of Edmonton launched a voluntary, three-year, Building Energy Benchmarking Pilot Program in 2017 that will not be considered here due to its voluntary nature. Given that the Pan-Canadian Framework calls for building energy labelling and benchmarking as a mandatory requirement (“as early as 2019”), the development of BEPS for existing buildings in Canada could become an objective within the next years (The Government of Canada 2016b). One or two years of energy use data would be required to establish a baseline level of performance.   Vancouver As mentioned in the first chapter, section 1.5., Vancouver introduced energy retrofit requirements for existing buildings as part of the 2014 revision of the VBBL. The requirements apply to existing buildings at the time of renovation. The CoV was the first Canadian jurisdiction to introduce such a policy. The likely reason why the time of renovation compliance pathway was chosen is because the City has narrow regulatory power for existing buildings regarding energy and GHG reductions. The City’s authority generally ends with the completion of construction (occupancy permit16) and does not include building operation (BC Laws 2017). An exemption to this rule are heating and plumbing facilities, as well as gas and oil appliances,                                                 16 The occupancy permit is the final permit issued once construction has been terminated to ensure that buildings comply with relevant bylaws and codes, and are safe for people to live in or use (City of Vancouver website b).  51  which can be regulated during operation (ibid). Without amendments to the Vancouver Charter or to provincial legislation, the CoV can currently not mandate buildings to improve their overall (energy or GHG) performance during operation. Thus the other two pathways, BEPS and time of sale, can currently not be implemented, mainly because they would require public disclosure of building performance data.   Ontario On February 6, 2017, the Province of Ontario adopted Regulation 20/17 "Reporting of Energy Consumption And Water Use" under the Green Energy Act of 2009 (Government of Ontario 2017b). The regulation requires owners of Ontario's non-residential and multifamily buildings over 50,000 sq ft to benchmark and report their buildings' annual energy and water consumption (ibid). For the largest buildings (> 250,000 sq ft) the regulation comes into effect in 2018, the following year for buildings > 100,000 sq ft and in 2019 for buildings > 50,000 sq ft (Government of Ontario 2017a). Reporting takes place through the use of the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool that is widely used in the U.S.   The Ontario Energy Ministry will not publicly disclose the first year of reported data for each of the three roll-out phases to provide an opportunity for building owners to gain experience with reporting before their data is made publicly available. Data elements that will be publicly disclosed include property identification and building performance information, such as Energy Star score, energy, water and GHG intensity, building age and confirmation of whether data was verified by an accredited or certified professional (ibid). So far, the regulation does not mandate any performance improvements but it lays the groundwork for doing so in the future.  52  2.4.2 Energy Policy Application in the United States  In the absence of federal policy, U.S. states and cities have tailored building rating and disclosure policies according to local needs and political considerations. This has resulted both in policy innovation and widely varying requirements among jurisdictions (Institute for Market Transformation 2015b).   BEPS are commonly applied to commercial buildings, increasingly to multi-family buildings and in rare cases also to single-family homes. To date, all U.S. policies leverage Energy Star software to generate ratings based on building operations data (ibid).   The Energy Star Portfolio Manager Score (ESS) compares the energy performance of a building to similar buildings in the country, adjusting for weather and occupancy characteristics such as operating hours, number of occupants, and number of computers (Energy Star n.d.). The building is given a score based on the percentile it performs in—a building with a total score of 50 represents median energy performance, a building with a score of 75 performs better than 75 percent of similar buildings, a building with a score of 10 performs worse than 90 percent of buildings (ibid). Adjusting for the ways the building is occupied and used is of critical importance to ensure fairness. A building that is densely occupied and open for longer hours will use more energy but also will provide greater utility value and should not be penalized. ESS therefore adjusts for factors that are known to be correlated with energy consumption (ibid).   U.S. energy benchmarking and transparency programs comprise at least one and up to four of the following components: 53  1. Benchmarking: The process of measuring a building’s energy use and comparing it to the average for similar buildings. This allows owners and occupants to understand their building’s relative energy performance, and helps identify opportunities to cut energy waste and reduce energy consumption.  2. Reporting/Disclosure: In most jurisdictions, owners are required to share benchmarking data with the city, state, or province allowing policymakers to target the worst performing buildings, quantify building energy use, inform policy and program efforts to reduce building energy consumption and track progress toward achieving community-wide climate and/or energy targets.   The term “transparency” is added when benchmarking data is also publicly shared. In some cases, realtors may be required to make the energy use disclosure during a home sale, or property owners may be required to disclose an asset rating developed by an energy service company (ESCO) to prospective rental tenants. This increases consumer transparency about the costs associated with operating a building, promoting more sound purchasing or rental decisions.   3. Performance Improvements: Mandating actual BEPS by requiring underperforming buildings to implement energy performance upgrades. Such buildings can be required to meet a minimum ESS or follow one of various alternate compliance paths; these could include a performance path (for example, improving ESS by 15 points, or reducing Energy Use 54  Intensity by 15 percent) and a prescriptive path (for example, undergoing a retrocommissioning process).   4. Violation and Penalties: In most states and cities that introduced benchmarking and BEPS policies, building owners who fail to comply with reporting or energy upgrade requirements are subject to fines and penalties.  (adapted from Institute for Market Transformation 2015a, ACEEE 2014)  An overview of which U.S. cities and states have enacted building energy benchmarking and transparency policies for different buildings types can be found in figure 2.3.   Figure 2.3 Overview of U.S. Building Benchmarking and Transparency Policies (Source: Institute for Market Transformation 2017b; updated September 2017) 55  Figure 2.4. highlights the U.S. cities that have passed mandatory benchmarking and disclosure policies for commercial and/or multifamily buildings, as well as those cities that have gone beyond disclosure to include additional measures such as audit or retrocommissioning requirements.   Figure 2.4 Overview of U.S. Cities Building Benchmarking and Transparency Policies (Source: Institute for Market Transformation 2017c; updated September 2017)  A detailed comparison of building energy benchmarking and transparency policies by jurisdiction is provided in figure 2.5. The table shows the policy impact in terms of total number of buildings and building floor area affected by the regulation, whether energy savings have been 56  measured and publicly released, what building types (commercial and multi-family) and sizes have to report their data, whether data needs to be disclosed to the government and to the public (transparency), and if policy compliance rates are measured. Additional requirements such as audits, energy upgrades, and retrocommissioning (RC) are also summarized.   Currently, 12 jurisdictions (Atlanta, Austin, Berkeley, Boston, Boulder, Los Angeles, NYC, Orlando, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC) have adopted additional requirements on top of benchmarking and transparency. A few jurisdictions stipulate energy performance improvements at the time of sale.   Among American jurisdictions, NYC stands out for its support programs and demanding energy efficiency upgrade requirements: In 2010, the City amended the New York State Energy Conservation Code to more broadly apply to renovations of existing buildings (NYC Government 2010). Prior to the passage of Local Law 85, the Construction Code only required buildings to upgrade to current code standards during renovations where more than half of the building’s systems were being replaced. In NYC, nearly all renovations affect less than 50 percent of the building, and as a result, these projects were not required to upgrade to the most up-to-date standards, therefore foregoing significant efficiency gains (ibid). Since July 2010, all altered or new building parts being affected by a renovation must be in compliance with the Energy Conservation Code at the time of renovation, except for Historic Buildings and State or National Landmarks (ibid). The unaltered portion of the existing building or building systems do, however, not have to comply with the code. Seattle followed NYC’s example with its 2015 revision to the Seattle Energy Code (Seattle Government 2015).  57  Figure 2.5 Comparison of U.S. Building Energy Benchmarking and Transparency Policies (Source: Institute for Market Transformation 2017d; updated 10 April 2017) 58  In addition, NYC and Washington DC launched a three-year pilot to better use the data from building performance reporting in energy efficiency programs (Beddingfield et al. 2016). “The Putting Data to Work” project team has been working with efficiency program administrators to develop and implement new and innovative ways in which the data collected through benchmarking and energy audits can be used to improve energy policies and planning, unlock data directly for market use, scale-up the market for energy efficiency services, drive competition, better target utility incentive programs, and inform measurement and verification (ibid). In 2015, NYC launched the NYC Retrofit Accelerator program which consists of a combination of focused outreach, individualized assistance for technical issues, and access to financing to simplify the work for buildings, making them more likely to implement upgrades and do them well (Brown & Dragoo 2016).  In September 2017, NYC’s Mayor de Blasio announced that the city will be the first to mandate fossil fuel caps for all buildings > 25,000 sq ft, starting in 2030 (City of New York website, 2017). The forthcoming legislation is meant to trigger replacement of fossil fuel equipment and efficiency upgrades in the worst-performing 14,500 buildings, which together produce 24 percent of the city’s total GHG emissions (ibid). To compel building owners to meet the targets, the legislation will set annual penalties that increase with building size and the amount the buildings exceed the fossil fuel use targets. For example, a 30,000 sq ft residential building operating substantially above its energy target would pay $60,000 for every year over the standard (ibid). Failure to comply will also affect a building’s ability to receive future permits for major renovations (ibid).   59  2.5 Compliance and Enforcement of Energy Efficiency Codes and Policies Building energy codes are one of the most cost-effective tools to achieve energy efficiency in buildings. The key to realizing their full benefits is strong compliance and enforcement.   Compliance Energy code compliance refers to whether the building industry meets the requirements of the energy code at both the design and construction phases. Although it is the responsibility of building professionals to comply with energy code provisions, local and state agencies, and other stakeholder groups share in this responsibility. Architects, designers, engineers, contractors, builders, and other construction industry stakeholders need training, educational materials, and support in order to design and build buildings that meet energy requirements. Code officials, on the other hand, as well as others who may be involved in compliance verification, must make sure what is built actually complies with the energy code. They equally need training, education, and resources to verify and ensure compliance.   Enforcement Enforcement is the process that building review and inspection departments undertake to ensure that site plans and construction follow the provisions of the building code, including the energy code. Enforcement is complementary to energy code compliance, and also critical to attaining intended energy savings. Jurisdictions must prepare and support code officials, plan checkers, and inspectors to enforce the energy code and introduce measurement and verification mechanisms. In North America, implementation of energy codes is generally carried out by state and local agencies that are responsible for code compliance, enforcement, and training.  60  Enforcement strategies vary according to a government's regulatory authority and available resources, and may include the following activities (U.S. Department of Energy n.d.): • Review of building plans and specifications • Evaluation of products, materials and equipment specifications • Review of tests, energy models, certification reports and product listings • Inspection of the building and its systems during construction • Evaluation of materials substituted in the field • Inspection immediately prior to occupancy • Building energy performance tests at the end of construction (e.g., air tightness tests)  Studies have shown that robust enforcement and a high compliance rate are critical to improve the energy performance of buildings and unlock deeper energy savings. Historically, however, building code compliance has focused on health and safety issues (Light House 2015, Pembina Institute 2016). Many jurisdictions acknowledge that compliance with building energy codes is seldom achieved on only enforced sporadically. This is largely because few jurisdictions provide sufficient education, training, and resources to their own staff or to industry professionals. Few have developed mechanisms for measuring and verifying energy code enforcement (Yu, Evans & Delgado 2014). Such high levels of non-compliance with energy requirements at the time of construction highlight the significant opportunity that retrofits offer for energy efficiency improvements.   61  2.5.1 Enforcement Challenges of Existing Building Codes and Policies In theory, in most North American jurisdictions, many buildings undergoing renovation are likely to trigger mandatory energy conservation measures under the IECC, ASHRAE 90.1. or provincial and state building codes which reference these model codes. However, these measures are often overlooked because of low awareness about how energy codes apply to building renovations and due to low enforcement measures taken by the governing authorities (Institute for Market Transformation n.d.). Specific barriers exist to energy code enforcement and compliance evaluation in existing buildings (adapted from Krukowski 2012, Stellberg 2013, & Heeremea 2017):   1. The energy code may not clearly articulate how it applies to alterations, renovations, and additions, resulting in confusion and a lack of awareness among the building industry and code officials.   2. Jurisdictions often only keep building plans for the period of time that is required by law before discarding them. For some calculations, initial building plans are required in order to determine how an existing building needs to be changed to comply with the energy code. For example, insulation values and previous building alterations and renovations should be factored into calculations of load when resizing an HVAC system and performing Manual J calculations;17 that information might, however, not be available.                                                  17 Manual J is the name for a specific protocol (often called “Heat Load Calculation” or “Cooling Load Calculation“) used to determine how much heating/cooling a building needs to stay cool and dry in the summer and warm in the winter. This load calculation process was developed by engineers in the heating and 62  3. One of the most discussed barriers in implementing an existing building code is the challenge of deferred or informal retrofit activity. Building owners may choose to defer planned investments in their buildings due to fear of triggering extensive requirements under the building code. They may also choose to proceed with unpermitted retrofits to avoid code compliance, delays, and increased costs. Many jurisdictions rely on neighbours to report cases of non-compliance and lack of building permits, but it is easier to get away with keeping a renovation project hidden than a new construction site.   4. There have traditionally been key methodological limitations that called into question the accuracy and statistical significance of many existing compliance evaluations. The first is the common problem of sampling design and self-selection bias. Obtaining a random sample of buildings is unfeasible in some circumstances, given cost and time restraints, geographic distribution of permits, and resistance from select builders or building departments to grant permission for access to building plans and construction sites.   2.5.2 Best Practices to Improve Existing Building Code Compliance and Enforcement The following best practices are summarized and adapted from recommendations outlined by the Institute for Market Transformation, the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) and the Pembina Institute. For full details, please see Krukowski 2012, Institute for Market Transformation 2017a, ACEEE 2017, and Heerema 2017:                                                  air conditioning industry and has been used for decades to accurately size heating and air-conditioning equipment (ConsultAir 2017).  63  1. Designate one or multiple energy code champion(s). Many building departments do not have an energy code expert on staff. Having an energy code champion in-house to provide insight, answer questions, and push the importance of energy efficiency can increase awareness and reduce confusion.  2. Phase in implementation. Staggered implementation dates for different parts of the energy code allow for sufficient training of building officials and inspectors as well as outreach to industry professionals. Delayed enforcement dates for more complex parts of the energy code can be beneficial.   3. Provide training. Building the capacity of local permitting offices and industry professionals through regular training sessions and engagement have been identified as the most important mechanism to increase compliance rates. City departments might be able to offer successful training without increasing their budgets by collaborating with industry groups and manufacturers, who are often willing to provide free training sessions.   4. Set up a third-party inspection system. Outsourcing energy code plan review and on-site inspections to third-party experts and inspectors would relieve building department staff of the burden of developing and/or retaining in-house capacity. NYC’s Department of Buildings (DOB) requires premises owners to hire specialists for progress inspections of the energy code-related part of the project. The DOB provides a checklist for inspectors and requires a statement of completion and compliance from the architect or engineer. A third-party inspection option could be integrated with training for contractors, architects, and engineers.  64  5. Schedule pre-design meetings for projects. A good communications system between stakeholders and the building department is critical for high compliance rates. For stakeholders with uncertainty about the building codes, the building department can offer a multidisciplinary pre-design meeting, so stakeholders can ask all of their questions in one place. Seattle is one of the cities that requires a pre-design meeting for major renovation projects; other projects can set up a meeting if stakeholders think it is necessary.  6. Change permit fees. Reduce permit fees for existing building projects while increasing new construction permit fees to offset the difference, if necessary.   7. Provide clarifying documents. Make sure the energy code’s application to renovations, alterations, and additions is clear. Provide clarifying memos, brochures, videos, and checklists.   8. Introduce low-barrier financing and/or incentives to make energy code compliance possible and non-punitive for owners.   9. Engage utilities in code compliance activities. In some jurisdictions, utilities are providing resources to support increased energy code compliance and enforcement. To help facilitate this support, jurisdictions could work with policymakers and regulatory commissions to enable utilities to count energy savings from building energy codes toward energy efficiency resource standards, utility filed energy efficiency programs, or air quality standards.  65  10. Conduct an energy code compliance assessment—internally or in partnership with a consultant. This allows a City to acquire the information and data needed to drive improvements in its code enforcement efforts. An assessment provides an opportunity for staff to identify solutions to compliance issues, and to gain further education on the energy code and how it effects energy consumption in their jurisdiction. It also provides a benchmark that can be used to measure progress.  For a city government that wants to determine whether opportunities exist to capture additional energy and carbon savings through better enforcement, assessing compliance can be extremely difficult. To overcome these challenges, the City Energy Project—a joint initiative of the Institute for Market Transformation and the U.S. Natural Resource Defense Council —developed a public methodology that enables any medium to large city to conduct a code compliance assessment (Institute for Market Transformation 2017a). The peer-reviewed methodology collects data on building systems, conducts interviews, and evaluates processes to provide both qualitative and quantitative feedback, including an estimated percentage compliance rate. The cumulative increased energy use due to non-compliance is calculated based on data collected in the field and building starts in the city, reflecting an estimated cost of non-compliance and providing an objective for improved compliance (ibid).  2.6 Compliance and Enforcement of Existing Building Energy Codes in North America Since 2009, energy code compliance has received a heightened level of attention in the U.S. with federal code compliance goals, funding for energy code implementation and compliance measurement, and increased training and outreach. While the focus has so far been on ensuring 66  energy code compliance of new construction projects, the benefits will likely also spill over to renovation activities. By contrast, such efforts seem to have been limited in Canada. Canadian jurisdictions could learn from experiences and best practices implemented in certain states and cities South of the border.   2.6.1 Compliance and Enforcement Efforts in Canada Review of the literature does not show any evidence that Canadian government authorities have been focusing on energy code compliance and enforcement. No assessment or tracking of compliance rates could be found. In B.C., the 2015 B.C. Building Act establishes mandatory qualifications for local building officials and introduces streamlined building requirements across the province (Government of British Columbia 2015). A recent sample evaluation carried out by RDH Building Science revealed that energy efficiency standards are only actively enforced by three out of ten interviewed municipalities in B.C., including Vancouver (Pape-Salmon 2016b). Building officials estimated that up to half of alteration activity occurs without a permit. They noted, however, that unlicensed projects were likely small in scope, including minor tenant improvements, where opportunities for energy efficiency improvements were considered small (Pape-Salmon 2016b).   2.6.2 Compliance and Enforcement Efforts in the United States The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) raised the bar for energy code compliance and generated new interest in building code compliance assessment. As a condition for accepting funds under ARRA, each state committed to documenting and achieving 90 percent compliance with a code that meets or exceeds the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE-90.1-2007 for new 67  and renovated residential and commercial buildings by the year 2017 (Building Code Assistance Project n.d.). States have never before faced code or compliance requirements from the federal government, nor an annual measurement and reporting of the rate of compliance (Misuriello et al. 2010).   A 2010 analysis by a task force revealed additional annual spending of $610 million would be needed for energy code training, outreach, implementation, and enforcement efforts to increase local and state capacities and expertise to the level required to achieve 90 percent compliance rates as set out by ARRA (Majersik & Stellberg 2010).   Despite elevated funding and efforts, a 2013 assessment of energy efficiency compliance in the U.S., reviewing 45 statewide compliance evaluation studies, still revealed staggering rates of non-compliance, as high as 100% in some jurisdictions (Stellberg 2013). Today, each state is at a different stage in the process, from code adoption to implementation and training, from enforcement activities to tracking results. So far, activities have focused on ensuring that new construction meets the required level of efficiency, with renovation tacking a backseat (ACEEE 2017a).  The ACEEE State and Local Policy Database tracks progress on many topics related to local code implementation: Jurisdictions’ development of a strategic compliance plan with practical near- and long-term action items; compliance studies; utility involvement; spending on building code compliance in comparison to residential construction spending; use of alternative code compliance strategies, such as third-party plan review or performance testing; and availability of 68  upfront technical support to owners/developers on energy code compliance at the design and permitting stages (ACEEE 2017a & ACEEE 2017b).   U.S. states that are particularly committed to increasing energy code compliance by having invested in a variety of above mentioned methods comprise: California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington (for further details, please see ACEEE 2017a). In addition, cities that stand out for their efforts and resources channeled towards advancing energy code compliance include: Boulder, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, NYC, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington DC (for further details, please see ACEEE 2017b).     69  Chapter 3: Exploring Residential Building Demographics, Renovation Permitting Statistics, and Renovation Rates in Vancouver 3.1 Methods This chapter examines residential building stock data to determine the age and characteristics of different building types, highlighting housing forms that should be prioritised by the City of Vancouver’s (CoV) decarbonisation strategy. This is followed by an investigation of renovation permitting statistics to analyse trends in residential renovation over the past decade. Both data sources are then used to calculate residential renovation rates for different building types in Vancouver. Methods used in this chapter include basic arithmetic manipulation and statistical analysis of building stock data. The data on the Vancouver building stock have been retrieved from the publicly available Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book (2017). Additional information on building characteristics were obtained through personal communication with CoV staff, and residential building permit statistics were obtained via personal communication with Statistics Canada.   3.2 Vancouver’s Residential Building Stock Metro Vancouver publishes housing inventory data for all 21 municipalities that are part of the regional district. The data stems from the Statistics Canada census, carried out every five years (see Metro Vancouver 2017 for full details). The most recent housing inventory data publicly available, which includes information on building type, age, and ownership form, dates back to the 2011 census. The data shows that the division among owner-occupied and rental dwellings is fairly equal in Vancouver. 52 percent of a total of about 260,000 residential dwellings are rental 70  units and 48 percent are owner-occupied (see table 3.1 on page 6). The following sections summarise and compare the housing inventory by building age, structure type, and outline details of residential building characteristics regarding average floor area and GHG intensity.   3.2.1 Vancouver Housing Inventory by Building Age As mentioned in Chapter 1, section 1.1, Vancouver’s housing stock is quite new, particularly compared to other North American cities. About one quarter (28 percent) of all residential dwellings are more than 55 years old (built pre-1960). By contrast, almost one third (32 percent) of residential units were built after 1991. Table 3.2 on page 72 provides an overview of all residential dwelling units by building age, showing the number of units and corresponding percentages by decades, with ‘pre-1946’ being the oldest category. Wherever data was available, the table also illustrates the different housing vintages by residential building type and ownership form. Generally, rental units tend to be older than owner occupied dwellings. Whereas almost half (45 percent) of all rental dwellings are more than 45 years old (built pre-1970), only one third (35 percent) of owner-occupied units are of that vintage. By contrast, almost 40 percent of owner-occupied housing was built since 1991. This is only true for one quarter of rental housing.   There is also an obvious difference in the age of the residential building stock by building type. Owner occupied single detached homes are the oldest housing form in Vancouver: almost half (48 percent) were built pre-1960. Rental, low-rise apartments (less than 5 storeys) also stand out for their age: more than half (52 percent) were built before 1970. By contrast, mid to high-rise apartments are more recent, in particular, those occupied by owners (generally referred to as 71  condominiums – a.k.a. condos18). Almost three-quarters (74 percent) were built since 1991. Row- and townhouses are also a newer residential building form although the slightly older ones are rented out more commonly, with the newer ones more likely being occupied by the owners: While nearly half of owner-occupied row- and townhouses (47 percent) have been constructed post 1991, this is only true for 20 percent of row house rentals.   Assuming the vintage of a building indicates the energy efficiency of its envelope, one can use the vintage information to identify the oldest building types that should be targeted first when it comes to renovation. This is because typically, older buildings were built with poorer levels of insulation, windows, and heating systems. What is more, certain insulation types become less effective at preventing heat transfer as they age. Conditions such as dust or moisture damage can also shorten the life span of insulation. On the other hand, older residences would potentially have undergone multiple cycles of renovations since they were built. In particular, heating systems are commonly replaced every 20 years and water heaters every 15 years. So, older buildings’ mechanical equipment would meet the efficiency standard of the replacement cycle. Older heating systems, and those which are used extensively are more cost-effective to replace than newer or infrequently used ones.                                                  18 A condominium is usually a single, individually-owned housing unit in a multi-unit building. The condo owner holds sole title to the unit, but owns land and common property (elevators, halls, roof, stairs, etc.) jointly with other unit owners, and shares the upkeep expenses on the common-property with them (Duhaime’s Law Dictionary n.d.).  72   Residential	Dwellings	by	Ownership	Type	(2011)	Ownership	Type	 No	of	Units	 %	of	Total	Rentals	 136,145	 52%	Owner-occupied	 125,340	 48%	Total	 261,485	 100%		Table 3.1 Vancouver Residential Dwellings by Ownership Type (Source: Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book 2017, pp.78-101) 		Residential	Dwelling	Units	by	Building	Age	(2011)	Residential		Building	Type	Occupancy	 No.	 Pre-1946		(%)	1946	-	1960	(%)	1961	-	1970	(%)	1971	-	1980	(%)	1981	-	1990	(%)	1991	-	2000	(%)	2001	-	2011	(%)	All	units	 Owner-occupied	 125,340	 18	 10	 6	 11	 15	 21	 18	All	units	 Rentals	 136,145	 13	 14	 18	 16	 14	 12	 13	Single	Detached	 Owner-occupied	 41,440	 30	 18	 9	 8	 11	 14	 10	Single	Detached	 Rentals	 6,085	 		 		 		 		 		 		 		Apartment	Duplex	 Owner-occupied	 26,950	 28	 13	 9	 10	 14	 14	 11	Apartment	Duplex	 Rentals	 18,750	 		 		 		 		 		 		 		Semi-detached	&	other	 Rentals	 1,525	 		 		 		 		 		 		 		Row	&	Townhouse	 Owner-occupied	 4,780	 2	 1	 2	 24	 24	 21	 26	Rowhouse	Apts	 Rentals	 4,495	 5	 8	 11	 25	 31	 12	 8	Low-Rise	Apts	 Owner-occupied	 27,225	 9	 4	 3	 18	 22	 29	 15	Low-Rise	Apts	 Rentals	 60,150	 17	 16	 19	 18	 15	 9	 6	Mid	to	High-Rise	Apts	 Owner-occupied	 24,945	 2	 3	 3	 7	 11	 33	 41	Mid	to	High-Rise	Apts	 Rentals	 45,135	 5	 8	 20	 15	 10	 16	 26		Table 3.2 Vancouver Housing Inventory by Building Age, pre-1946 – 2011 (Source: Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book 2017, pp.78-101)  - Structure Type "Apartment, Duplex" would include up-down duplexes as well as houses with secondary suites. For houses with a secondary suite, only the owner-occupied unit would be included in the owner count (excludes the rented suite). If the primary unit is rented (in addition to the rented suite), it is included in the rental count.  - Percentage values may not add up to 100 of Metro Vancouver total figures due to rounding. - Data for empty fields were not provided.  	       73  3.2.2 Vancouver Housing Inventory by Structure Type For every census since 2001, the Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book also provides data of the number of households living in different structure types. The distinction of building types is not as detailed as for the Housing Inventory by Building Age presented in section 3.2.1 but it allows analysis of general trends in the change of the housing supply over the 15-year time period.   The 2016 census shows the number of occupied dwellings to be 283,915 compared to 236,100 in 2001 – an increase of 20 percent (47,815 dwellings units).19 The proportion of Vancouver homes that are single detached houses has decreased from 28 percent in 2001 to only 15 percent of dwellings in 2016 (homes with secondary suites are not included in this category, but are included with “Other Ground Oriented” dwellings).   In 2016, the combined categories for apartments account for the largest share of dwelling type in Vancouver, representing almost two-thirds (62 percent or 174,635 units) of total occupied private dwellings, up from 56 percent in 2001. The other structural type that has increased steadily over the 15-year time period are “Other ground oriented” dwellings which includes semi-detached, apartment-duplexes, row houses, and moveable dwellings.20 They grew from 17 percent (39,580 units) in 2001 to almost one quarter of the total residential supply (24 percent or 67,950 units) in 2016.  The category’s increase from 2001 to 2006 is particularly astonishing: 15,760 additional                                                 19 Please note that the 2011 Housing Inventory by Building Age, referenced in section 3.2.1, reports a total of 261,485 residential dwelling units in 2011. The researcher cannot explain the small difference in the reported residential dwelling unit numbers featured in the same Housing Data Book but suspects that they likely stem from different census data being used as accounting basis or that the difference is due to vacancy and occupancy rates.  20 Details of the composition of “other ground oriented” dwellings are, unfortunately, not provided.  74  units in five years. While the exact composition of “other ground oriented” dwellings is not available, the assumption of the researcher is that the large increase not only stems from new construction but also from deconversions of larger detached homes into multiple units, declarations of secondary suites which were previously undeclared, and better enumeration methods. In late 1980s, legalization of secondary suites was considered and accepted for just under half of Vancouver’s single-family areas (City of Vancouver 2009). Since then, opinion appears to have shifted in favour of suites. In 2004, all the single-family zoned areas were rezoned to allow secondary suites. Since then, policy has focused on encouraging the creation and legalization of more suites, through changes in codes, relaxations, and allowing suites in some higher density zones (ibid).  Statistics Canada states that “classifications of structures have changed over the years and enumeration methods have improved” (Metro Vancouver 2017, p.17). The exact percentage increases and decreases are therefore not completely accurate and don’t solely reflect new housing supply but they still provide insight into trends and the evolution of the housing supply. Details of the 2001–2016 unit numbers and percentage shares by structure type are illustrated in table 3.3 and figure 3.1.   75   Vancouver	Housing	Inventory	by	Structure	Type,	2001	-	2016		Year	 Single	Detached	 Other	Ground-Oriented	 Apartment	 Total	Occupied	Households	5-year	Increase			 No.	 %	 No.	 %	 No.	 %	 No.	 %	2001	 65,390	 28%	 39,580	 17%	 131,130	 56%	 236,100	 -	2006	 48,365	 19%	 55,340	 22%	 149,510	 59%	 253,215	 7%	2011	 47,535	 18%	 59,340	 22%	 157,695	 60%	 264,570	 4%	2016	 41,330	 15%	 67,950	 24%	 174,635	 62%	 283,915	 7%	 Table 3.3 Vancouver Housing Inventory by Structure Type, 2001 – 2016 (Source: Metro Vancouver 2017, p.17)              Figure 3.1 Change of Vancouver’s Housing by Structure Type, 2001 - 2016 (Source: Metro Vancouver, p.17) Comments - "Other Ground Oriented" includes semi-detached, apartment-duplex, row house, other single family detached and moveable dwellings. - In 2006, 'apartment or flat in a duplex' replaces 'apartment or flat in a detached duplex' and includes duplexes attached to other dwellings or buildings. This is a change from the 2001 census where duplexes attached to other dwellings or buildings were classified as an 'apartment in a building that has fewer than five storeys'. - When examining increases and decreases among specific structural types, it cannot be determined how much of the change is a result of the improved enumeration methods, the additional classification instructions, deconversions or real increases since the last census.  28%19% 18%15%17%22% 22% 24%56%59% 60% 62%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%2001 2006 2011 2016Vancouver	Housing	Inventory	by	Structure	Type,	2001	- 2016	(%	change)Single-Detached Other	Ground-Oriented Apartment76  3.2.3 Vancouver Building Stock Characteristics  The following section is based on 2015 building data received through personal communication with CoV staff. Staff explained that the data stems from multiple sources and some of the calculations are based on approximations and estimations (see comments on page 80 for further details). While some of the numbers might not be completely accurate, their values are still valuable to analyse magnitudes, general trends, and characteristics of different building types.   Residential buildings make up about 94 percent of all buildings in Vancouver. They cover roughly three quarters of the total floor area and are responsible for almost 50 percent of total stationary GHG emissions (approximately 1.4 million tonnes of CO2e per year).21 The total number of residential units, derived from this 2015 data set, amounts to about 267,000 dwelling units – about 16,000 units less than accounted for in the 2016 census data published in the Metro Vancouver Housing Inventory presented in section 3.2.2.   Detached homes represent 92 percent of all residential buildings in terms of building numbers but only about 40 percent of residential dwelling units (this corresponds roughly to the combined categories of “Single Detached” and “Other Ground-Oriented” dwellings from the 2016 housing inventory detailed in the section 3.2.2 which made up 38 percent of all dwelling units). There are almost six times as many low-rise apartment buildings (≤ 6 storeys)22 (about 5,500 buildings),                                                 21 The term “stationary” emissions is preferred to “building” emissions. The CoV GHG inventory includes industrial process loads in the GHG emissions for industrial buildings. Since process loads are different to heating, hot water, and plug loads in all other building types, “stationary” emissions is the preferred term to refer to all building related emissions.  22 Please note that the CoV defines low-rise MURBs as buildings with 6 storeys or less whereas Metro Vancouver classifies low-rise buildings as 5 storeys or less.  77  including townhouses, than mid/high-rise MURBs (about 960 buildings) in Vancouver. However, the low-rise MURBs provide only 14 percent more dwelling units (nearly 86,000 units) than the mid/high-rise MURBs (about 75,000 units), highlighting the difference in density between these MURB archetypes.   The average unit floor area in Vancouver’s detached homes is 180 m2. This average number takes into account the total number of units in detached homes (about 106,000 in 2015) which is higher than the number of detached buildings (nearly 77,000 in 2015) (see table 3.4 for details). According to the City of Vancouver (2009), since 1960, the median sizes of single-family houses have ranged from 2,200 to 2,600 ft2 (204 to 242 m2) with older houses being smaller. Among the MURB archetypes, low-rise apartments are, on average, the most spacious with a typical 113 m2 floor area; mid/high-rise condos are the smallest with unit sizes averaging 78 m2.   In contrast to the housing inventory that stems from the Statistics Canada census, this data set differentiates between private rental units, condos, and social housing units. It also outlines the approximate GHG intensity of each residential building type. The numbers reveal that social housing only accounts for 9 percent of total residential dwellings in Vancouver. Examining the ownership distribution only among MURB units, shows that social housing makes up 15 percent of the total, private apartment units account for 42 percent and condos for 43 percent. Not all condo units are, however, owner-occupied with a certain proportion being rented out. Tables 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6 provide details.   78  Perhaps surprising, the mid/high-rise condos are the most GHG intense residential archetype emitting an annual average of 25 kg CO2e /m2. The second most polluting archetype are detached homes which, on average, account for 20 kg CO2e /m2 per year. The least GHG intense archetype appear to be low-rise MURBs with 17.5 kg CO2e /m2 per year. Since mid/high-rise condos are one of the youngest building type in Vancouver and rental low-rise MURBs are one of the oldest, these findings suggest that newer MURBs emit, on average, more GHGs than older ones (see section 3.2.1 for ages of different residential building types). Figure 3.2. illustrates the GHG intensities of the different residential building types. The likely reason for this finding is that high-rise MURBs often have more energy intensive mechanical systems, elevators, ventilation, and parkades with exhaust fans and motors (personal communication, CoV staff 2017). In addition, high-rise towers in Vancouver also often have large window and glass areas which can lead to significant heat loss. Low-rise MURBs, by contrast, have fewer pumps and ventilation and are often less energy consuming, despite poorer levels of insulation and windows. Another explanation might be that low-rise apartments, in particular older rental apartments, are also occupied by households with more modest incomes, who might choose to keep them at lower temperatures. In addition, in contrast to rental apartment buildings, condos tend to have more energy-intense amenities such as pools, gyms, and fire places which are generally gas fired (ibid).  These results suggest that the City will not only have to primarily target old MURBs for deep energy retrofits but also relatively new mid/high-rise residential towers. These newer towers will have to significantly reduce their energy consumption and/or fuel switch their energy sources for the CoV to achieve its renewable energy objectives by 2050.  79  ALL	BUILDINGS	-	2015	Detached	Homes	Low-rise	MURBs	(incl	townhouses)	(	≤	6	storeys)	Mid/High-Rise	MURBs	(	>	6	storeys)	Comm-ercial	&	Institu-tional	Industrial	 Total			 		 Apartments	 Condos	 Social	 Apartments	 Condos	 Social	 		 		 		Number	of	Buildings	 76,607	 4,602	 490	 460	 300	 614	 45	 5,240	 252	 88,610	Number	of	Units	 106,432	 44,359	 22,859	 18,700	 22,607	 46,268	 6,221	 	 	 267,446	Floor	Area	(‘000	m2)	 19,144	 5,000	 2,000	 1,500	 2,200	 3,600	 500	 9,400	 2,700	 46,044	Average	Floor	Area	(m2/per	unit)	 180	 113	 87	 80	 97	 78	 80	 	 	 	GHG-I	(kg	CO2e/m2/yr)	20	 17.5	 19.2	 25	 	 	 	 	Annual	GHGs		(tonnes	CO2e)	383,035	 149,000	 121,000	 390,000	 360,000	 1,403,035	 Table 3.4 Vancouver Building Characteristics, 2015 (Source: personal communication CoV staff, June 2017)  RESIDENTIAL		BUILDINGS	-	2015	 Detached	Homes	 MURBs	(incl	townhouses)	 Total	Residential			 No	 %	 Apartments	 %	 Condos	 %	 Social	 %	 Total	 %	Number	of	Buildings	 76,607	 92%	 4,902	 6%	 1,104	 1%	 505	 1%	 83,118	 94%	Number	of	Units	 106,432	 40%	 66,966	 25%	 69,127	 26%	 24,921	 9%	 267,446	 100%	Floor	Area	(m2)	 19,144,000	 56%	 7,200,000	 21%	 5,600,000	 16%	 2,000,000	 6%	 33,944,000	 74%	GHG-I	(kg	CO2e/m2/yr)	 20	 		 20.5	(average)	 		 		 		Annual	GHGs		(tonnes	CO2e)	 383,035	 59%	 270,000	 41%	 653,035	 47%	 Table 3.5 Vancouver Residential Building Characteristics, 2015 (Source: personal communication CoV staff, June 2017)  80  Distribution	of	MURBs	(incl	townhouses)	2015			 No.	 %	Apartment	Units	 66,966	 42%	Condo	Units	 69,127	 43%	Social	Units	 24,921	 15%	Total	MURB	units	 161,014	 100%	 Table 3.6 Vancouver Distribution of MURBs, 2015 (Source: personal communication CoV staff, June 2017)   Figure 3.2 GHG Intensities of Residential Building Types, 2015 (Source: personal communication CoV staff, June 2017)  Comments: - Data received through personal communication with CoV staff. The Sustainability Group collected these existing building statistics from multiple internal sources, such as building permit numbers, land use, and property tax information.  - Building numbers are approximations. Mixed-use buildings consisting of commercial and residential portions pose a particular challenge since they are generally classified by majority use; residential portions are estimates.  - Floor area data is based on unit numbers by building type and then multiplied by average unit sizes.  - Building archetype GHG intensity values are averages based on several energy and GHG audits commissioned by the CoV and carried out by building and engineering consultancies. About 20 to 30 buildings were sampled by archetype to obtain average GHG intensity values. Energy consumption data and corresponding GHG emission values for each building archetype were then multiplied by the total estimated number of buildings.  17.519.220250 5 10 15 20 25 30Low-rise	MURBs	(incl.	Townhouses)Mid/High-Rise	ApartmentsSingle	Family	Detached	HomesMid/High-Rise	CondosGHG	Intensities	of	Residential	Building	Types	(kg	CO2e/m2/yr)81  3.3 Vancouver Renovation Permitting Statistics 2005 - 2015 The following section provides residential building permit statistics for the CoV from 2005 to 2015. The data was obtained through personal communication with the Statistics Canada Building Construction and Property Values department between January and March 2017. Building statistics that are available on the CANSIM website only provide information for the entire Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (which has 38 census subdivisions and is larger than the Metro Vancouver region). The data provided online also doesn’t distinguish between new construction and renovation nor between different building types. Information on the type of work undertaken (insulation, kitchen renovation, heating system upgrade etc.) was requested but not obtainable since this data, while reflected in the permit application, is not extracted for City or other records (i.e., CoV, or Statistics Canada).   Data Shortcomings The available data have a number of shortcomings. These shortcomings do not, however, undermine the overall usefulness of the permit statistics for this research project. More precision and details would have allowed for a more fine-grained analysis.  - Small projects: building permit values ≤ $50K, if available, are all lumped together into one category. Given that energy efficiency requirements for single and two family dwellings in Vancouver start at renovation permit values > $5K and upgrade levels get progressively more demanding according to the permit value (see section 1.5.1 for details), it would have been interesting to be able to further differentiate between small projects.  - Small projects are not recorded for all building types (solely for single and row houses).  82  - Median values provided are based on renovation permits > $50K. Median values for small projects were unavailable.  - The categories “apartment” and “apartment-condominiums” are reflective of what the CoV reports to Statistics Canada. In their reporting, the CoV does not always provide the level of detail required and the permit values are therefore only differentiated if the word “condo” is given in the description.   Explanations of Terms and Calculation Methods The following analysis uses a number of terms and methods that are useful to define at the outset: - Average annual permit values are calculated by dividing the total permit value for each category (“apartment”, “singles”, etc…) by the number of permits for the category. - Conversions (Deconversions) refer to renovations to a building that led to the creation of a dwelling unit (or loss of a dwelling unit). Conversions are considered renovations, but are tracked separately.  - Double refers to Semi-detached homes (side by side).  - Residential Improvement includes all types of renovation work for which a permit is required, except conversions and deconversions. - Residential Renovation includes all types of renovation work including conversions and deconversions.     83  Total Residential Building Permits  From 2005 to 2015, the total residential construction value (including new construction and renovation permit values) in the CoV ranged from $659m in 2008 (the lowest value) to $2,336m in 2015 (by far the highest value). Over this ten year period, the average residential construction activity was valued at $1,252m. On average, renovation makes up 14% out of total residential building permit values. Renovation permits reached their lowest value in 2007 ($113m) and peaked at $179m in 2010. The ten-year renovation value average was $149m, showing less fluctuation than new construction activity. Figure 3.3. illustrates the total residential building and renovation permit values from 2005 to 2015 including the percentage that renovation represents out of total construction.   Figure 3.3 Total Vancouver Residential Building and Renovation Permit Values 2005 - 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada, 2017) 0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%$0$500,000$1,000,000$1,500,000$2,000,000$2,500,0002005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015Residential	Renovation	%Building	Permit	ValueResidential	Building	Permit	Values	2005	- 2015	($000)Total	Residential	Permit	Values Residential	Renovation	Permit	Values Renovation	%	84  Total residential construction activity fell noticeably during the financial crisis years of 2008 and 2009. Interestingly, renovation activity increased during the years 2008 to 2010, representing 26 percent of total construction permits in 2008. This indicates that during the recession there was a shift in the construction industry towards existing buildings. The steep increase in total permit values in 2015 stemmed from new construction activity since renovation permit values remained close to the ten-year average at $155m. This exceptionally high residential permit value did, however, decline again in 2016. B.C. Statistics show that residential building permit values in Vancouver decreased back to about $1,770m in 2016 (B.C. Government 2017). Nonetheless, this is still higher than any other value in the preceding ten years (pre-2015).   During the ten-year period, a total of 26,378 residential building permits were issued in the CoV, of which 14,794 were residential renovation permits. The average annual number of building permits issued reached almost 2,400 of which 1,345 were renovation permits. Between 2005 to 2015, 56 percent of all permits issued were for renovation projects of existing buildings. The highest proportion of renovation permits was reached during the financial crisis years of 2007 to 2009 when retrofits represented between 62 to 70 percent of all residential permits. Figure 3.4. depicts the total number of residential building and renovation permits issued during the ten-year period, falling to a low of 1,840 in 2007 and peaking at 2,821 total building permits issued in 2011. Interestingly, while the number of permits given out in 2015 was high (2,809) this was nothing in comparison to the spike in total building permit values experienced in 2015. This suggests that either the typical residential building project value increased or that there were some outliers, meaning a small number of residential projects with considerably high values, which drove up the average and total residential building permit values in 2015.  85   Figure 3.4 Vancouver Residential Building and Renovation Permit Numbers 2005 - 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada, 2017)  Between 2005 to 2015, average yearly residential permit values reached their lowest point in 2008 at $319K and peaked at $832K in 2015. The average value of renovation projects was slightly more even, ranging from $84K in 2006 to $154K in 2013. During the economic crisis years of 2008 to 2010, average total residential permit values were lowest, which was mainly due to new construction projects since average renovation project values were relatively high during those years (between $112K and $126K) (see figure 3.5 for details).  0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%05001,0001,5002,0002,5003,0002005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015Residential	Renovation	%Permit	NumberNumber	of	Residential	Building	Permits	2005	- 2015Number	of	Residential	Building	PermitsNumber	of	Residential	Renovation	PermitsRenovation	%86   Figure 3.5 Vancouver Average Residential Building and Renovation Permit Values 2005 - 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada, 2017)  Residential Renovation Permits Figure 3.6 shows again the average residential renovation permit values from 2005 to 2015 including added average and median residential renovation value lines for the ten-year period. The average declared renovation project value amounts to $111K, while the median comes to $95K. This higher average value indicates that there are some outliers, several more expensive renovation projects that influence the average value upwards. The difference between median and average permit values by building type is illustrated in detail in table 3.11 on page 96.   $453$492$776$319$372 $398 $396$546$587$548$832$99 $84 $99$126 $112 $125 $104 $103$154$101 $117$0$100$200$300$400$500$600$700$800$9002005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015Average	Residential	Permit	Values	2005	- 2015	($000)Average	Residential	Permit	Value Average	Residential	Renovation	Permit	Value87   Figure 3.6 Vancouver Average Residential Renovation Permit Values 2005 - 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017)  The yearly percentage evolution in total residential renovation permit values is depicted in figure 3.7. The graph shows that, when compared to the preceding year, total residential renovation values declined in 2006 (-21 percent), 2009 (-3 percent), 2011 (-10 percent), 2012 (-13 percent) with the biggest decline occurring in 2014 (-33 percent). Significant increases in total renovation values occurred in 2008 (+ 50 percent), 2013 (+ 32 percent), and 2015 (+ 25 percent).   Interestingly, the change in permit values is not necessarily accompanied by a concurrent rise or fall in total residential renovation permit numbers. Issued renovation permits decreased by 13 percent in 2007 and by 12 percent in 2013. The reason why total renovation permit values are  $$20$40$60$80$100$120$140$160$1802005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015Average	Residential	Renovation	Permit	Values	2005	- 2015	($000)Average	Residential	Renovation	Permit	Value Ten	Year	Average Ten	Year	Median88   Figure 3.7 Percentage Change of Residential Renovation Permit Values in Vancouver, 2005 - 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017)   Figure 3.8 Percentage Change of Residential Renovation Permit Numbers in Vancouver, 2005 – 2015  (Source: Statistics Canada 2017) -21%2%50%-3%9%-10%-13%32%-33%25%-40%-30%-20%-10%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015RESIDENTIAL	RENOVATION	PERMIT	VALUES%	CHANGE, 	2005	 - 2015-8%-13%18%8%-2%7%-12% -12%3%7%-15%-10%-5%0%5%10%15%20%2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015RESIDENTIAL	RENOVATION	PERMIT	NUMBERS%	CHANGE, 	2005	 - 2015	89  still high in 2013 is because the average renovation permit value was particularly high this year ($154K, see figure 3.5). Rising permit numbers, that did not lead to an increase in total permit values occurred in 2009 (+ 8 percent), 2011 (+ 7 percent), and 2014 (+ 3 percent). In these years, the average renovation permit values declined compared to the preceding year. Figure 3.8 illustrates the percentage changes in permit numbers from 2006 to 2015.   Figure 3.9 compares the total permit values between residential improvement (excluding conversion and deconversion projects) and residential renovation projects (including conversion and deconversion) from 2005 to 2015. Conversion and deconversion projects, as mentioned in the introduction of this section, are renovation projects in which the number of dwelling units is modified. These projects amount to, on average, $25m per year during the ten-year time frame. These average values disguise, however, the difference between conversion projects (creation of a dwelling unit) and deconversion projects (loss of a dwelling unit). Not surprising in a city that suffers from a housing shortage and seeks increased density, there are many more conversion projects than deconversion ones: The total value of conversion renovation projects reached $250m between 2005 to 2015 with a total number of 2,235 permits issued, whereas deconversion projects only amounted to $21m with a total of 82 permits issued. On average, there were 203 conversion projects per year, as opposed to only 7 deconversion ones. The median value for deconversion projects ($129K) reveals that projects that remove units are typically more expensive than those that create units ($109K median value). Dwelling units were almost exclusively created in apartment buildings (2,224 permits) between 2005 – 2015, whereas only 11 single family house conversion permits were issued during the same time period. This suggests that a lot of single family home conversions had probably already taken place prior to 90  2005 and that others where likely not declared. Details on conversion and deconversion permit values, permit numbers, and average permit values by building type can be found in tables 3.7 to 3.9 on pages 92 to 94.    Figure 3.9 Vancouver Residential Improvement and Renovation Permit Values 2005 - 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017)  Examining the evolution of residential improvement permit numbers by building type reveals important differences between categories: whereas the number of annual permits has almost doubled for apartments (starting at 156 permits in 2005 and rising to 295 permits in 2015) and more than doubled for small row house projects (< $50K) (starting at 216 permits in 2005 and rising to 460 permits in 2015), it has steadily declined for single family dwellings. Single house permit numbers fell from 934 in 2005 to 401 in 2015. This trend can be observed both for small $0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000$140,000$160,000$180,000$200,0002005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015Permit	Values:	Residential	Improvement	&	Renovation	2005	- 2015	($000)Residential	Improvement Residential	Renovation91  single house projects (< $50K) as well as larger ones. One explanation for this observed trend could be that it is easier to hide renovation projects in single family homes than in apartment buildings and that therefore an increasing number of single family renovations remained unpermitted. This assumption is confirmed by survey findings carried out as part of this research project which will be discussed in chapter 4.   While the number of apartment improvements has increased, their average permit value has decreased over time: average apartment improvements started at $521K in 2005 and declined to $219K in 2015. Consequently, the sum of apartment improvement permit values also decreased. The opposite is true for single family homes: average permit values for larger projects (> $50K) rose from $115K in 2005 to $325K in 2015. However, the annual total of permit values for single home improvements remained relatively stable over the ten-year period which can be explained the declining number of projects.   Details of residential renovation permit values, permit numbers, and average permit values by building type from 2005 to 2015 can be found in tables 3.7, 3.8, and 3.9. Please note that for building permits that involve apartment buildings and row houses, wherever Statistics Canada was able to identify the type of building as a condominium, it is coded as “Apartment – Condominium” or “Row House Condominium”. Otherwise, it is just coded as “Apartment” or “Row House”.   92  Residential Renovation Permit Values by Building Type for City of Vancouver, 2005-2015 ($000)        		 2005	 2006	 2007	 2008	 2009	 2010	 2011	 2012	 2013	 2014	 2015	 Total	Residential	Improvement	 $128,982	 $101,159	 $93,648	 $128,942	 $143,631	 $143,664	 $123,597	 $124,263	 $150,741	 $96,634	 $137,641	 $1,372,902		Multiple	 $84,439	 $64,055	 $61,066	 $89,761	 $111,748	 $97,035	 $84,796	 $85,981	 $110,972	 $60,249	 $76,545	 $926,647			Apartment	 $81,272	 $59,493	 $57,246	 $85,175	 $103,060	 $91,133	 $77,948	 $74,790	 $102,773	 $52,311	 $64,720	 $849,921						Apartment-	Rental	 $76,272	 $47,489	 $42,519	 $25,858	 $6,561	 $49,589	 $64,852	 $65,113	 $102,773	 $51,651	 $58,514	 $591,191						Apartment	-	Condominium	 $5,000	 $12,004	 $14,727	 $59,317	 $96,499	 $41,544	 $13,096	 $9,677	 	 $660	 $6,206	 $258,730		Double	 $175	 $95	 $365	 	 	 	 $150	 	 	 	 $1,045	 $1,830						Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	 $175	 $95	 $365	 	 	 	 $150	 	 	 	 $1,045	 $1,830		Row	 $50	 $100	 $425	 $507	 $2,912	 $718	 $144	 $3,500	 $1,575	 $400	 $1,430	 $11,761						Row	House	 $50	 $100	 $425	 $507	 $2,912	 $598	 $144	 $3,500	 $1,575	 $400	 $1,430	 $11,641						Row	House	-	Condominium	 		 	 	 $120	 	 	 	 	 	 $120						Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $2,942	 $4,367	 $3,030	 $4,079	 $5,776	 $5,184	 $6,554	 $7,691	 $6,624	 $7,538	 $9,350	 $63,135		Single	 $44,543	 $37,104	 $32,582	 $39,181	 $31,883	 $46,629	 $38,801	 $38,282	 $39,769	 $36,385	 $61,096	 $446,255					Single	House	 $35,379	 $30,869	 $26,639	 $33,808	 $25,757	 $40,817	 $32,048	 $34,480	 $37,373	 $32,530	 $57,495	 $387,195					Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $9,164	 $6,235	 $5,943	 $5,373	 $6,126	 $5,812	 $6,753	 $3,802	 $2,396	 $3,855	 $3,601	 $59,060	Conversion	 $11,377	 $9,686	 $19,149	 $39,846	 $19,751	 $31,173	 $35,751	 $15,950	 $26,177	 $24,169	 $17,055	 $250,084	Multiple	 $11,377	 $9,236	 $18,888	 $39,640	 $19,711	 $31,173	 $35,751	 $15,950	 $26,177	 $24,169	 $17,055	 $249,127			Apartment	 $11,377	 $9,236	 $18,888	 $39,640	 $19,711	 $31,173	 $35,751	 $15,950	 $26,177	 $24,169	 $17,055	 $249,127					Apartment	 $11,377	 $9,236	 $18,888	 $21,221	 $9,589	 $28,831	 $35,151	 $15,295	 $26,177	 $24,169	 $15,298	 $215,232					Apartment	-	Condominium	 		 $18,419	 $10,122	 $2,342	 $600	 $655	 	 	 $1,757	 $33,895		Single	 	 $450	 $261	 $206	 $40	 	 	 	 	 	 	 $957					Single	House	 	 $450	 $261	 $206	 $40	 	 	 	 	 	 	 $957	Deconversion	 $60	 $100	 $612	 $907	 $697	 $4,056	 $1,650	 $419	 $8,271	 $3,482	 $772	 $21,026		Multiple	 	 $75	 $520	 $170	 $209	 $2,783	 $1,425	 	 $8,271	 $992	 $590	 $15,035		Apartment	 	 $75	 $520	 $170	 $209	 $2,783	 $1,425	 	 $8,271	 $992	 $590	 $15,035					Apartment	 $75	 $470	 $95	 $5	 $2,153	 $1,425	 	 $8,271	 $992	 $590	 $14,076					Apartment	-	Condominium	 	 $50	 $75	 $204	 $630	 	 	 	 	 	 $959		Single	 $60	 $25	 $92	 $737	 $488	 $1,273	 $225	 $419	 	 $2,490	 $182	 $5,991					Single	House	 $60	 $25	 $92	 $737	 $488	 $1,273	 $225	 $419	 	 $2,490	 $182	 $5,991	Grand	Total	 $140,419	 $110,945	 $113,409	 $169,695	 $164,079	 $178,893	 $160,998	 $140,632	 $185,189	 $124,285	 $155,468	 $1,644,012	Table 3.7 Vancouver Residential Permit Values by Building Type 2005 – 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017) 93  Residential Renovation Permit Numbers by Building Type for City of Vancouver, 2005-2015 	 2005	 2006	 2007	 2008	 2009	 2010	 2011	 2012	 2013	 2014	 2015	 Total	Residential	Improvement	 1,309	 1,156	 1,005	 995	 1,168	 1,132	 1,247	 1,184	 1,023	 1,097	 1,161	 12,477		Multiple	 375	 437	 339	 397	 562	 536	 659	 716	 654	 679	 760	 6,114		Apartment	 156	 150	 131	 149	 195	 207	 273	 290	 294	 262	 295	 2,402							Apartment-	Rental	 155	 144	 112	 45	 20	 112	 215	 275	 294	 260	 270	 1,902							Apartment	-	Condominium	 1	 6	 19	 104	 175	 95	 58	 15	 	 2	 25	 500		Double	 2	 1	 4	 	 	 	 1	 	 	 	 1	 9							Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	 2	 1	 4	 	 	 	 1	 	 	 	 1	 9		Row	 1	 1	 4	 5	 5	 8	 2	 1	 1	 2	 4	 34							Row	House	 1	 1	 4	 5	 5	 7	 2	 1	 1	 2	 4	 33							Row	House	-	Condominium	 	 	 	 	 	 1	 	 	 	 	 	 1							Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 216	 285	 200	 243	 362	 321	 383	 425	 359	 415	 460	 3,669		Single	 934	 719	 666	 598	 606	 596	 588	 468	 369	 418	 401	 6,363							Single	House	 308	 269	 255	 241	 217	 256	 235	 242	 212	 165	 177	 2,577							Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 626	 450	 411	 357	 389	 340	 353	 226	 157	 253	 224	 3,786	Conversion	 112	 155	 132	 343	 282	 285	 286	 178	 171	 131	 160	 2,235	Multiple	 112	 154	 128	 338	 281	 285	 286	 178	 171	 131	 160	 2,224		Apartment	 112	 154	 128	 338	 281	 285	 286	 178	 171	 131	 160	 2,224							Apartment	 112	 154	 128	 335	 233	 277	 285	 176	 171	 131	 157	 2,159							Apartment	-	Condominium	 	 	 	 3	 48	 8	 1	 2	 	 	 3	 65		Single	 	 1	 4	 5	 1	 	 	 	 	 	 	 11							Single	House	 	 1	 4	 5	 1	 	 	 	 	 	 	 11		Deconversion	 1	 4	 5	 9	 11	 19	 10	 3	 7	 7	 6	 82		Multiple	 	 2	 3	 2	 5	 10	 6	 	 7	 3	 3	 41		Apartment	 	 2	 3	 2	 5	 10	 6	 	 7	 3	 3	 41							Apartment	 	 2	 2	 1	 1	 6	 6	 	 7	 3	 3	 31							Apartment	-	Condominium	 	 	 1	 1	 4	 4	 	 	 	 	 	 10		Single	 1	 2	 2	 7	 6	 9	 4	 3	 	 4	 3	 41							Single	House	 1	 2	 2	 7	 6	 9	 4	 3	 	 4	 3	 41	Grand	Total	 1,422	 1,315	 1,142	 1,347	 1,461	 1,436	 1,543	 1,365	 1,201	 1,235	 1,327	 14,794	Table 3.8 Vancouver Residential Permit Numbers by Building Type 2005 – 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017) 94  Average Residential Renovation Permit Value by Building Type for City of Vancouver, 2005-2015 ($000)     		 2005	 2006	 2007	 2008	 2009	 2010	 2011	 2012	 2013	 2014	 2015	Residential	Improvement	 $99	 $88	 $93	 $130	 $123	 $127	 $99	 $105	 $147	 $88	 $119	Multiple	 $225	 $147	 $180	 $226	 $199	 $181	 $129	 $120	 $170	 $89	 $101		Apartment	 $521	 $397	 $437	 $572	 $529	 $440	 $286	 $258	 $350	 $200	 $219								Apartment	 $492	 $330	 $380	 $575	 $328	 $443	 $302	 $237	 $350	 $199	 $217								Apartment	-	Condominium	 $5,000	 $2,001	 $775	 $570	 $551	 $437	 $226	 $645	 	 $330	 $248	Double	 $88	 $95	 $91	 	 	 	 $150	 	 	 	 $1,045								Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	 $88	 $95	 $91	 	 	 	 $150	 	 	 	 $1,045	Row	 $50	 $100	 $106	 $101	 $582	 $90	 $72	 $3,500	 $1,575	 $200	 $358								Row	House	 $50	 $100	 $106	 $101	 $582	 $85	 $72	 $3,500	 $1,575	 $200	 $358								Row	House	-	Condominium	 	 	 	 	 	 $120	 	 	 	 	 								Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $14	 $15	 $15	 $17	 $16	 $16	 $17	 $18	 $18	 $18	 $20	Single	 $48	 $52	 $49	 $66	 $53	 $78	 $66	 $82	 $108	 $87	 $152								Single	House	 $115	 $115	 $104	 $140	 $119	 $159	 $136	 $142	 $176	 $197	 $325								Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $15	 $14	 $14	 $15	 $16	 $17	 $19	 $17	 $15	 $15	 $16	Conversion	 $102	 $62	 $145	 $116	 $70	 $109	 $125	 $90	 $153	 $184	 $107	Multiple	 $102	 $60	 $148	 $117	 $70	 $109	 $125	 $90	 $153	 $184	 $107		Apartment	 $102	 $60	 $148	 $117	 $70	 $109	 $125	 $90	 $153	 $184	 $107									Apartment	 $102	 $60	 $148	 $63	 $41	 $104	 $123	 $87	 $153	 $184	 $97									Apartment	-	Condominium	 	 	 	 $6,140	 $211	 $293	 $600	 $328	 	 	 $586	Single	 	 $450	 $65	 $41	 $40	 	 	 	 	 	 									Single	House	 	 $450	 $65	 $41	 $40	 	 	 	 	 	 	Deconversion	 $60	 $25	 $122	 $101	 $63	 $213	 $165	 $140	 $1,182	 $497	 $129	Multiple	 	 $38	 $173	 $85	 $42	 $278	 $238	 	 $1,182	 $331	 $197		Apartment	 	 $38	 $173	 $85	 $42	 $278	 $238	 	 $1,182	 $331	 $197								Apartment	 	 $38	 $235	 $95	 $5	 $359	 $238	 	 $1,182	 $331	 $197								Apartment	-	Condominium	 	 	 $50	 $75	 $51	 $158	 	 	 	 	 	Single	 $60	 $13	 $46	 $105	 $81	 $141	 $56	 $140	 	 $623	 $61								Single	House	 $60	 $13	 $46	 $105	 $81	 $141	 $56	 $140	 	 $623	 $61	Grand	Total	 $99	 $84	 $99	 $126	 $112	 $125	 $104	 $103	 $154	 $101	 $117	Table 3.9 Vancouver Average Residential Renovation Permit Values by Building Type 2005 – 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017)  95  The median values of residential renovation permits by building type, shown in table 3.10, also confirm those findings. Over the ten-year period, single family home renovations became more expensive, starting at $86K median permit value in 2005 and rising to $106K in 2015. As expected, the increase is not as steep as the average single family permit value increase over the same time frame, since it is not influenced by exceptionally high outliers. Single family dwellings are the only building type where there is a relatively clear upward trend in median renovation values over the ten-year period. Median apartment renovation values, for instance, fell from $169K in 2005 to $89.5K in 2015.   Overall, however, ten-year median renovation values of single family dwellings ($87.5K) and of semi-detached or double houses ($89K) tend to be lower than those of apartments ($110K). Median renovation values of apartment condominiums are the highest at $164K. The very high 2006 median value of $2,408K for apartment condominiums was an exceptional occurrence: only six renovation permits, many of which must have had very high values, made up this median.   Table 3.11 provides a comparison of median and average renovation permit values by building type from 2005 to 2015. Most of the time, but not always, average values are higher. For single family houses, average values are between 30 to 200 percent higher than the median ones and they are between 25 and 190 percent higher for apartment renovations. Generally, it is important to note, that these median and average values do not include small renovation projects (< $50K) since the median values were not available. If those were included, the median and average renovation values for all building types would certainly decline, which would provide a more  96  Median Values of Residential Renovation Permits by Building Type for City of Vancouver, 2005-2015 ($000)     Building	Type	 2005	 2006	 2007	 2008	 2009	 2010	 2011	 2012	 2013	 2014	 2015	Single	 $86	 $80	 $79	 $87	 $84	 $89.5	 $89	 $90	 $90	 $93	 $106	Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	 $87.5	 $95	 $80	 	 	 	 …	 	 	 	 …	Apartment	 $169	 $125	 $120	 $99	 $120	 $135	 $110	 $100	 $100	 $95.5	 $89.5	Apartment	-	Condominium	 …	 $2,408	 $358	 $178	 $120	 $150	 $92.5	 $200	 	 $330	 $105	Row	House	 $50	 $100	 $100	 $87	 $400	 $94	 $72	 …	 …	 $200	 $265	 Table 3.10 Vancouver Median Values of Residential Renovation Permits by Building Type 2005 – 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017)  Comparison - Values of Residential Renovation Permits 2005 – 2015 ($000) Single	House	 2005	 2006	 2007	 2008	 2009	 2010	 2011	 2012	 2013	 2014	 2015	Median		 $86		 $80	 $79		 $87		 $84		 $90		 $89	 $90		 $90		 $93		 $106	Average		 $115		 $115		 $103		 $137		 $117		 $159	 $135	 $142	 $176	 $207		 $320		Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	 2005	 2006	 2007	 2008	 2009	 2010	 2011	 2012	 2013	 2014	 2015	Median		 $88	 $95	 $80	 	 	 		 …	 	 		 		 …	Average		 $88	 $95	 $91	 	 	 		 $150	 	 		 		 $1,045	Apartments	 2005	 2006	 2007	 2008	 2009	 2010	 2011	 2012	 2013	 2014	 2015	Median		 $169	 $125	 $120	 $99	 $120	 $135	 $110	 $100	 $100	 $96	 $90	Average	 $328	 $189	 $256	 $124	 $64	 $204	 $200	 $178	 $291	 $195	 $173	Apartments	-	Condominium	 2005	 2006	 2007	 2008	 2009	 2010	 2011	 2012	 2013	 2014	 2015	Median		 …	 $2,408	 $358	 $178	 $120	 $150	 $93	 $200	 		 $330	 $105	Average	 $5,000	 $2,001	 $739	 $720	 $471	 $416	 $232	 $608	 		 $330	 $284	Row	House	 2005	 2006	 2007	 2008	 2009	 2010	 2011	 2012	 2013	 2014	 2015	Median		 $50	 $100	 $100	 $87	 $400	 $94	 $72	 …	 …	 $200	 $265	Average		 $50	 $100	 $106	 $101	 $582	 $85	 $72	 $3,500	 $1,575	 $200	 $358	Table 3.11 Vancouver Average Residential Renovation Permit Values by Building Type 2005 – 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017)  Comments: Fields that are left blank mean that there was no renovation permit reported for that building type. Fields that show … mean that only one data point is available – median is not representative. Both median and average values are based on renovation permits > $50K.  97  accurate picture of typical residential renovation project values in Vancouver.   An analysis of the percentage of residential permit values by building type shows small variations in renovation trends by category: single family home renovations made up slightly higher percentages out of total single family building permit values between 2005 to 2010 (14 to 17 percent) than in the ensuing years of 2011 to 2015 (8 to 13 percent). This finding corresponds with the higher number of issued single family renovation permits during those years. Row house renovations represent the smallest proportion among all building permit types, ranging between 0.1 to 10 percent (except for 36 percent in 2012). One of the explanations could be that row houses are also one of the newer housing forms in Vancouver, as detailed in section 3.2.1.   Apartment renovation permits represent a significantly higher proportion of total apartment building permits during the economic crisis years of 2008 to 2010/11 when renovations made up 19 to 31 percent of total apartment permits. As mentioned before, the absolute number of issued apartment renovation permits continually rose until 2015, which suggests that new apartment permit values picked up and rose from 2012 onwards. Finally, 2011 and 2015 seem to have been anomalies for double houses since renovations represented 100 percent (2011) and 46 percent (2015) of all building permits issued for this building type. These numbers stand in sharp contrast to the remaining years. Table 3.12 shows the percentages of residential renovation permit values by building type from 2005 to 2015.    98  Percentage of Residential Renovation Permit Values by Building Type for City of Vancouver, 2005-2015  (based on total building permit values)    		 2005	 2006	 2007	 2008	 2009	 2010	 2011	 2012	 2013	 2014	 2015	 Total	Total	Renovation	 14%	 11%	 8%	 26%	 21%	 18%	 14%	 9%	 13%	 9%	 7%	 12%	Multiple	 13%	 9%	 7%	 31%	 23%	 19%	 17%	 10%	 15%	 9%	 5%	 12%	Apartment	 13%	 9%	 7%	 31%	 23%	 19%	 16%	 9%	 15%	 8%	 5%	 12%				Apartment	 21%	 17%	 7%	 41%	 31%	 28%	 17%	 9%	 16%	 13%	 8%	 14%				Apartment	-	Condominium	 2%	 3%	 5%	 27%	 22%	 12%	 12%	 6%	 0%	 0.2%	 1%	 8%	Double	(Semi-Detached	or	Double)	 17%	 6%	 6%	 0%	 	 0%	 100%	 	 	 0%	 46%	 13%	Row	House	 0.1%	 1%	 1%	 8%	 10%	 3%	 3%	 36%	 6%	 5%	 3%	 4%				Small	Project	(permits	<	$50K)	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	Single	House	 17%	 14%	 15%	 17%	 15%	 15%	 10%	 8%	 8%	 8%	 13%	 12%				Small	Project	(permits	<	$50K)	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 100%	 Table 3.12 Percentage of Residential Renovation by Building Type in Vancouver 2005 – 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017)   99  3.3.1 Renovation Permitting Statistics compared: Statistics Canada vs City of Vancouver  The City of Vancouver publishes statistics on building permits and combined development-building permits on its website. The available information for renovations is, however, limited and does not distinguish between residential building types. A simple line called “alterations / repairs” summarizes the number of permits issued, the total permit value, and the number of dwelling units affected. To double check the data received from Statistics Canada, we carried out a brief comparison between total reported renovation permit data by the two institutions. The results show that there are differences each year in the reported figures from 2005 to 2015. These differences are small but inconsistent during the ten-year time period and we cannot identify the causes due to insufficient details reported by the CoV.   Between 2005 to 2008, Statistics Canada declares a higher number of renovation permits than the CoV. On average, 213 additional permits per year are reported during this period. Consequently, total renovation permit values are also higher than the ones published by the City of Vancouver. The gap diminishes each year during the four-year period and is smallest in 2008 and 2009.   From 2009 to 2015, the tendency is reversed: The CoV reports higher renovation permit numbers and values than Statistics Canada. The average difference in renovation permit numbers during this period is 110 permits. There is a significant difference in reported renovation permit numbers, by more than 10 percent (>120 permits), in the following years: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2014. Table 3.13 provides a detailed comparison.   100  Comparison of Residential Renovation Permitting Statistics (Statistics Canada vs City of Vancouver) 2005-2015 ($000)     		Permit	Value	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Value	Permit	Value	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Value	Permit	Value	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Value			 2005	 2006	 2007	Statistics	Canada	(Res.	Renovation)	 	$140,419		 	1,422		 	$99		 	$110,945		 	1,315		 	$84		 	$113,409		 	1,142		 	$99		City	of	Vancouver	(Alterations/Repairs)	 	$108,845		 	1,092		 	$100		 	$90,014		 	1,056		 	$85		 	$105,295		 934	 	$113		Difference	Residential	Renovation	 	$31,574		 	330		 ($1)	 	$20,931		 259	 ($1)	 	$8,114		 208	 ($13)			 2008	 2009	 2010	Statistics	Canada	(Res.	Renovation)	 	$169,695		 	1,347		 	$126		 	$164,079		 	1,461		 	$112		 	$178,893		 	1,436		 	$125		City	of	Vancouver	(Alterations/Repairs)	 	$168,805		 	1,294		 	$130		 	$163,788		 	1,492		 	$110		 	$182,810		 	1,643		 	$111		Difference	Residential	Renovation	 	$890		 53	 ($4)	 	$291		 -31	 	$3		 ($3,917)	 -207	 	$13				 2011	 2012	 2013	Statistics	Canada	(Res.	Renovation)	 	$160,998		 	1,543		 	$104		 	$140,632		 	1,365		 	$103		 	$185,189		 	1,201		 	$154		City	of	Vancouver	(Alterations/Repairs)	 	$149,853		 	1,528		 	$98		 	$128,950		 	1,411		 	$91		 	$175,660		 	1,504		 	$117		Difference	Residential	Renovation	 	$11,145		 15	 	$6		 	$11,682		 -46	 	$12		 	$9,529		 -303	 	$37				 2014	 2015	Total	Permit	Value	2005-2015	Total	Number	of	Permits	2005-2015	Statistics	Canada	(Res.	Renovation)	 	$124,285		 	1,235		 	$101		 	$155,468		 	1,327		 	$117		 $1,644,012	 14,794	City	of	Vancouver	(Alterations/Repairs)	 	$148,429		 	1,360		 	$109		 	$125,447		 	1,402		 	$89		 $1,547,895	 14,716	Difference	Residential	Renovation	 ($24,144)	 -125	 ($9)	 	$30,021		 -75	 	$28		 $96,117	 78	 Table 3.13 Comparison of Residential Renovation Permit Statistics (Statistics Canada vs City of Vancouver) 2005 – 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017, City of Vancouver website e)  Comments: - Statistics Canada data includes all residential building types, small renovation projects (< $50K), as well as conversion and deconversion projects.  101  3.4 Vancouver Residential Renovation Rates  Dividing the annual number of residential renovation permits by the number of residential housing units allows to calculate annual renovation rates. Between 2003 and 2016, annual residential renovation rate stood between 0.4 to 0.6 percent (see table 3.14 for details). 2003 was the earliest year for which renovation permit numbers were available from the CoV website. The highest rate during this 13-year period (0.6 percent) was recorded in 2011, a time when renovation activity was elevated spurred by provincial and federal energy efficiency incentives (see chapter 1 for a summary of historical and current incentive programs).   Residential Renovation Rates 2003 – 2016  		 		Renovation	Rate	2003	Renovation	Rate	2006	Renovation	Rate	2011	Renovation	Rate	2016	No	of	Residential	Units	(2001)	 	236,100		 0.4%	 	 	 	No	of	Res.	Renovation	Permits	(2003)	 	989		 		 		 		No	of	Residential	Units	(2006)	 	253,215		 		 0.4%	 		 		No	of	Res.	Renovation	Permits	(2006)	 	1,056		 		 		 		No	of	Residential	Units	(2011)	 	264,570		 		 		 0.6%	 		No	of	Res.	Renovation	Permits	(2011)	 	1,528		 		 		 		No	of	Residential	Units	(2016)	 	283,915		 		 		 		 0.5%	No	of	Res.	Renovation	Permits	(2016)	 	1,554		 		 		 		 Table 3.14 Vancouver Residential Renovation Rates, 2003 - 2016 (Source: Metro Vancouver Housing Inventory 2001 - 2016 and City of Vancouver Permit Data 2003 - 2016)  A comparison with 2015 Vancouver Building Stock data obtained from the CoV (see section 3.2.3 for detailed data sources) and 2015 Statistics Canada permit data (detailed in section 3.3.) reveals that renovation rates by building type vary slightly: whereas only 0.4 percent of detached homes were renovated in 2015, a marginally higher percentage of apartments (0.6 percent) 102  underwent refurbishments. It is noteworthy that the actual apartment renovation rate is likely even higher but can currently not be calculated due to the exact number of renovated apartment units being unknown. The available data only allows to compare the number of apartment units with the total number of apartment renovation permits. Apartment renovation permits include renovations of individual units as well as of entire MURB building retrofits. In the case of entire MURB retrofits, only one permit is issued but multiple units are renovated.   2015 Renovation Rates for different Building Types  		 		Renovation	Rate	2015	No	of	Detached	Homes	(units)	(2015)	 106,432	 0.4%	No	of	Single	Family	Renovation	Permits	(2015)	 404	No	of	Apartments	(units)	(2015)	 161,014	 0.6%	No	of	Apartment	Renovation	Permits	2015	 922	Total	Number	of	Residential	Units	(2015)	 267,446	 0.5%	Total	Number	of	Residential	Renovation	Permits	(2015)	 1,327	 Table 3.15 Vancouver Residential Renovation Rates for different Building Types, 2015 (Sources: Vancouver Building Stock Characteristics, personal communication with CoV staff, 2017 and Statistics Canada Permit Data 2005 – 2015)  Comments: - Single family renovation permits include single houses, double houses, small projects, conversions, and deconversions. - Apartment renovation permits include all apartment types, row houses, small projects, conversions, and deconversions.  Table 3.16 also illustrates the 2015 residential renovation rate but draws the data from CoV permit data. The result is also a 0.5 percent overall renovation rate.   103  2015 Residential Renovation Rate  		 		Renovation	Rate	2015	No	of	Residential	Units	(2015)	 	267,446		 0.5%	No	of	Residential	Renovation	Permits	(2015)	 	1,402		 Table 3.16 Vancouver Residential Renovation Rate, 2015 (Sources: Vancouver Building Stock Characteristics, personal communication with CoV staff 2017 and City of Vancouver Permit Data 2015)  The results of this empirical investigation highlight that for more than 10 years, renovation activity has been low in Vancouver. These official permit statistics do, of course, not capture unpermitted renovation activity. If the average 2015 residential renovation rate of 0.5 percent was to be maintained for the next 32 years, only 16 percent of the existing housing stock would be renovated by 2050. The renovation rate is expected to be lower if high property prices continue to attract capital investment in the region. The renovation rate will be higher, if capital investment in the housing sector flags. Even without considering the depth of retrofits and the achieved energy demand reductions, it is clear that the natural renovation rate is too low to reach the CoV’s desired 80 percent emission reduction target by 2050. It is difficult to see how the City (alone) would be able to augment renovation rates to achieve sufficiently high emission reductions from the existing residential building stock by mid-century without introducing mandatory renovation regulation.     104  Chapter 4: Exploring Permitting Processes and Residential Renovation in Vancouver This research utilizes a combination of methods and techniques; To augment the residential building stock data, permitting statistics, and analysis of renovation rates in the City of Vancouver, presented in the preceding chapter, with subjective experiences of the permitting process and of energy efficiency requirements, this study gathered perspectives of those administering the program and of stakeholders who have to respond to it. This chapter presents the results of stakeholder interviews and an online survey, used to bring together personal perspectives on current challenges, ways of improving permitting processes, and energy efficiency regulation in the City of Vancouver.  4.1 Research Methods  The research objectives set out in chapter 1, section 1.8 defined certain research design criteria. First, the sample should comprise of industry professionals and homeowners in Vancouver who are involved in the renovation of different residential building types. Among the stakeholders there also had to be a subset of individuals who have direct experience with the permitting process. Second, it was important to also include the perspectives of City staff responsible for permit review pre-and post 2014 energy efficiency renovation regulations. The viewpoints of inspectors, in charge of verifying enforcement and compliance on construction sites, were also important to capture. Third, data on a wide range of variables should be collected to allow an evaluation of multiple aspects of current permitting processes, suggest ways of improving permitting practices, estimate levels of unpermitted renovation activity, and evaluate the 105  awareness, implementation, and impact of the new energy efficiency regulation on residential renovation activity and compliance patterns.   Based on these criteria, the research methods chosen comprised of semi-structured interviews with industry professionals, homeowners, and City staff for an in-depth understanding of the various subjects. To gather data from a larger sample size of regulatees and to triangulate interview findings, an online survey was subsequently carried out. Information obtained through the interviews was used to develop the survey design.   4.2 Stakeholder Interviews  4.2.1 Interview Approach and Participants A snowball sampling method was used but the initial recruitment of participants proved difficult. At first, construction industry professionals were reluctant to take part in a study that would investigate building permitting in the City of Vancouver. Individuals expressed fear that their participation might lead to media attention, possible investigation, and potentially even censure by professional associations. Others were concerned about the guarantee of their anonymity and how their feedback would be perceived by the City of Vancouver.   Continued persistence and leveraging the researchers’ relationships was eventually fruitful. Once the first professionals had taken part in an interview, they endorsed the research, and passed on the contact details of their colleagues and professional networks. A trusting relationship was established through assurance that the research was anonymous and carried out by an independent third party. Consequently, participants were open and motivated to take part in what 106  they judged to be a meaningful research project. Many interviewees requested to receive summary results of the project and asked for assurance that City staff would also be informed of the findings. Those who had taken part were willing to spread the word about the study since they wanted to improve permitting and renovation processes for themselves, their peers, and their customers. Participation from City of Vancouver staff was initially also difficult to secure. The researcher experienced weeks without responses, long delays, and had to repeatedly follow-up to obtain appointments.   Between February and July 2017, a total number of 18 semi-structured expert interviews were conducted, each lasting between 45 to 90 minutes. A comprehensive set of interview questions was developed which was modestly refined with knowledge obtained in the first interviews. Stakeholders interviewed included architects, residential designers, builders, contractors, a homeowner, City permitting staff, inspectors, an energy advisor, and residential program managers at the two main provincial utilities, BC Hydro and FortisBC. Table 4.1 provides an overview of the interviewees, categorized by expert groupings to emphasize their main role and protect their identity. The table also summarizes the number of years participants have been working in Vancouver, their company size, which residential building type they mostly work on, their gender, and the code used to refer to the individual in the analysis.   Initial interview questions were confined to respondents’ background and understanding of the renovation permitting system in the City of Vancouver. Subsequent questions asked about their personal permitting experience, their opinion of the process and motivations for seeking building permits, the barriers they encounter and how the system could be improved. Finally, questions 107  about the implementation of the 2014 VBBL and the energy efficiency requirements for existing buildings, unpermitted renovation activity, and inspections were purposefully left until the end. The intention was to observe stakeholders’ awareness and opinions unprompted which proved an insightful approach.   Overview of Interview Participants Occupation	Years	working	in	Vancouver	Company	Size	 Building	Type	 Gender	 Interview	Code	Architect	/	Designer	 >	10	years	 >	250	staff	 Multi-unit	 Female	 Architect	1	Architect	/	Designer	 6-10	years	 1-9	staff	 Single	family	 Male	 Architect	2	Architect	/	Designer	 >	10	years		 10	-	49	staff		 Both	 Male	 Architect	3	Architect	/	Designer	 >	10	years	 1-9	staff	 Single	family	 Female	 Architect	4	Architect	/	Designer			 >	10	years	 10	-	49	staff		 Single	family	 Male	 Architect	5	Builder	/	Contractor	 >	10	years	 1-9	staff	 Both	 Male	 Builder	1	Builder	/	Contractor	 1-5		years	 10	-	49	staff		 Both	 Female	 Builder	2	Builder	/	Contractor	 >	10	years	 10	-	49	staff		 Both	 Female	 Builder	3	Homeowner	 N/A	 N/A	 Single	family	 Female	 Homeowner	City	staff	 >	10	years	 >	250	staff	 Both	 Male	 City	staff	1	City	staff	 >	10	years	 >	250	staff	 Single	family	 Male	 City	staff	2	Inspector	 6-10	years	 >	250	staff	 Both	 Male	 Inspector	1	Inspector	 >	10	years	 >	250	staff	 Both	 Male	 Inspector	2	Inspector	 >	10	years	 >	250	staff	 Multi-unit	 Male	 Inspector	3	Energy	Advisor	 6-10	years	 1-9	staff	 Single	family	 Male	 Energy	Advisor	Utility	Manager	 >	10	years	 >	250	staff	 Single	family	 Male	 Utility	staff	1	Utility	Manager	 6-10	years	 >	250	staff	 Multi-unit	 Female	 Utility	staff	2	Utility	Manager	 6-10	years	 >	250	staff	 Single	family	 Female	 Utility	staff	3	 Table 4.1 Overview of Interviewees  4.2.2 Interview Analysis & Coding Structure All interview recordings were transcribed by the researcher, and coded using the qualitative data analysis software NVivo. Two rounds of coding were carried out. The first round mainly 108  consisted of structural coding which identifies content-based or conceptual phrases that represent the topic of inquiry to segment and categorize the data corpus (Saldaña 2009, p.83). The content was grouped into main themes, which roughly followed the interview questions, with the purpose of exploring the topics further and comparing them between individuals. Attribute coding (ibid, p. 70) was used to note basic descriptive information such as participant characteristics, demographics (gender, occupation, company size) and the interview date.   In principal, each topic area was only coded once. However, certain transcript passages have double or triple nodes if several topics of interest were mentioned in the same segment of the interview. For instance, when permitting challenges were described, respondents often also mentioned how support services could be improved in which instance both themes were coded for.   The second coding cycle involved magnitude coding consisting of an alphanumeric or symbolic code to an existing category to indicate its intensity, frequency, direction, or evaluative content (ibid, p. 72). This method was employed to count the number of positive and negative permitting experiences interviewees mentioned and to identify which positive and negative reasons were recurrent across interviewees and therefore more significant. The method of using direct language of participants as codes, rather than researcher-generated words and phrases, is called In Vivo coding (ibid, p. 91). In the interview results presented in section 4.4, these In Vivo codes are marked by quotation marks to illustrate that they are direct quotes from interviews.   109  Finally, axial coding (ibid, p. 218) was employed to determine which codes in the transcripts are dominant, which are less important, and to reorganize the data set: synonyms were crossed out, redundant codes were removed and only the best representative codes were kept. The results of the coding analysis were then summarized and illustrated in tables and charts using Microsoft Excel.   4.2.3 Limitations Interviews are qualitative and each interview is different and influenced by the personalities and interactions of the individuals. In a semi-structured interview style, the order and exact phrasing of questions asked is slightly different from one interview to the next, depending on the responses and content of how conversations evolve. Knowledge gained from early interviews led to additional and more detailed questions being asked in later interviews. Moreover, the researcher acknowledges that she unintentionally likely influenced participants. Using the catch phrase “improve residential renovation permitting” to recruit participants might have appealed more to those who have had negative experiences and believe that permitting processes should be ameliorated. In addition, the order and exact phrasing of questions can influence answers and bias the remaining conversation.   Another limitation of the research interviews is the unequal number of interviewees among the different stakeholder groups (e.g. five architects and designers were interviewed but only one homeowner and two City staff responsible for permit reviews) which does not allow to make perfectly accurate comparisons between the different groups. The percentages outlined in the results graphs and figures in section 4.4. should not be seen at their face value; rather do they 110  indicate recurrent themes and the (in) significance of specific topics. The magnitude of the numbers is more relevant than the exact percentage value. It is also important to highlight that the perspectives gathered in these interviews represent a snapshot of opinions and experiences at a particular point in time when the interviews were conducted. Systems and processes might have evolved and opinions changed.   A limitation of the qualitative coding analysis is that no single individual can be a perfectly “objective” evaluator. However, the researcher strived to be systematic in the collection and analysis of the data to assess merit, trends, and significance. Many of the coding themes are, however, evaluative and contain a subjective interpretation of the researcher.   4.3 Online Survey  4.3.1 Survey Design & Administration The online survey was targeted at construction industry professionals involved in residential renovation (both single and multi-unit residential) in the City of Vancouver, at DIY renovators, and at homeowners who have renovated their homes. In respondent recruitment, emphasis was put on professionals because it was assumed that they would have more direct permitting experience than homeowners or DIY renovators. It was also easier to target channels to reach out to construction professionals than to identify homeowners with renovation experience.   The survey asked respondents a total of 18 questions about  - Their experience with residential renovation; - How they rate different aspects of the renovation permitting process in Vancouver; 111  - How they could be better supported throughout the permitting process; - Their estimate of the percentage of unpermitted residential renovations; - Their opinion about current and future energy efficiency requirements for existing residential buildings;  Most response options consisted of a Likert-scale (with five answer options) or of categorical variables. There were two ranking questions and two open-ended text responses. Four questions were only visible to those with direct permitting experience. In addition, the survey included five demographic questions. The final survey instrument organized the questions covering all the relevant topics into a coherent structure. (A full paper copy of the survey is included in Appendix B).   The survey was administered via the UBC online survey tool. It was open from May to August 2017. Six different recruitment channels were employed:  1. In-person recruitment by the researcher at the CoV Development and Building Services Centre (short Services Centre) where individuals go for permitting enquiries and submission (survey completed immediately on I-pads);  2. In-person distribution of survey invitation cards by the researcher at the CoV Services Centre and at the Greater Vancouver Homeshow;  3. Display of the survey invitation cards at six different hardware stores in Vancouver;  4. Distribution of the survey link via the Greater Vancouver Homebuilders Association’s (GVHBA) newsletter;  5. Personal and blind email distribution by the researcher to construction professionals;  112  6. Distribution of the survey link to the Kerrisdale Lumber store’s registered customers;  (An illustration of the survey invitation card is included in Appendix C).   A total of 137 people clicked on the survey link. Out of those, 90 complete, valid responses were submitted. The average response time for valid submissions was 24 minutes. The sampling design introduced biases towards construction industry professionals and companies predominantly involved in single family home renovations as opposed to multi-unit residential building retrofits.   4.3.2 Survey Analysis  Survey analysis was carried out using the statistical software IBM SPSS 25. Due to limitations of the software, certain analysis and graphs were also produced using Microsoft Excel. Since the sample size was small and almost all of the variables are categorical or ordinal, statistical analyses were limited to descriptive and non-parametric tests.   4.3.3 Survey Respondents  This section describes the status, demographics, professional background, and renovation experience of survey respondents (N = 90). It also summarizes the number of responses obtained via the different survey collectors.   Respondents’ Status 82 percent of respondents were professionals, 13 percent homeowners and only 4 percent DIY renovators (see table 4.2 for details). This means that more than four times as many professionals 113  as non-professionals responded to the survey. This result is not surprising since, as previously mentioned, the channels used for respondent recruitment mostly targeted construction industry professionals.   Respondents' Status (N = 90)  Frequency Percent Valid Professional 74 82% Homeowner 12 13% DIY Renovator 4 4% Total 90 100%  Table 4.2 Survey Respondent Status  Survey Collectors The most important survey collectors were the survey cards (37 percent), followed by the CoV Services Centre (24 percent) and the GVHBA newsletter (22 percent) (see table 4.3). Almost all non-professional respondents (83 percent of the homeowners and 75 percent of the DIY renovators) were recruited via the survey cards which can be explained by the fact that the other channels almost exclusively aimed at construction industry professionals (e.g., the CoV Services Centre, the blind email distribution to professionals or the GVHBA – a professional association).       114  Respondents' Status by Survey Collectors (N=90)  Respondents' Status Total Professionals Homeowners DIY Renovators    N = 74 N = 12 N = 4  Collector Blind Email Distribution Percent 4%   3% COV Services Centre Percent 27% 8% 25% 24% GVHBA Percent 27%   22% Kerrisdale Lumber Percent 7% 8%  7% Personal Distribution Percent 8%   7% Survey Cards Percent 27% 83% 75% 37% Total Percent 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.3 Respondents’ Status by Survey Collectors  Gender 84 percent of the respondents are male, 13 percent female and 2 percent preferred not to declare their gender. This likely reflects the fact that overall, the construction industry is male dominated.  Respondents' Gender by Status (N = 90)  Respondents' Status Total  Professionals Homeowners DIY Renovators   N = 74 N = 12 N = 4  Respondents' Gender Female 11% 33%  13% Male 89% 58% 75% 84% Prefer not to answer.  8% 25% 2% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.4 Respondents’ Gender  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 18.69, df = 4, p = .001 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 12.78, df = 4, p = .012  115  The Chi-Square test and the Likelihood Ratio confirm that there is a significant relationship between respondents’ status and their gender (p < .05). The highest percentage of females can be found among homeowners (33 percent) (see table 4.4).   Professionals’ Line of Work More than one third of professional respondents are architects and designers (36 percent), followed by builders (27 percent) and general contractors (19 percent) (see table 4.5).   Respondents' Profession (N = 74)  Respondents' Status Total Respondents Professionals Respondents' Profession Architect / Designer 36% 30% Construction company / Builder 27% 22% Design and Build 9% 8% Developer 3% 2% Engineer 1% 1% General contractor 19% 16% Subcontractor / Trade contractor 3% 2% Homeowner  13% DIY Renovator  4% Total 100% 100%  Table 4.5 Professional Respondents’ Line of Work   Company Size More than two thirds of all professional respondents (69 percent) work for very small companies with 1 to 9 staff. This is followed by more than one quarter (27 percent) of small companies with 10 to 49 staff and only 4 percent who work for medium sized firms with 50 to 249 employees 116  (see table 4.6). In BC, 90 percent of construction companies employ 10 workers or less and 92 percent employ less than 20 people (British Columbia Construction Association 2017). It cannot be exactly determined how accurately this BC statistic reflects companies operating in Vancouver, although there is no reason to assume that Vancouver differs significantly from the rest of the province. Overall, the survey sample appears representative of the reference population in terms of company size with a small bias towards bigger companies.               Professional Respondents' Company Size (N=74)  Professionals Company Size of Respondents 1 - 9 staff Count 51 Percent 69% 10 - 49 staff Count 20 Percent 27% 50 - 249 staff Count 3 Percent 4% Total Count 74 Percent 100%  Table 4.6 Professional Respondents’ Company Size   Renovation Experience Overall, the survey was answered by individuals with many years of renovation experience in Vancouver, no matter what their status. 81 percent of respondents have been involved in renovation for more than 6 years, with almost two thirds (60 percent) having more than 10 years of local renovation experience (see table 4.7). There is no significant relationship between respondents’ status and the length of their renovation experience (p > .05). Homeowners and DIY renovators are as experienced as professionals.   117  Respondents’ Length of Renovation Experience in Vancouver (N = 90)  Respondents' Status Total Professionals Homeowners DIY Renovators   N = 74 N = 12 N = 4  Years of Renovation Experience in Vancouver < 1 year 1% 8%  2% 1 - 5 years 16% 8%  14% 6 - 10 years 23% 8% 25% 21% 10+ years 59% 58% 75% 60% N/A  17%  2% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.7 Respondents’ Length of Renovation Experience in Vancouver  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 17.64, df = 8, p = .024 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 12.89, df = 8, p = .116 (Due to small sample size, particularly of homeowners and DIY renovators, the likelihood ratio result is preferred.)  Renovated Building Types Analyzing the type of residential buildings that respondents have renovated shows that single family home renovation experience is predominant among survey respondents. A large majority of respondents declared carrying out single family home renovations (93 percent), whereas only one third (34 percent) are involved in multi-unit residential renovations (compare tables 4.8 and 4.10). As described in chapter 3, section 3.4, 2015 residential renovation rates are slightly higher for apartments (0.6 percent) than for detached homes (0.4 percent). In absolute terms, the total number of apartment renovation permits has also been greater than the number of single-family renovations since 2010 (see chapter 3, section 3.3, table 3.8 for details). The survey sample appears therefore biased towards single family renovations, unless the market of MURB refurbishments is dominated by a small number of construction companies.   118  Examining single family home renovations more closely by respondents’ status reveals that almost all professionals in our survey are involved in single family home renovations (96 percent), as well as all DIY renovators (100 percent) and three quarters of homeowners (75 percent). There is no significant relationship between respondents’ status and their involvement in single family home renovations (p > .05, V < 0.3).   Respondents' Involvement in Single Family Home Renovations (N = 90)  Respondents' Status Total Professionals Homeowners DIY Renovators   N = 74 N = 12 N = 4  Are you involved in single family home renovations? Yes 96% 75% 100% 93% No 4% 25%  7% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.8 Respondents’ Involvement in Single Family Home Renovations  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 7.58, df = 2, p = .023 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 5.48, df = 2, p = .065 (Due to small sample size, particularly of homeowners and DIY renovators, the likelihood ratio result is preferred.)  Cramer’s V = .290   Analyzing professional respondents’ involvement in single family home renovations by company size shows that there is a small difference between the categories. It is only among medium sized companies (10 to 49 staff) that firms do not carry out single family renovations (15 percent) (see table 4.9). There appears to be a moderate association between company size and respondents’ involvement in single family home renovations (V > .3, p < .05). It should be noted that the sample of large companies (50 to 249 staff) is very small (N = 3) and the result’s representativeness is therefore limited.  119  Professionals' Involvement in Single Family Renovations by Company Size (N = 74)  Company Size of Respondents Total 1 – 9 staff 10 – 49 staff 50 – 249 staff   N = 51 N = 20 N = 3  Are you involved in single family home renovations? Yes 100% 85% 100% 96% No  15%  4% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.9 Professionals’ Involvement in Single Family Home Renovations by Company Size Chi-Square Test: x2 = 8.44, df = 2, p = .015 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 8.20, df = 2, p = .017 Cramer’s V = .338   Turning to multi-unit residential renovations, a perhaps surprising result is that a higher proportion of homeowners (42 percent) is involved in multi-unit residential renovations than of professionals (35 percent) (see table 4.10). These are likely condo owners who have had their units renovated. Not a single DIY renovator has carried out multi-unit residential renovations. There is no significant relationship between respondents’ status and their involvement in multi-unit residential renovations (p > .05, V < .3). It is important to note, that the sample of DIY renovators is particularly small (N = 4) and its representativeness is therefore restricted.  Respondents' Involvement in Multi-Unit Residential Renovations (N = 90)  Respondents' Status Total Professionals Homeowners DIY Renovators   N = 74 N = 12 N = 4  Are you involved in multi-unit residential renovations? Yes 35% 42%  34% No 65% 58% 100% 66% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.10 Respondents’ Involvement in Multi-Unit Residential Renovations  120  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 2.39, df = 2, p = 0.302 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 3.66, df = 2, p = 0.160  Cramer’s V = .163   There is also no significant relationship between professionals’ company size and their involvement in multi-unit residential renovations (p > .05, V < .3). About one third of professionals from all company sizes carry out multi-unit residential renovations (see table 4.11).   Professionals' Involvement in Multi-Unit Residential Renovations by Company Size (N = 74)  Company Size of Respondents Total 1 – 9 staff  10 – 49 staff 50 – 249 staff   N = 51 N = 20 N = 3  Are you involved in multi-unit residential renovations? Yes 35% 35% 33% 35% No 65% 65% 67% 65% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.11 Professionals’ Involvement in Multi-Unit Residential Renovations by Company Size Chi-Square Test: x2 = 0.01, df = 2, p = .998 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 0.01, df = 2, p =.997 Cramer’s V = .008  Number of renovated buildings Analyzing the number of renovated buildings over the last 5 years shows that, on average, survey respondents have renovated 21 single family buildings and 10 multi-unit residential buildings. These means are biased by outliers – meaning that few respondents have renovated a much higher number of buildings. For instance, the maximum number of single family homes renovated by one respondent is 200 buildings in 5 years (corresponding to 40 homes per year). This is followed by one person who stated to have renovated 150 single family houses and one person who estimated to have renovated 100 homes. The situation is similar with multi-unit 121  residential buildings: the maximum number is 120 renovated multi-unit residential buildings by one respondent over a 5-year period (corresponding to 24 multi-family buildings per year). The second highest estimate for renovated multi-unit residential buildings is much lower at 30, showing that the maximum is a true outlier.   It is therefore useful to examine the mode, meaning the most frequent number of buildings renovated by respondents. For single family homes, the mode is 10 – equivalent to two single-family home renovations per year; for multi-unit residential buildings the mode is lower at 5 – equivalent to one multi-unit residential renovation per year (see table 4.12 for details).   Number of renovated buildings over the last 5 years   Number of single family homes renovated Number of multi-unit residential buildings renovated N Valid 81 31 Missing 16 66 Mean 21 10 Median 10 5 Mode 10 5 Minimum 1 1 Percentiles 25 5 2 50 10 5 75 25 10 Maximum 200 120 Std. Deviation 31.0 21.5 Skewness 3.7 4.7 Kurtosis 16.9 24.3  Table 4.12 Respondents’ Number of Renovated Buildings over the last five years  122  The histogram of the frequency of the number of single family homes renovated over the past 5 years provides a good summary (see figure 4.1). It shows that 51 respondents, i.e. more than half of all respondents who are involved in single-family home renovations, have renovated between 1 and 15 single-family homes in 5 years. Less than 20 people have renovated a range of 15 to 30 single-family houses in the past 5 years.   The scatter plot of the number of single-family homes renovated by respondents’ length of renovation experience, reveals that the longer individuals have been working in renovations, the more likely they are to have renovated more houses (figure 4.2). The graph also illustrates that there is a higher number of respondents with more than 10 years of renovation experience.    Figure 4.1 Frequency of the Number of renovated Single Family Homes 123   Figure 4.2 Number of Renovated Single Family Homes by Length of Renovation Experience  The picture is similar for multi-unit residential renovations, albeit the sample of respondents being much smaller. As previously mentioned, only 31 individuals, i.e., one third of respondents, carry out multi-unit residential renovations. 25 of them, meaning 80 percent of those who are involved in MURB renovations, estimated to have renovated up to 10 MURBs over the past five years (see figure 4.3).   124   Figure 4.3 Frequency of the Number of Renovated Multi-Unit Residential Buildings  The scatter plot of the number of renovated multi-unit residential buildings by length of renovation experience (figure 4.4) shows again that the longer respondents have been working in refurbishments, the more likely they are to have renovated more multi-unit residential buildings in the past five years. The highest numbers of renovated MURBs in 5 years – 120 and 30 – have both been carried out by individuals who have been working in renovations for more than 10 years.   125   Figure 4.4 Number of Renovated Multi-Unit Residential Buildings by Length of Renovation Experience  4.3.4 Limitations The biggest limitations of the online survey are its self-selection bias and small sample size. Self-selection bias is a bias that is introduced into a research project when participants choose whether or not to participate in the project, and the sample that chooses to participate may not represent the target population. In the renovation and permitting online survey, self-selection bias results from the fact that survey respondents decided entirely for themselves whether or not to participate. Unfortunately, virtually all survey samples of human beings are self-selected to some degree due to refusal-related nonresponse among the sampled elements.   126  There may be a wide range of reasons why individuals volunteered to participate in the renovation and permitting online survey, including having particularly strong feelings or opinions about the research, a specific interest in the study or its findings, or simply wanting to help out the researcher. Since the catch phrase of the survey invitation card was “Improve Residential Renovation and Permitting” it is possible that respondents with negative permitting experiences were more likely to take part. In satisfaction surveys, it is generally those with neutral experiences that are least motivated to respond. Another potential bias might be that companies who comply with permitting regulations and have experience with protocols and processes were more likely to participate than those who evade permitting altogether. An attempt to minimize this bias comprised of reaching out to the target population through six different channels to capture a diverse sample of industry professionals, homeowners, and DIY renovators, including those who perform unpermitted renovations.   It is difficult to know the exact number and characteristics of the reference population. It roughly consists of all construction companies, DIY renovators, and homeowners who have been involved in residential renovation and permitting in the City of Vancouver in recent years. Due to the survey’s small sample size (N = 90) sample representativeness is limited and certain biases are inherent. Generally, the rule of thumb is that the larger the sample size, the more statistically significant the results are —meaning the more confidence one can have that the sample depicts the whole population. There is less of a chance that the results happened by coincidence. As described in section 4.3.3., particularly the sample of homeowners and DIY renovators is small. In addition, few medium-sized companies (50 – 249 staff) (N = 3) responded to the survey, albeit this being representative of the BC construction industry which is dominated by 127  very small companies (< 10 workers). One of the reasons why the sample is biased towards companies with 10 to 49 staff (27 percent of respondents) might be that bigger companies are more likely to comply with permitting regulations. Moreover, the sample is biased towards professionals with single family home renovation experience versus multi-unit residential refurbishments.   Despite its low statistical significance, the survey on residential renovation and permitting still provides valuable insights into the general population. Many of the questions focused on the renovation permitting experience and on improvement suggestions. This type of stakeholder feedback provides valuable perspectives on current performance and on how the CoV can improve its services. Any feedback, positive or negative, is important.   4.4 Research Results The following section presents the results of the expert interviews and the online survey. Results are organized by topic area and a diverse range of interview quotes are included to illustrate representative perspectives and significant findings. In the interview results and graphs, professionals and the homeowner are grouped together and named ‘regulatees’ and City staff (including inspectors) are referred to as ‘regulators’.   4.4.1 Rating of the Permitting Process  In interviews, regulatees reported nearly four times more negative permitting experiences than positive ones (56 negative counts versus 15 positive counts) which is illustrated in figure 4.5. The counts reflect the number of positive and negative permitting experiences mentioned by 128  regulatees as well as aspects they liked/ disliked about the permitting process in Vancouver. All regulatees had direct experience with permitting in the City of Vancouver – meaning that they had been directly involved in obtaining renovation permits.    Figure 4.5 Interview Analysis: Reported Permitting Experience by Regulatees  Survey Results The survey results reveal similar findings. But let’s first examine the nature of survey participants’ permitting experience. The analysis of direct versus indirect permitting experience among respondents shows that in general, an appropriate audience responded to the survey. Only 3 percent of respondents claimed not to have any permitting experience. A majority of respondents (56 percent) had direct experience – they take care of obtaining renovation permits themselves. The remaining 41 percent had indirect experience: they either hire a professional company to obtain the permit or have individuals inside their company who primarily deal with the permitting process.  0%20%40%60%80%100%Negative Positive No	commentReported	Permitting	Experience- by	Regulatees	(N	=	9)129  Among the different respondent groups, professionals are more likely to have direct permitting experience (64 percent) as opposed to non-professionals. There is a significant relationship between respondents’ status and their permitting experience (p < .05, V > .3). More than four fifths of homeowners declared hiring a professional company to deal with the permitting process on their behalf as well as half of the DIY renovators (see table 4.13 for details).         Table 4.13 Survey Analysis: Respondents’ Permitting Experience Chi-Square Test: x2 = 17.15, df = 4, p = .002 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 14.46, df = 4, p = .006  Cramer’s V = .309   The comparison of the permitting process in the City of Vancouver compared to other municipalities in Metro Vancouver reveals a bleak result: 70 percent of professional respondents considered the permitting process poor or very poor with only 9 percent judging it to be good or very good (see table 4.14). Only professionals were asked to respond to this question since it was considered that non-professionals would not have sufficient experience to compare permitting processes across the region.    Respondents' Permitting Experience (N = 90)  Respondents' Status Total Professionals Homeowners DIY Renovators  N = 74 N = 12 N = 4   Direct experience (N = 50) 64% 17% 25% 56% Indirect experience (N = 37) 34% 83% 50% 41% No experience (N = 3) 3%  25% 3% Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 130           Table 4.14 Survey Analysis: Professionals’ Rating of the Renovation Permitting Process in Vancouver  Comparing the process evaluation by permitting experience shows an interesting finding: Professionals with indirect permitting experience have worse opinions about the permitting procedures than those who deal with permitting first hand. 60 percent of those with indirect experience consider the process to be very poor whereas ‘only’ 30 percent of those with direct experience share the same opinion (see figure 4.6 for details). This could be because those with indirect experience have relied on others for obtaining permits and that their narrative about delays and challenges (however they come about) blames the City. Statistically, there is no significant relationship between the rating of the permitting process and permitting experience  (p > .05, V < .3).  Professionals' Rating of the Renovation Permitting Process in Vancouver compared to other Municipalities in Metro Vancouver (N = 74)  Percentage Valid Very good 4% Good 5% Fair 18% Poor 31% Very poor 39% I don't know. 3% Total 100% 131   Figure 4.6 Survey Analysis: Professionals’ Rating of the Permitting Process by Permitting Experience  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 12.77, df = 10, p = .237 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 14.62, df = 10, p = .146  Cramer’s V = .294   Examining professionals’ rating of the permitting process by permitting experience and company size reveals a surprising result: The bigger the company, the worse the rating of the permitting process. Two thirds of professionals who work for companies with 50 to 249 staff deemed the process very poor and 90 percent of individuals who work in companies with 10 to 49 staff considered it either poor or very poor. Among the very small firms with 1 to 9 staff was where we found more positive opinions about permitting: about one third of professionals (34 percent) considered the process from fair to very good. This might be because company size is positively correlated with indirect permitting experience. Table 4.15 provides a detailed overview.   4%4% 9%12%21%100%24%32%60%30% 4%NO	EXPERI ENCEINDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCEDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCEPROFESSIONALS' 	RATING	OF	THE	PERMITTING	PROCESS 	BY	PERMITTING	EXPERIENCE	 (N	= 	74)Very	good Good Fair Poor Very	poor I	don't	know.132  Professionals' Rating of the Renovation Permitting Process in Vancouver by Permitting Experience and Company Size (N = 74) Company Size of Respondents Permitting Experience Total Direct permitting experience Indirect permitting experience No experience     N = 47 N = 25 N = 2  1 - 9 staff (N = 51) Rating of the renovation permitting process Very good 6% 8%  6% Good 8%   6% Fair 25% 15%  22% Poor 31% 23% 100% 31% Very poor 25% 54%  31% I don't know. 6%   4% Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 10 - 49 staff (N = 20) Rating of the renovation permitting process  Very good     Good 10%   5% Fair 10%   5% Poor 40% 30%  35% Very poor 40% 70%  55% I don't know.     Total 100% 100%  100% 50 - 249 staff (N = 3) Rating of the renovation permitting process  Very good     Good     Fair  50%  33% Poor     Very poor 100% 50%  67% I don't know.     Total 100% 100%  100% Total Rating of the renovation permitting process  Very good 4% 4%  4% Good 9%   5% Fair 21% 12%  18% Poor 32% 24% 100% 31% Very poor 30% 60%  39% I don't know. 4%   3% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.15 Survey Analysis: Professionals’ Rating of the Permitting Process by Permitting Experience and Company Size 133  4.4.2 Rating of the Ease of obtaining a Renovation Permit Similar to the rating the overall permitting process are the results for the evaluation of the ease of obtaining a renovation permit in Vancouver. More than half of all respondents (52 percent) considered it very difficult to obtain a permit and another quarter (25 percent) believed it to be difficult. Only 8 percent regarded the permitting process as easy or very easy (see table 4.16).      Table 4.16 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Ease of obtaining a Renovation Permit  Turning to the rating of the ease of obtaining a renovation permit by respondent group shows that all DIY renovators and homeowners rated the ease poorly and more than three quarters of professionals (77 percent). This can be explained by the fact that professionals likely deal with permitting procedures more frequently and have a better technical understanding of building code and zoning requirements. Moreover, as will be discussed in section 4.5.2, the language of websites, forms, and explanations are often not well adapted to non-professionals. Indeed, it is only among professionals that we find individuals who deemed the permitting process easy or very easy. Statistically, there is no significant relationship between respondents’ rating of the ease of obtaining renovation permits and their status (p > .05, V < .3) (see figure 4.7 for detailed results).   Rating of the ease of obtaining a residential renovation permit (N = 77)  Percentage Valid Very good 4% Good 4% Fair 14% Poor 25% Very poor 52% I don't know. 1% Total 100% 134   Figure 4.7 Survey Analysis: Professionals’ Rating of the Ease of the Permitting Process by Respondent Status  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 9.53, df = 10, p = .483 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 8.78, df = 10, p = .553  Cramer’s V = .249   Again, respondents who have no permitting experience and those with only indirect experience are slightly more likely to rate the ease of the process poorly or very poorly (100 percent and 88 percent, respectively) as opposed to 70 percent of those with direct experience. However, individuals who consider the process easy or very easy are equally represented among groups with direct and indirect permitting experience (8 percent in each group). There is no significant relationship between respondents’ rating of the ease of obtaining renovation permits and their permitting experience (p > .05, V < .3) (see figure 4.8 for details).   4% 4% 15%100%100%22% 54% 1%HOMEOWNERSDI Y 	R ENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSRATING	OF	THE	EASE	OF	OBTAINING	A	RENOVATION	PERMIT	BY	RESPONDENT	STATUS	(N	= 	77)Very	good Good Fair Poor Very	poor I	don't	know.135   Figure 4.8 Survey Analysis: Professionals’ Rating of the Ease of the Permitting Process by Permitting Experience  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 10.86, df = 10, p = .368 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 12.24, df = 10, p = .269  Cramer’s V = .266   4.4.3 Permitting Challenges Figure 4.9 compares the most important permitting challenges reported by regulators and regulatees in interviews. The top concerns converge among both groups: staffing and the long delay in permit issuance. There is divergence, however, among the subjects of permitting requirements and compliance cost which are experienced as burdensome and problematic by regulatees. This is not surprising since both matters are more relevant to permit applicants who experience them directly.  4%4%4%4%4%20%50%12%30%50%76%40% 2%NO	EXPERI ENCEINDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCEDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCERATING	OF	THE	EASE	OF	OBTAINING	A	RENOVATION	PERMIT	BY	PERMITTING	EXPERIENCE	 (N	= 	77)Very	good Good Fair Poor Very	poor I	don't	know.136   Figure 4.9 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Negative Permitting Experiences   An interesting finding is that insufficient communication, both across CoV departments and with permit applicants was expressed as challenging by both groups, albeit being more strongly felt by the most concerned stakeholder group. One staff member expressed the problem of insufficient internal communication: “We don’t know what is decided at Director level and what is discussed in meetings. The General Manager and the Directors need to come down to supervisor level to understand what the issues are, talk to customers, talk to staff to see what the issues are that we share with the public.” (City staff 1)   A professional described that the CoV introduces good initiatives but lacks coordination and communication across departments:  0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%Insufficient	Communication	with	RegulateesInsufficient	Communication	across	COV	departmentsCompliance	CostPermitting	RequirementsLong	DelayStaffingWhat	have	been	your	negative	permitting	experiences?- Stakeholder	Comparison	Regulators	(5) Regulatees	(9)137  “They [the City of Vancouver] are trying to lead the way with different initiatives, such as having the Passive House bylaws, the tree bylaws which is supposed to maintain the city’s green canopy, the new demolition bylaw having to salvage and recycle. These are all great initiatives. The problem is that they have all complicated the permitting process. There is no coordination between departments. They have good intentions but every new thing they do is just chaos all over the place.” (Architect 4)   Finally, the homeowner expressed the lack of communication with regulatees:  “There is a lack of clear communication from the City. Homeowners do not know [about permitting]. There is a lot of hearsay. People are fearful because they keep hearing these crazy stories. And it is very difficult to get a straight answer from the City. When you call them it is just a mess. You cannot find a straight answer.” (Homeowner)  4.4.3.1 Staffing Diving deeper into staffing reveals that there is an expressed need by both stakeholder groups to invest into human resources: opinions converged on the lack of CoV staff training which was the most important complaint by all interviewees (see figure 4.10). One staff member explained: “Training is a struggle. New bylaws and rules are introduced faster than the department can absorb. Larger training budgets are required.” (City staff 1) An inspector expressed insufficient training accompanying the introduction of the new permit software: “The problem is that there was zero training or implementation. We had to learn it ourselves.” Another staff member echoed: “The training budget has been reduced coupled with the fact that [permit] reviews have become more complex over time. All of this coupled with the fact that we have rising numbers of permit applications. All that poses additional challenges on staff to do their everyday jobs.” (City staff 2) But he also asserted that staff training will be stepped up: “Training is a big focus currently. We hired a dedicated staff trainer, as well as developing more regular and formal training. Each department has specific training needs that have to be targeted.” (City staff 2) 138   Figure 4.10 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Negative Permitting Experience Staffing   An insufficient number of permit review and support staff was a challenge expressed more frequently among CoV staff whereas several regulatees felt that there is high staff turnover. “There is a lot of staff turnover and so there has been a very bureaucratic approach of just ticking all the boxes. [..] I will generally always appeal the deficiency list to one of the supervisors and then I can usually get the list halved.” (Architect 5)  Some regulatees felt that CoV staff were uncomfortable making decisions and were often not held responsible for the consequences of their decisions. As one professional put it: “The governing and organizational structure of hierarchy and conformity prevents low and mid-level plan checkers from doing their job independently and with competence. Staff are micro-managed. Staff are uncertain and not confident about certain decisions.” (Architect 3) The 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%Lack	of	accountability	&	decision-makingHigh	staff	turnoverInadequate	number	of	staffInsufficient	trainingStaffingWhat	have	been	your	negative	permitting	experiences?	- Staffing- Stakeholder	comparisonReguators	(5) Regulatees	(9)139  homeowner described: “There should be a simple process flow chart about the permitting process, what it involves, how long it will take. Targeted at the homeowner. And there needs to be accountability for the current process and its duration. It cannot be this open-ended process that increases uncertainty.” (Homeowner)  4.4.3.2 Permitting Process Speed  The interviews revealed that a major challenge of the current permitting process is the long delay of permit review and issuance. All regulatees mentioned that the long delays were problematic and more than half of all City staff acknowledged that the delays cause problems both to them internally as well as to their applicants (see figure 4.11 for details). The financial impact that these long delays have on businesses and clients was strongly expressed by regulatees as a major concern, while it was not directly mentioned by City staff members. One professional explained: “The City of Vancouver doesn’t understand how much it costs all stakeholders to wait for permit issuance and revisions. Many private industry stakeholders would be willing to pay more if that meant the City would employ more people and speed up the permitting process.” (Architect 2) Another professional described the serious financial impact that long permit delays can have on businesses:   “In December 2015, they [the City of Vancouver] became within inches of putting us out of business. The permitting process got so bad that we got all of our projects finished and we had the permits waiting to be approved but we had no work. So we had to get a big line of credit to float the business. To this day, it makes me very angry.” (Architect 5)   This was echoed by a builder:  140  “Recently, we had a project that was held up for 9 months in total due to the landscaping department. A mistake was made by landscaping, and there was no communication among departments. For a construction company, every day we wait we lose money! We miss income. It is a real risk to build in Vancouver due to the long waiting times.” (Builder 2)    Figure 4.11 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Negative Permitting Experience Long Delay   Some professionals mentioned that the delays sometimes led to renovation work starting prior to permit issuance. A surprising number of interviewees explained that their permit application had been lost by the CoV with no accountability or consequences for the City. A professional expressed their frustration:  “Our permit documents were lost twice by City departments. All drawings, engineer drawings and schedules – the full package was lost! They spent weeks looking for the drawings and didn’t tell us. This happened twice with the same project. The client then has to pay for renewing the documents, which is $1,000 for drawings! There is no accountability for the City, they didn’t even reduce the permit fees! I had specifically asked them whether they would charge us twice and the response was ‘yes’!” (Builder 2)  0%20%40%60%80%100%Long	Delay Has	financial	impact	on	business	&	clientsCauses	renovation	work	to	start	prior	to	permit	issuanceCOV	lost	my	permit	applicationWhat	have	been	your	negative	permitting	experiences?	- Long	Delay- Stakeholder	ComparisonRegulatees	(9) Regulators	(5)141  Survey Results The survey findings confirm that the speed of the renovation permitting process was rated very negatively. Overall, 70 percent of respondents considered the delay of obtaining a permit very poor and 17 percent poor. No one deemed the speed good but 4 percent of respondents appraised the speed as being very good (see table 4.17 for details).    Table 4.17 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Speed of obtaining a Renovation Permit  Analysis of the rating of the speed by respondent status shows that non-professionals had a slightly bleaker outlook than professionals. All homeowners and DIY renovators considered the delay of obtaining a renovation permit as either very poor or poor versus 87 percent of professionals. Statistically, there is no significant relationship between respondents’ rating of the speed of obtaining renovation permits and their status (p > .05, V < .3) (see figure 4.12).   Rating of the speed of obtaining a renovation permit (N = 77)  Percentage Valid Very good 4% Good 0% Fair 8% Poor 17% Very poor 70% I don't know 1% Total 100% 142   Figure 4.12 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Speed of obtaining a Renovation Permit by Respondent Status  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 6.82, df = 8, p = .557 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 5.28, df = 8, p = .728  Cramer’s V = .210   Those with no permitting experience and indirect permitting experience were again slightly harsher in their evaluation of the permitting delay than those who personally take care of permitting, albeit the difference being very small. 100 percent of respondents who have no experience deemed the speed of getting a permit as poor or very poor, while 88 percent of those with indirect experience rated the speed as very poor and 82 percent of those with direct experience considered the delay poor or very poor. Statistically, there is no significant relationship between respondents’ rating of the speed of obtaining renovation permits and their permitting experience (p > .05, V < .3). Details are shown in figure 4.13.   4% 8%50%100%15%50%72% 1%HOMEOWNERSDI Y 	R ENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSRATING	OF	THE	SPEED	OF	OBTAINING	A	RENOVATION	PERMIT	BY	RESPONDENT	STATUS	(N	= 	77)Very	good Good Fair Poor Very	poor I	don't	know143   Figure 4.13 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Speed of obtaining a Renovation Permit by Permitting Experience  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 8.34, df = 8, p = .401 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 10.45, df = 8, p = .235  Cramer’s V = .233 – weak association  4.4.3.3 Estimated Renovation Permit Review Times Estimated permit review times (from submission to permit issuance) by different stakeholder groups are summarized in figure 4.14. The analysis shows that there is a divergence in opinion among regulators and regulatees (the counts for “I don’t know” among regulators stem from interviewed inspectors).  4%4% 12%50%8%20%50%88%62% 2%NO	EXPERI ENCEINDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCEDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCERATING	OF	THE	SPEED	OF	OBTAINING	A	RENOVATION	PERMIT	BY	PERMITTING	EXPERIENCE	 (N	= 	77)Very	good Good Fair Poor Very	poor I	don't	know144   Figure 4.14 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Estimated Permit Review Times   Applicants most commonly reported up to 4 months delay in obtaining the renovation permit, whereas City staff estimated that it takes between 4 weeks to 2 months for more complex projects. It is important to note that the response time by applicants, if City staff members have queries regarding the permit application, is also included in this duration and the CoV has no control over the response time (interview City staff 2). In general, applications should be complete when accepted for submission, thanks to pre-screening, but questions can still arise when staff review the project in detail.     0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%I	don't	know.up	to	4	weeksup	to	2	monthsup	to	4	monthsup	to	6	monthsHow	long	does	it	take	to	obtain	residential	renovation	permits?(from	submission	to	permit	issuance)- Stakeholder	ComparisonRegulators	(5) Regulatees	(9)145  4.4.3.4 Compliance Cost The stakeholder interviews showed that nearly all regulatees felt that the high cost of compliance was a challenge which was not a view shared by regulators (see figure 4.15 for a detailed comparison). About one third of respondents explained specifically that it was not the costs of permits themselves that were an issue but rather the high cost of compliance due to the various requirements. This was confirmed by other regulatees who similarly described that the high cost stems from the permitting requirements and upgrades that are triggered by permits depending on the value of the renovation (mentioned upgrades included seismic, electrical, energy efficiency or sprinkler improvements).    Figure 4.15 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Negative Permitting Experience Compliance Cost    0%20%40%60%80%100%Compliance	cost High	cost	due	to	requirements "Permit	costs	are	not	the	main	issue."What	have	been	your	negative	permitting	experiences?	- Compliance	Cost- Stakeholder	ComparisonRegulatees	(9) Regulators	(5)146  Survey Results Survey findings equally confirm that opinions about the costs involved in obtaining residential renovation permits are quite negative. 56 percent of respondents considered the cost high or very high, while about one third thought that the associated expenses are fair and only 6 percent deemed the cost low or very low (see table 4.18).    Table 4.18 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Cost  of obtaining a Renovation Permit  Those with direct permitting experience have a slightly more negative opinion about the costs than those who deal with permitting indirectly, although the difference is not statistically significant (p > .5, V < .3). At the same time, it is only among respondents with direct experience that we find individuals who rated the cost low. All respondents with no permitting experience considered the cost high, albeit that group only consisting of 3 percent of respondents (see figure 4.13).   Rating of the cost involved in obtaining residential renovation permits (N = 77)  Percentage Valid Very low cost 3% Low cost 3% Fair 32% High cost 34% Very high cost 22% I don't know. 6% Total 100% 147   Figure 4.16 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Cost of obtaining Renovation Permits by Permitting Experience  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 3.06, df = 10, p = .980 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 3.9, df = 10, p = .95  Cramer’s V = .139   Looking at the rating of the permitting cost by respondent status reveals that all DIY renovators believed that the cost is high as well as half of the homeowners. Among professionals are the only individuals who considered the permitting cost low or very low (6 percent). However, there is no significant relationship between respondents’ rating of the cost of obtaining renovation permits and their status (p > .05, V < .3) (see figure 4.16 for details).   3%3%50%32%100%50%32% 23% 7%NO	EXPERI ENCEINDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCE 	D I RECTPERMIT T ING	EXPER IENCERATING	OF	THE	COST	INVOLVED	IN	OBTAINING	RENOVATION	PERMITS 	BY	PERMITTING	EXPERIENCE	 (N	= 	77) 	Very	low	cost Low	cost Fair High	cost Very	high	cost I	don't	know.148   Figure 4.17 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Cost of obtaining Renovation Permits by Respondent Status  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 3.06, df = 10, p = .98 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 3.90, df = 10, p = .95  Cramer’s V = .141 – weak association  4.4.3.5 Permitting Requirements A considerable challenge from the point of view of all interviewed regulatees are the renovation permitting requirements at the CoV. The most frequent complaint was the inconsistency in permitting requirements across CoV staff and the unpredictability of requirements (see figure 4.17 for details). As one professional explained: “It doesn’t matter how many times you have been through the permitting process, you are never totally confident that you satisfy an individual agent’s requirements. You feel at their mercy.” (Architect 1) Another person echoed: “The unpredictability and inconsistency of the permitting process is frustrating for us because that costs us money.” (Architect 3)  3%3%50%32%50%100%32% 23% 7%HOMEOWNERSDI Y 	R ENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSRATING	OF	THE	COST	INVOLVED	IN	OBTAINING	RENOVATION	PERMITS 	BY	RESPONDENT	STATUS	(N	= 	77)Very	low	cost Low	cost Fair High	cost Very	high	cost I	don't	know.149   Figure 4.18 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Negative Permitting Experiences Permitting Requirements   Regulatees observed that there is a lack of clarity among CoV staff about what the permitting requirements are and how certain bylaw rules are to be interpreted. This ties to the reported opinion that there is insufficient training and communication across CoV staff and with permit applicants. A builder described:   “There are a lot of differences in permitting between the municipalities but Vancouver is the most dysfunctional in the Lower Mainland. It is the most inconsistent regarding permit waiting times and even permit information. You can ask six employees the same question and they all give different answers. Nobody is on the same page.” (Builder 2) 0%20%40%60%80%100%Permitting	RequirementsInconsistency	in	permitting	requirements	across	agentsUnpredictability	of	requirementsBurdonsome	landscaping	requirementsMany	complex	requirements	and	restrictions"Conflicting	goals"What	have	been	your	negative	permitting	experiences?	- Permitting	Requirements- Stakeholder	ComparisonRegulatees	(9) Regulators	(5)150  A common complaint was that certain rules are not written down anywhere but applicants discover them when they apply for a permit and communicate directly with CoV staff. A professional described:   “There are different requirements with every project and every submission. ‘[We ask] where does it say this?’ The answer: ‘We don’t have it written down anywhere. There is no way you can know this is a requirement. I cannot even give you a document to prove to your client that this is now a requirement. But you need to now do this.’ It is very backwards.” (Architect 4)   Another professional asserted: “Staff members cannot be held to what they have said or asked for. Even if we have the requirement in written form in an email, another plan checker will ignore it and require something else at a different visit.” (Builder 2)   Moreover, a challenge that was frequently mentioned in interviews, though completely unprompted, were the landscaping requirements linked to the tree bylaw and the City’s urban forest strategy. A professional described:   “It wasn’t just the new building code. It was also that they brought on a very stringent new tree bylaw, which is the source of a lot of delays, new accessibility rules and a few other things on top of the energy stuff. There were layers of good intention that became a wall of bureaucracy. All of this new stuff and the rules were sometimes conflicting and they [the City staff] had to figure out how to manage it. It just became a perfect storm of bureaucratic mess.” (Architect 5)   151  A staff member confirmed: “The Landscaping department, in particular, is holding up and prolonging the permitting process and issuance. They often request the design to be changed to protect a tree. There is lots of back and forth which is very time consuming.” (City staff 1)23  Several interviewees shared the opinion that certain goals the City pursues are in conflict with each other or not clearly prioritized. A staff member expressed his opinion: “All of the objectives and requirements for greater density, character and heritage protection, and the tree retention are difficult to balance and can be in conflict with each other.” (City staff 1)   4.4.3.6 Transparency and Consistency of the Permitting Process A related topic to the challenge of the renovation permitting requirements is the evaluation of the transparency and consistency of the renovation permitting process. The survey results show that a large majority of respondents had a mediocre opinion about those aspects of the permitting procedures. 73 percent of respondents judged the transparency and consistency poor or very poor, followed by 12 percent who considered them fair and 10 percent who regard the transparency and consistency from one permit application to another as good or very good (see table 4.19 for details). The results reveal again that DIY renovators and homeowners had slightly worse opinions than professionals. It is only among professional respondents that we find                                                 23 The permitting process regarding landscape review was modified in February 2017 by the CoV to speed up the process. The landscaping review is now upfront, before the application is accepted for submission. “We wanted a clear separation between the applicant’s time and responsibility and our time and responsibility.” (City staff 2)  152  individuals who considered the transparency and consistency very good (5 percent), good (5 percent), and fair (12 percent).  All DIY renovators and homeowners gave a poor or very poor rating (see figure 4.19). Statistically, there is no significant relationship between respondents’ rating of the transparency and consistency of the permitting process and the respondent status (p > .05, V < .3).      Table 4.19 Survey Analysis: Rating of the  Transparency and Consistency of the Permitting Process   Figure 4.19 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Transparency and Consistency of the Renovation Permitting Process by Respondent Status  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 2.80, df = 10, p = .986 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 3.53, df = 10, p = .966  Cramer’s V = .135  5% 5% 12%50%100%32%50%39% 5%HOMEOWNERSDI Y 	R ENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSRATING	OF	THE	TRANSPARENCY	AND	CONSISTENCY	OF	THE	RENOVATION	PERMITTING	PROCESS	BY	RESPONDENT	STATUS	(N	=	77)Very	good Good Fair Poor Very	poor I	don't	knowRating of the transparency and consistency of the renovation permitting process (N = 77)  Percentage Valid Very good 5% Good 5% Fair 12% Poor 34% Very poor 39% I don't know. 5% Total 100% 153  Interestingly, examining the assessment by permitting experience shows that respondents who don’t have any permitting experience or only indirect experience were not shy to evaluate the transparency and consistency of the process. Only 8 percent of those with indirect experience considered that they had insufficient knowledge to answer the question (see figure 4.20). Overall, respondents who with deal with permitting first hand had a slightly more positive assessment of the transparency of the process than those with indirect or no experience. More than two thirds of those with direct experience (68 percent) attributed the consistency of the process a poor or very poor rating, whereas the percentage reached 80 percent among those with indirect experience and 100 percent for those with no experience.   Figure 4.20 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Transparency and Consistency of the Renovation Permitting Process by Permitting Experience  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 8.57, df = 10, p = .572 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 11.65, df = 10, p = .309  Cramer’s V = .236  8%4%4%6% 18%50%28%36%50%52%32%8%4%NO	EXPERI ENCEINDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCEDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCERATING	OF	THE	TRANSPARENCY	AND	CONSISTENCY	OF	THE	RENOVATION	PERMITTING	PROCESS 	BY	PERMITTING	EXPERIENCE	 (N	= 	77)Very	good Good Fair Poor Very	poor I	don't	know154  Statistically, however, there is no significant relationship between respondents’ rating of the transparency and consistency of the permitting process and their permitting experience (p > .05, V < .3).   4.4.4 Positive Aspects of Permitting All regulatees, except one, mentioned at least one positive aspect about permitting or their permitting experience (see figure 4.21 for a summary). While staffing was the one of the most frequently reported permitting challenges, positive experiences with CoV staff members were simultaneously the most commonly reported positive element. Regulatees acknowledged that individual staff members were helpful and knowledgeable. As one professional put it: “The City of Vancouver has good staff. They are good people but staffing is a problem, the number of people is insufficient. The staff are nice, good people but the system they have created for themselves is crippling.” (Architect 2)  Figure 4.21 Interview Analysis: Positive Permitting Experiences  0%20%40%60%80%100%Staff "The	COV	has	laudable	goals."Renovation	permits	provide	flexibility.Permits	protect	homeowners	and	clients.What	have	been	your	positive	permitting	experiences?Regulatees	(9)155  Some interviewees expressed that the goals the City pursues are commendable and that renovation permits provide flexibility. “With renovations, you can argue for grandfathered conditions, offer improvements in different parts of the building. The City is kind of flexible about that. Building Officials help in making that argument.” (Architect 3) The fact that permits protect homeowners and clients was mentioned unprompted by one professional since none of the questions asked what advantages permitting and compliance offers. Other positive opinions concerned the CoV renovation and permitting website, the enquiries centre hotline, and inspections. These aspects were, however, described in answer to different questions and warrant individual analysis. They are examined separately under support services, section 4.5 and inspections, section 4.7. Nonetheless, all positive mentions were counted in the ‘Reported Permitting Experience’ node presented in section 4.4.1, figure 4.5.   4.5 Support Services The City of Vancouver provides permit applicants with support services such as the enquiries hotline, the building and renovating website, online checklists, forms, and tutorials. This section first gives an overview of regulatees’ perspectives on the enquiries hotline, the website, and the Development and Building Services Centre. It then examines survey respondents’ evaluation of current support services and outlines desired future support services and improvement suggestions.   4.5.1 Enquiries Hotline The enquiries hotline is a service for applicants where rotating City staff who work in the Development, Building and Licensing department respond to applicants’ enquiries about 156  building and zoning questions and application queries. The interview results showed that about half of the nine regulatees had never used the enquiries hotline (see figure 4.21). Out of those who had used the hotline, several professionals thought that the service was helpful with one of them specifying: “The hotline is only good for simple, basic questions. It is a service they should keep. But more complex questions are hard to get an answer to because the City has eliminated the option of contacting planners directly.” (Architect 4) Another professional reported mixed experiences:   “The hotline is vague and you get inconsistent responses. Some people are great and others respond: ‘You should know that.’ They are so arrogant! […] Generally, the staff rotation for the hotline is good. Respondents should be familiar with inquiries that come up at the intake centre and what plan checkers need to know. They should process permits as well.” (Architect 2)    Figure 4.22 Interview Analysis: Permitting Enquiries Hotline   0%20%40%60%80%100%Service	not	used Helpful Mixed	experiencesWhat	do	you	think	of	the	permitting	enquiries	hotline?	Regulatee	(9)157  4.5.2 Permitting and Renovations Website The results of stakeholders’ evaluation of the permitting and renovations website are mixed: More than half of all interviewed regulatees expressed that it was difficult to navigate the CoV’s permitting and renovations website, four professionals found it to be a good resource and a few individuals mentioned that the content should be updated more regularly (see figure 4.23).    Figure 4.23 Interview Analysis: Permitting and Renovations Website   One professional described:   “The permitting website is difficult and not user friendly. It is hard to find information you are looking for, there are lots of old forms that are being kept on the website so that it is difficult to find all necessary up to date forms that are required for each project. The website takes a long time to navigate.” (Architect 1)  0%20%40%60%80%100%"Difficult	to	navigate" Good	resource Content	needs	to	be	updated	more	regularlyWhat	do	you	think	of	the	City	of	Vancouver's	Permitting	and	Renovations	Website?Regulatees	(9)158  The homeowner expressed the website’s unsuitability for non-professionals: “The website is designed for contractors and professionals but not for homeowners. Homeowners are being pushed to use professionals for renovations, instead of doing it themselves. This is yet another way how living in Vancouver gets less affordable.” A staff member confirmed this impression but explained that the website will be improved: “The Housing Renovation information will be redesigned. Currently, a new website is being designed to help homeowners in particular. The Services Centre receives so many inquiries from homeowners who are lost about the permit process.” (City staff 1)24   Another staff member admitted that the permitting process is tailored towards professionals:   “The process has become so complex now that professionals are required, for building drawings, technical expertise and so on. It is generally beyond the homeowner and layperson. We ask that professionals take care of the permitting process so that we can deal with stakeholders on a level playing field.” (City staff 2)  4.5.3 Development and Building Services Centre “At the City of Vancouver you have to show up at 6 o’clock in the morning to be able to see them at some point during the day. And so, do you charge your clients $1,000 for 10 hours of waiting at the City? – No! So you just have a day where some people [employees] are entirely unavailable and unproductive because they are sitting in a lobby. It is ridiculous.” (Architect 4)  This quote summarizes the most frequent complaint well regarding the Development and Building Services Centre: long waiting times. Another professional explained:                                                  24 The researcher observed that the website has been evolving and underwent multiple updates and changes during her investigation in 2017.  159  “For enquiries, the wait time is a couple of hours. For renovation permit submission, it is 4 to 5 hours. It happened to me that I had to wait from 8:30 am until 4 pm, I was the last person to be seen on the day! If you are not there first thing in the morning, before they open, then they frequently cannot guarantee that they will see you.” (Builder 1)   The Development and Building Services Centre was relocated from the City Hall East Wing to the so-called ‘West Annex’ building (515 West 10th Avenue) in 2016. The move coincided with a change in management and a reorganisation of the permit intake process (Interview City staff 1). As part of this change, all public enquiries for the Development, Building and Licensing department were centralised in one Services Centre: Building and Development Applications, Building and Zoning Enquiries, Inspections, Landscapes, Licences (including business and trades licences), New Houses, Property Information, Trades Permits, other services; there is one centralised front desk that triages incoming people and assigns them a number depending on the reason of their visit. About 25 desks for staff members are available, including one cashier. The Centre offers a large seating area to accommodate waiting applicants and desk spaces that the public can use during their waiting time. A staff member explained:   “All enquiries need to go through the front desk and get triaged. [..] The advantage is that the front desk is the central repository for all information. The disadvantage is that many people arrive at the same central entry point for different reasons. It can be busy and stressful. First time applicants and homeowners may get intimidated by the number of people, the wait times, and the ‘chaos’.” (City staff 2)  Figure 4.24 shows the most frequent opinions expressed about the Services Centre. More than half of all regulatees stated that they generally have to make more than 3 visits to the Centre per permit application. Only one interviewee reported the opposite. This is a high number of visits 160  per permit application and certainly partly explains the frustration expressed by regulatees regarding the current permitting process.    Figure 4.24 Interview Analysis: Development and Building Services Centre 25  One staff member expressed his opinion about the current direct permit intake process (either directly at the Services Centre or via an appointment with the relevant review branch – see chapter 1, section 1.4, figure 1.1 for the renovation permitting process flow chart):   “[In the case of appointments] the Project Coordinators spend too much valuable time preparing for a permit intake that might not even take place [due to incomplete applications]. Applicants also don’t always show up. Less time should be spent on the permit intake. Staff                                                 25 In addition, two interviewees declared that “staff could be more professional”, mentioning that they felt that a few Service Centre staff were not dressed professionally.  0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%<	3	visits	to	Services	Centre	per	permit	application"Can	be	chaotic.">	3	visits	to	Services	Centre	per	permit	applicationLong	waiting	timesWhat	do	you	think	of	the	Development	and	Building	Services	Centre?- Stakeholder	ComparisonRegulatees	(9) Regulators	(5)161  should just follow a checklist to get to a higher-level review. The failure rate of incomplete permit applications has not gone down.” (City staff 1)   4.5.4 Evaluation of Support Services The survey findings confirm that the support services the City of Vancouver provides throughout the permitting process are rated more negatively than positively. Almost half of all respondents (48 percent) consider the support poor or very poor with 20 percent regarding the services as good or very good. It appears that homeowners evaluated the services slightly more negatively than professionals (59 percent vs 47 percent). Only among professionals do we find a small proportion of respondents (4 percent) who accorded the support services a very good rating. However, there is no significant relationship between the rating of the support services and respondents’ status (p > .05) (see table 4.20 for details).   Rating of the support services the City of Vancouver provides by Respondents' Status (N = 90)  Respondents' Status Total Professionals Homeowners DIY Renovators   N = 74 N = 12 N = 4   Very good 4%   3% Good 15% 25% 25% 17% Fair 28% 17% 50% 28% Poor 31% 17%  28% Very poor 16% 42% 25% 20% I don't know 5%   4% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.20 Survey Analysis: Rating of Permitting Support Services by Respondents’ Status Chi-Square Test: x2 = 8.91, df = 10, p = .541 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 10.55, df = 10, p = .394   162  Examining the support services evaluation by permitting experience shows that those with indirect permitting experience have slightly more negative opinions than individuals who deal with permitting directly. 59 percent with indirect experience consider the services poor or very poor compared to 40 percent of those with direct experience. However, on the positive spectrum the ratings are similarly distributed among both groups. There is no significant relationship between the rating of the support services and respondents’ permitting experience (p > .05) (see table 4.21 for details).   Rating of the support services the City of Vancouver provides by Permitting Experience (N = 90)  Permitting Experience Total Direct permitting experience Indirect permitting experience No experience   N = 50 N= 37 N = 3   Very good 4% 3%  3% Good 14% 19% 33% 17% Fair 38% 14% 33% 28% Poor 30% 24% 33% 28% Very poor 10% 35%  20% I don't know 4% 5%  4% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.21 Survey Analysis: Rating of Permitting Support Services by Permitting Experience Chi-Square Tests: x2 = 13.51, df = 10, p = .196 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 14.46, df = 10, p = .153  4.5.5 Permitting Improvement Suggestions In both the interviews and the online survey, stakeholders were asked how they could be better supported with renovation permitting. From the interviews, four major themes emerged, illustrated in figure 4.25, from most to least important (bottom to top): 163  1. Staffing 2. Communication 3. Time Management 4. Online Services  The main desire to see staffing improve is not surprising, given the reported permitting challenges. Both an increased number of staff and ameliorated staff training is requested by a large majority of regulators and more than 60 percent of regulatees.    Figure 4.25 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Permitting Improvement Suggestions   0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%Increase	staff	and	trainingImprove	consistency	across	agentsSingle	point	of	contact	and	issue	resolution	processClear	documentation	of	rules	and	requirementsNotification	of	changes	in	permitting	process	and	requirementsPredictable	and	shorter	delays	in	permit	review	and	issuanceStreamlining	visits	to	Services	CentreImprove	Online	SupportOnline	application	trackingProvision	of	digital	permit	submissionHow	could	you	be	better	supported	with	residential	renovation	permitting?- Stakeholder	ComparisonRegulators	(5) Regulatees	(9)164  One architect expressed his opinion:   “They need more knowledgeable staff. I mean better training and retaining people for longer. The City also needs to establish clear lines of authority and competence, how much responsibility each staff member has. It feels like there is a lack of staff and that their current staff is lacking either knowledge and, or authority.” (Architect 3)  Another professional echoed:   “I would organise the permitting department so that individual members become real experts in their field, so that staff are certain about the information they provide. There is too much to the building code for everyone to know everything. Currently, it seems that staff know a little bit about many things.” (Builder 2)  A staff member explained what improved training would mean from his perspective:   “An ideal form and time of training would be a minimum of one month before a text goes to Council we need to be engaged and understand the new changes and regulations that will be introduced. [..] We need to understand how changes need to be interpreted, how they translate into plan checking. For instance, prepare an insert or ‘cheat’ sheet that functions as a checklist. [..] The staff that prepared the policy changes also need to be available afterwards for questions. They need to come back to go over the most frequent issues and questions.” (City staff 1)   Applicants would also favour increased consistency across permitting staff which would likely be a co-benefit of increased staff training. Another point of convergence is the desire to have a single point of contact and issue resolution process.   The second improvement area that stakeholders recommended was more and clearer communication. Both regulators and regulatees agreed that clear documentation of rules and 165  requirements would be beneficial. About half of all regulatees also mentioned that they would like to be notified of changes in permitting processes and requirements.   Time management was another area of that stakeholders would like to see improve. More than half of all regulatees expressed that they desire predictable and shorter delays in permit review and issuance, a point that several City staff converged on. One staff member described current efforts: “We would like to reduce permit issuance [delays]. We have mapped out our process flow chart and currently look at where to streamline it, how to improve the review on our end, and reached out to industry so that they reduce their response rate to us. It’s an evolving process.” (City staff 2)  One of the reasons that reduced delays were not mentioned even more frequently is that interviewed individuals likely expect permit review and issuance to shorten as more staff are recruited and training is stepped up.    Finally, most professionals agreed that online support should be improved which could be services such as more instructions for forms and checklists, online application tracking and the provision of digital permit submission. One professional suggested:   “The City could provide online tutorials and instructions such as details on how to complete ASHRAE checklists, lighting compliance and Certified Professionals forms.26 This would be an                                                 26 The CoV provides a long and detailed set of application forms and checklists under der ‘Building and Renovating’ website. Online tutorials for the Energy checklists are also available through this website (City of Vancouver website n.d.a).  166  easy training for professionals. They could also include simple Q&A sections below each form with common questions to avoid having to contact the City of Vancouver. In general, there should be introductions and instructions for each form with information about modifications.” (Architect 1)  Another suggestion was expressed by a builder:   “An online handbook exists for each step of the inspection process which is great, it has about 15 pages. But there is none for permitting. There should be a handbook for the permitting process and the procedures. It is not as easy as ‘submit your permit’, that can take you 12 attempts. All of the individual sub steps should be clear and described, more detail is required.” (Builder 1)   A staff member explained current City efforts regarding digital submission:   “Digital submission was in the original RFP for the software, but the online digital plan submission is on hold until staff members are more accustomed with Posse [name of the new software] and customers are more accustomed. All stakeholders also need to get more accustomed to digital plans and the legal ramifications are worked out in terms of approving electronic documents. It is still in its infancy.” (City staff 2)   Survey Results Turning to the survey results, respondents were asked to rank seven options of how they could be better supported to comply with building regulations and permitting requirements. Figure 4.26 shows the average score and standard deviation of all seven options, with 1 being attributed to the most important support service and 7 to the least important.   The resulting picture is quite clear and largely confirms the interview findings. While different respondent groups selected different options as their top priorities, reducing the permitting delay 167  appears the most important support that applicants desire. Overall, ‘predictable and shorter delays in permit review and issuance’ leads the ranking with an average score of 3.09. This is closely followed by ‘qualified professional fast track’ (3.19 average score) which would again result in expediting the permitting process for deserving professionals.    Figure 4.26 Survey Analysis: Ranking of Better Permitting Support Services 27   Increasing the number of City staff and making sure that staff are well trained is the second priority for respondents with an average score of 3.87. The least important support services are                                                 27 Respondents had the option of leaving ranking options blank. Consequently, blank ranks were attributed an average score based on the number of blanks.  5.164.334.234.133.873.193.090 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8Pre-application	checklist	including	sample	forms,	online	tutorials,	and	common	pitfalls.Provision	of	digital	permit	submissions	and	online	application	tracking.Single	point	of	contact	and	issue	resolution	process.Streamlining	visits	to	the	Development	and	Building	Services	Centre.Adequate	number	of	well	trained	City	staff.Qualified	Professional	Fast	Track.Predictable	and	shorter	delays	in	permit	review	and	issuance.How	could	you	be	better	supported	with	building	regulations	and	permitting	requirements?	N	=	85(Average	Score,	1	=	most	important,	7	=	least	important;	+	SD)168  considered ‘pre-application checklists including sample forms, online tutorials and common pitfalls’ and ‘provision of digital permit submissions and online application tracking’. Tables 4.22 summarizes the actual percentages of the importance rating attributed to each of the top three support services. ‘Qualified Professional Fast Track’ achieved slightly more votes as the most important potential improvement (28 percent) than ‘Predictable and Shorter Delays in Permit Review and Issuance’ (21 percent) but in adding all scores the balance tipped towards the shorter delays thanks to more than a third of respondents ranking shorter delays as very important.   How	could	you	be	better	supported	with	building	regulations	and	permitting	requirements?	(N	=	85)			#	1:	Predictable	and	shorter	delays	in	permit	review	and	issuance	#	2:	Qualified	Professional	Fast	Track	#3:	Adequate	number	of	well-trained	City	staff	Most	important	 21%	 28%	 13%	Very	important	 34%	 20%	 22%	Important	 13%	 19%	 20%	Moderately	important	 18%	 9%	 16%	Slightly	important	 8%	 9%	 11%	Of	little	importance	 5%	 13%	 15%	Least	important	 1%	 1%	 2%	Total	 100%	 100%	 100%	 Table 4.22 Survey Analysis: Top Three Support Services  The following quote from an interview with a builder summarizes the idea of a qualified professional fast track system well:   169  “Professionals who always comply, and build regularly, should get a fast-track review. Currently, we don’t make any money working in Vancouver because of the long wait times and the many requirements that lead to high cost of construction. The risk is that all the good builders stop accepting jobs in the city and the ones that are left will be worse and do more unpermitted work. […] Such a system [qualified professional fast track] would benefit small builders that only do a couple of projects per year but comply with the rules. The current system is especially difficult for small companies that cannot take on many jobs simultaneously.” (Builder 2)   4.6 Energy Efficiency Requirements for Existing Buildings This section summarizes the interview and survey results regarding the City of Vancouver’s current energy efficiency requirements triggered at the time of renovation, introduced with the most recent 2014 revision to the VBBL. The first part summarizes respondents’ awareness of the requirements, followed by an exploration of different stakeholder opinions of the energy efficiency requirements, the mandatory EnerGuide evaluations, and the potential impacts of future more stringent requirements.   4.6.1 Awareness of Energy Efficiency Requirements More than two years after their introduction (the requirements came into effect in January 2015), Vancouver’s energy efficiency requirements for existing buildings seem to be generally well known. The survey results show that more than four fifths of survey respondents (88 percent) are aware of energy efficiency requirements for existing buildings at the time of renovation. Examining the difference between respondent groups reveals that professionals are most informed about the requirements (93 percent), followed by homeowners (75 percent). DIY renovators stand, however, in contrast since only one quarter (25 percent) declared knowing 170  about the requirements. There is a significant relationship between respondents’ status and their awareness of energy efficiency requirements (p < .05). Table 4.23 provides details.   Respondents' Awareness of Energy Efficiency Requirements (N = 90)  Respondents' Status Total Professionals Homeowners DIY Renovators   N = 74 N = 12 N = 4  Are you aware that since 2015 renovation permits may trigger energy efficiency assessments and upgrades?  Yes 93% 75% 25% 88% No 4% 8% 50% 7% I don't know. 3% 17% 25% 6% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.23 Survey Analysis: Respondents’ Awareness of Energy Efficiency Requirements Chi-Square Test: x2 = 20.82, df = 4, p = .000 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 13.03, df = 4, p =.011   4.6.2 Rating of Energy Efficiency Requirements The interview results reveal that stakeholders have a wide range of opinions about the energy efficiency requirements, most of them rather negative (see figure 4.27 for a comparison of frequently expressed opinions): First, many regulators and regulatees believed that the introduction and implementation of the new rules could have been handled better. Almost all interviewed regulators expressed that they felt that City staff was insufficiently informed and trained about the requirements. They explained that there was a lack of internal training and explanations of how the new rules needed to be applied, interpreted, and enforced. One staff member explained:   171  “[With the 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw] checking of ASHRAE energy requirements for commercial [and multi-unit residential] buildings was new. ASHRAE needed to be checked by our staff. That created a big mess because we didn’t know what to check for. Energy Advisors had to be consulted that created checklists that staff and professionals need to fill in and provide drawings. All of that resulted in massive complaints, created huge delays in permitting time and a backlog in permit issuance. Industry also had to be trained. [..] Now we have online videos for industry and staff. But it took 18 months for staff and industry to be comfortable.” (City staff 1)    Figure 4.27 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Opinions about Energy Efficiency Requirements  A professional echoed:   “When the 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw was introduced, the City couldn’t process permits anymore, especially because of the energy efficiency requirements. They didn’t know how to look at plans anymore, a huge backlog was created. Now staff and energy advisors are slowly educated and know how they want to see the plans.” (Architect 2)   0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%Should	be	more	flexibleCan	deter	renovationsLack	of	explanations	and	training	of	professionalsI	support	the	energy	efficiency	requirementsNew	requirements	are	unclearIncrease	renovation	costsInsufficient	staff	trainingWhat	do	you	think	of	the	current	energy	efficiency	requirements	for	existing	buildings?Stakeholder	ComparisonRegulators	(5) Regulatees	(9)172  However, more than half of all interviewed City staff reported that the new requirements are still unclear, about 18 months after their implementation. An inspector described: “Our involvement is very little when it comes to energy efficiency. We usually get a check sheet. We get one at pre-drywall and one at final inspection.” (Inspector 2)   Regulatees most commonly reported that the new requirements had increased renovation costs. At the same time, most professionals declared supporting the objectives of greater energy efficiency in existing buildings. “The costs of construction have increased but there are no other solutions to increase insulation. The solution is for materials, trades, and builders to get cheaper.” (Architect 4). Another professional declared: “The current energy efficiency requirements would be ok if you could get a renovation permit in a decent time. The amount of time you have to wait compared to the size and scope of the project is pretty out of control.” (Architect 5) Similar to the regulators, many professionals also expressed that insufficient explanations, communication, and training of professionals accompanied the requirements’ implementation. Moreover, one professional mentioned that the requirements should be more flexible, an opinion that was shared by the Energy Advisor. The Advisor gave the example of allowing different thicknesses for attic insulation in different building and roof types (interview Energy Advisor).   4.6.2.1 Opinions about EnerGuide Evaluations As outlined in chapter 1, section 1.5.1, EnerGuide evaluations are required for detached homes when the renovation permit value exceeds $5,000. These evaluations have to be carried out by certified Energy Advisors. Figure 4.28 provides a summary of the different opinions that were 173  expressed about the evaluations, most of them unprompted, since there was no specific question about them, except for the interview with the Energy Advisor.    Figure 4.28 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Opinions about EnerGuide Evaluations  The findings show again that there is convergence among stakeholders about the need for more education and explanations about the meaning and significance of the assessments. As one inspector explained:   “The data and reports we get are not understandable. I don’t understand the data and calculations. For instance, in renovation how not insulating can be offset by better mechanical equipment. That would be good for all of us to be trained on, especially since the energy efficiency requirements are unlikely to be scaled back.” (Inspector 1)   0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%Adequate	cost"Usefulness	depends	on	homeowner"High	costNot	usefulMore	education	and	explanations	requiredOpinions	about	EnerGuide	Evaluation	- Stakeholder	ComparisonUtility	Managers	(3) Energy	Advisor	(1) Regulators	(5) Regulatees	(9)174  The Energy Advisor also mentioned that more City staff training was important since he had observed a discrepancy in enforcement of energy efficiency upgrade requirements among staff members which had detrimental consequences:  “We try to show the benefits of energy upgrades but some City staff make upgrades conditional on permit issuance. As a consequence, we stopped including some recommendations in our reports. [..] Clients forward us emails from plan checkers and we [the Advisors] then need to communicate with clients to tell them that the City staff is wrong. We get into arguments that we don’t want. [..] Sometimes we even amend our reports because we cannot fight the battle which is not the purpose of our service. We should show as many upgrades as possible.” (Energy Advisor)  Several regulators felt that the assessments were not useful as well as two regulatees. The Energy Advisor believed that the usefulness of the reports needs to be better explained to the homeowners: “There is also a disconnect because we don’t even speak with many customers after the assessments, unless they call us. I imagine that 50 percent don’t even look at the reports – there is no verbal explanation.” (Energy Advisor) The homeowner confirmed this finding from their perspective:   “We had to do an EnerGuide assessment. I can’t remember the exact cost but it was probably around $1,000. I was worried that we would fail the assessment but the Energy Advisor told us that there was no pass/fail on old buildings like ours. The City just wants to know that you have done the assessment. It felt like a sales pitch by the Advisor. [...] The assessment didn’t do anyone any good. It was just another expense that added to the cost.” (Homeowner)  The interviews also showed disagreement about the cost of the assessments among the stakeholders. About half of all regulatees believed that the cost was high, whereas the Energy Advisor expressed that the cost was adequate: “Three years ago the cost was $300. Today, it is about $500. We charge more today because requirements through the EnerGuide for homes 175  program are stricter now. [...] Much data collection is required. It takes time to model a house. [...] We have to charge more to cover our costs.” (Energy Advisor)   One builder experienced much higher costs:   “For single family renovations, you need to do an EnerGuide assessment. It costs about $1,500 for an energy evaluation, blower door test and report. Plus an additional fee, about $350 for the post evaluation after the upgrade. We received quotes from three different energy advisors and that was the cheapest one. When you only do a small renovation, $1,500 is a lot of money! And that doesn’t include the cost for the upgrades. [...] EnerGuide assessments have to be carried out, even if completely unrelated to the scope of the proposed renovation work.” (Builder 2)   The Energy Advisor explained how their reputation and the appreciation of their role had changed since the introduction of the energy efficiency requirements:   “In the past, we had a good reputation among homeowners. We helped people save energy in their homes. [...] Since the 2014 Building Bylaw that made energy audits mandatory we are now the ‘bad’ guys. The homeowners see us as a bureaucratic, tedious part that they need to get through. We are now a thorn in people’s eyes, one more hurdle to get their renovation done. [...] This psychological difference between voluntary and mandatory measures will likely never change.” (Energy Advisor)   4.6.3 Consequences of the 2014 Vancouver Building Bylaw “It is understandable that as a new building code is introduced there is a learning process for both industry and staff. But they should have developed a better summary of the information they wanted to receive. Professionals knew the new code was coming but there was a lack of clarity. There was a lot of confusion between the City staff, Energy Advisors, for the checklists to be developed and finalized and for their own staff to be trained. [...] What I criticise and mind is the way requirements were introduced and how little people were educated on what the City of Vancouver wanted to see.” (Architect 2)   176  This quote summarizes different stakeholders’ opinions well about how the revision to the VBBL was introduced in 2015. Figure 4.29 summarizes the most common responses by different stakeholder groups about the implementation and consequences of the new building code.    Figure 4.29 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison of Opinions about Compliance under the 2014 VBBL  There is considerable conversion among regulators and regulatees that a learning period is necessary when new regulations are introduced. Almost all CoV staff and many professionals considered, however, that preparation and staff training was insufficient. A staff member explained the inadequacy of training:   0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%More	demolition	and	new	constructionIncreased	construction	costsAdmits	to	understating	renovation	values	to	avoid	upgradesIncreased	delays	of	permit	issuanceInsufficient	preparation	and	staff	trainingLearning	period	required	by	staff	and	professionalsHas	it	been	more	difficult	to	comply	with	renovation	permit	requirements	under	the	2014	Vancouver	Building	Bylaw?	- Stakeholder	ComparisonRegulators	(5) Regulatees	(9)177  “We received one high-level presentation [about the new sustainability requirements] but you cannot call that ‘training’. It was a good introduction but not enough. Initially, each department was supposed to receive proper training but that never happened, especially plan checkers and inspectors need to be trained. [...] There was also no example of how to interpret the new bylaw, how it translates into drawings, plan checking and so on. They [staff] go back to their desks and forget about the presentation easily without more tangible and meaningful reminders and tools.” (City staff 1)  The perception was similar among professionals: “The new code and changes were thrown at the permitting staff, without preparation and they were forced to learn on the fly. They were not given a chance to understand what the new code meant before it was implemented.” (Builder 1)   One inspector explained how the inspections department was insufficiently consulted prior to the implementation of the new VBBL, a sentiment shared among all interviewed inspectors:   “The people who introduced the new building bylaw and the changes didn’t cover their bases, they didn’t consult us at all. Our department is often overlooked for information about the practicality of changes but we are expected to execute the requirements. They need to follow up to make sure the implementation is accurate. [...] Our input has never been asked for.” (Inspector 1)  Another inspector described how the combination of several factors has led to high workloads:   “The stress levels are very high for everyone because the workload is high, the complexity has increased, the IT system doesn’t work well. [...] The combination of all those things – the new code, new IT system, very high demand and construction activity – is a lot of pressure and workload.” (Inspector 2)   One of the things that surprised the researchers at the beginning of their investigation was that the VBBL is not publicly available for free. The complete Building Bylaw is only available in 178  print or electronically for purchase through the Queen’s Printer (BC Codes n.d.). A complete printed set currently costs $320 (ibid). The question arises whether jurisdictions would not rather make the Bylaw available for free to encourage compliance. A professional described: “The cost of the Vancouver Building Bylaw is high. You can look at it for free at the public library and make photocopies. But City staff cannot legally provide you with copies of specific pages – apparently, it is not a public document which is counter intuitive.” (Architect 2)   About half of all regulatees mentioned that permit delays have increased since 2015. This is likely linked to the required learning period and perceived lack of preparation and staff training. Another unintended consequence of the introduction of the new building code is the understatement of renovation values to avoid upgrades: “People lie about the cost of construction on permits constantly to avoid upgrades. The value needs to seem plausible but that is it.” (Architect 2)   Moreover, one professional described how the new upgrade requirements lead to more demolition and new construction:   “From our point of view, once you want to renovate more than 50% of the exterior then you are basically at the point where you might as well gut and rebuild the whole building. There are a whole set of triggers built into the way Vancouver deals with renovations, such as upgrading the sewage connections, which is at least $20,000 of work and others. So there is this big step jump in the cost of the project once you hit a certain point.” (Architect 5)  179  4.6.4 Cost of Compliance with Energy Efficiency Requirements A compelling result regarding the rating of the cost of compliance with current energy efficiency requirements is that not a single survey respondent considered the compliance cost low or very low. Almost half of all respondents (45 percent) deemed the cost to be high, with less than one third (29 percent) judging the cost fair and 17 percent very high. There is no significant difference between the groups (p > .05), although homeowners and DIY renovators were even more likely to consider the cost high or very high compared to professionals (see table 4.24 for details). Perhaps surprising is that the three quarters of DIY renovators and one quarter of homeowners who were not aware of the energy efficiency requirements for existing buildings still chose to rate the cost of compliance, albeit the sample of these groups being very small.   Rating of the Cost of Compliance with current Energy Efficiency Requirements by Respondents' Status (N = 89)  Respondents' Status Total Professional Homeowner DIY Renovator   N = 73 N = 12 N = 4  Rating of the cost of compliance with current energy efficiency requirements Very low cost    0% Low cost    0% Fair 30% 25% 25% 29% High cost 42% 58% 50% 45% Very high cost 16% 17% 25% 17% I don't know. 11%   9% Total 100% 100% 100% 100%  Table 4.24 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Cost of Compliance with current Energy Efficiency Requirements Chi-Square Test: x2 = 2.64, df = 6, p = .853 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 4.0, df = 6, p = .677   180  4.6.5 Ease of Compliance with Energy Efficiency Requirements The ease of compliance with current energy efficiency requirements was generally rated very evenly. About one quarter of respondents considered it to be easy to comply (24 percent), one quarter fair (26 percent) and slightly more than a quarter deemed it difficult (27 percent). Again, it appears that homeowners and DIY renovators had a slightly more negative opinion than professionals although there is no significant relationship between respondents’ status and the rating of the ease of compliance with energy efficiency requirements (p > .05) (see table 4.25).   Rating of Ease of Compliance with current Energy Efficiency Requirements by Respondents' Status (N = 90)  Respondents' Status Total Professionals Homeowners DIY Renovators   N = 74 N = 12 N = 4  Rating of ease of compliance with current energy efficiency requirements Very good 5% 8%  6% Good 26% 17% 25% 24% Fair 28% 17%  26% Poor 23% 42% 50% 27% Very poor 9% 17% 25% 11% I don't know. 8%   7% Total 100% 100% 100% 100% Table 4.25 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Ease of Compliance with current Energy Efficiency Requirements Chi-Square Test: x2 = 7.07, df = 10, p = .718 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 8.91, df = 10, p = .541   4.6.6 Future more Stringent Energy Efficiency Requirements Survey respondents were asked to rank six potential impacts of future retrofit requirements that will likely demand more energy efficient heating systems, windows, and additional insulation. Respondents were invited to rate the likelihood these more stringent energy efficiency 181  requirements would affect the number and scope of renovations, the legality of renovations, and the comfort and efficiency of existing buildings.   While the effect on the number of renovations was rated quite evenly, with slightly more respondents believing that fewer renovations will be very or extremely likely (41 percent) as opposed to not at all likely or only slightly likely (37 percent) (see table 4.26), a clear majority of respondents (62 percent) considered that more demolition and new construction was either very or extremely likely. Only 14 percent believed the opposite (see table 4.27 for details).   The chi square test results for “fewer renovations” (p = .535) suggest that there is no statistically significant relationship of the distribution of the ratings (from ‘not at all likely’ to ‘extremely likely’) between these five variables. Figure 4.30 shows that the different respondent groups replied similarly,  Table 4.26 Survey Analysis: Rating of Fewer Renovations Chi-Square Test: x2 = 3.14, df = 4, p = .535   albeit non-professionals being slightly more negative. The chi square test results for “more demolition and new construction” (p < .001) suggest that there is a statistically significant relationship of the distribution of the ratings (from ‘not at all likely’ to ‘extremely likely’). More Rating of the effect of future more stringent energy efficiency requirements - Fewer renovations (N = 88)  Total  Not at all likely 18% Slightly likely 19% Somewhat likely 22% Very likely 26% Extremely likely 15% I don’t know. 0% Total 100% 182  respondents (than expected) think that demolition will be very likely or extremely likely if future energy efficiency requirements become more stringent.          Table 4.27 Survey Analysis: Rating of more Demolition and New Construction Chi-Square Test: x2 = 28.57, df = 4, p = < .001    Figure 4.30 Survey Analysis: Rating of Fewer Renovations by Respondents’ Status Chi-Square Test: x2 = 11.86, df = 8, p = .158 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 10.79, df = 8, p = .214  18%25%18%9%22%18%25%22%9%25%29%45%25%10%HOMEOWNERSD IY 	RENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSFEWER	RENOVATIONS	(N	= 	88)Not	at	all	likely Slightly	likely Somewhat	likely Very	likely Extremely	likely I	don't	know.Rating of the effect of future more stringent energy efficiency requirements - More demolition and new construction (N = 88)  Total  Not at all likely 6% Slightly likely 8% Somewhat likely 23% Very likely 27% Extremely likely 35% I don’t know. 1% Total 100% 183   Figure 4.31 Survey Analysis: Rating of More Demolition and New Construction by Respondents’ Status Chi-Square Test: x2 = 6.59, df = 8, p = .58 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 6.02, df = 8, p = .65   However, there is no significant relationship between respondent status and the rating of the impact on demolition and new construction (p > .05).   Regarding the scope of renovations, the opinions span the full range of options. More than one third of respondents (36 percent) believed that renovations would be more modest whereas the same proportion deemed that energy efficiency requirements would not influence the scope of refurbishments. The chi square test results for “more modest renovations” (p > .05) suggest that there is no statistically significant relationship of the distribution of the ratings (from ‘not at all likely’ to ‘extremely likely’) between these five variables (see table 4.28 for details).    18%4%9%8%18%25%23%9%50%29%36%25%36%9%HOMEOWNERSD IY 	RENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSMORE	DEMOLITION	AND	NEW	CONSTRUCTION	(N	= 	88)Not	at	all	likely Slightly	likely Somewhat	likely Very	likely Extremely	likely I	don't	know.184          Table 4.28 Survey Analysis: Rating of more modest Renovations Chi-Square Test: x2 = 4.410, df = 4, p = .353   Among the respondent groups, it is noteworthy that non-professionals tended to have a slightly more dire outlook. About half (54 percent of homeowners and 50 percent of DIY renovators) regarded declining renovation numbers as very or extremely likely (see figure 4.30) and nearly two thirds of homeowners (63 percent) and half of DIY renovators (50 percent) thought that home renovations will likely be more modest (see figure 4.32). However, for both questions, there is no significant relationship between respondent status and the rating of the impact on renovation numbers or renovation scope (p > .05).   Rating of the effect of future more stringent energy efficiency requirements - More modest renovations (N = 85)  Total  Not at all likely 14% Slightly likely 22% Somewhat likely 25% Very likely 22% Extremely likely 14% I don’t know. 2% Total 100% 185   Figure 4.32 Survey Analysis: Rating of More Modest Renovations by Respondents’ Status Chi-Square Test: x2 = 7.29, df = 8, p = .51 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 7.21, df = 8, p = .51   Turning to the likely impact more stringent energy efficiency requirements are considered to have on compliance with renovation permitting requirements, the outcome is quite stark: Almost two thirds of respondents (63 percent) deemed it very or extremely likely that fewer permits will be sought, whereas only 14 percent believed the contrary (see table 4.29). The chi square test results for “fewer permits will be sought” (p < .001) suggest that there is a statistically significant relationship of the distribution of the ratings (from ‘not at all likely’ to ‘extremely likely’). More respondents (than expected) think that non-compliance will be very likely or extremely likely if future energy efficiency requirements become more stringent.     9%16%18%25%23%9%25%27%27%25%21%36%25%10% 3%HOMEOWNERSD IY 	RENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSMORE	MODEST	RENOVATIONS	(N	= 	85)Not	at	all	likely Slightly	likely Somewhat	likely Very	likely Extremely	likely I	don't	know.186          Table 4.29 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Impact on Unpermitted Renovations Chi-Square Test: x2 = 27.37, df = 4, p < .001   Among the respondent groups, DIY renovators and homeowners considered it particularly likely that the number of unpermitted renovations will rise (75 percent and 64 percent, respectively). Figure 4.33 provides an overview by respondent group. Statistically, the relationship between respondent status and the rating of the impact on the number of unpermitted renovations is not significant (p > .05).   Rating of the effect of future more stringent energy efficiency requirements - Fewer permits will be sought (N = 87)  Total  Not at all likely 7% Slightly likely 7% Somewhat likely 22% Very likely 33% Extremely likely 30% I don’t know. 1% Total 100% 187   Figure 4.33 Survey Analysis: Rating of Impact of Unpermitted Renovations by Respondents’ Status Chi-Square Test: x2 = 4.54, df = 8, p = .80 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 5.59, df = 8, p = .69   Comparing how respondents rated the likelihood of seeing more demolition and new construction in the future with how they believed compliance will be affected shows that in general, those who thought that more stringent energy efficiency requirements will likely lead to more demolition largely also believed that fewer permits will be sought. The number and size of the bubbles in figure 4.34 indicate how many respondents ranked these two possible outcomes similarly.    8%9%7%18%25%22%18%25%36%46%50%26%9%HOMEOWNERSD IY 	RENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSFEWER	PERMITS 	WILL	BE	SOUGHT	(N	= 	87)Not	at	all	likely Slightly	likely Somewhat	likely Very	likely Extremely	likely I	don't	know.188   Figure 4.34 Survey Analysis: Rating of Fewer Permits will be sought versus More Demolition and New Construction   The final two questions in this series asked respondents to rank the likely impact more demanding energy efficiency requirements might have on the energy efficiency and comfort of existing buildings. The findings reveal that respondents had more positive opinions when it came 189  to aspects of improving the quality of the lived experience and reducing the energy bills of homes. The majority deemed it very or extremely likely that such regulation would improve the energy efficiency and comfort of buildings (52 percent and 51 percent, respectively). However, this also shows that the other half of respondents was not convinced that better envelopes and heating systems would actually achieve the desired outcome of reducing buildings’ energy use and making them more comfortable places to live (see tables 4.30 and 4.31 for details).   The chi square test results for “Improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings” (p < .05) suggest that there is a statistically significant relationship of the distribution of the ratings (from ‘not at all likely’ to ‘extremely likely’). Fewer respondents (than expected) thought that it is not at all likely or only slightly likely that the energy efficiency of existing buildings will be improved if future energy efficiency requirements become more stringent.            Table 4.30 Survey Analysis: Rating of the potential Improvement  of the Energy Efficiency of Existing Buildings Chi-Square Test: x2 = 17.91, df = 4, p = .001   Rating of the effect of future more stringent energy efficiency requirements - Improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings (N = 89)  Total  Not at all likely 4% Slightly likely 16% Somewhat likely 28% Very likely 28% Extremely likely 24% I don’t know. 0% Total 100% 190   Figure 4.35 Survey Analysis: Rating of the potential Improvement of the Energy Efficiency of Existing Buildings by Respondents’ Status Chi-Square Test: x2 = 13.68, df = 8, p = .09 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 16.15, df = 8, p = .04 (preferred due to the small sample size)  Interestingly, particularly professionals reveal doubt when it comes to the intended outcome of energy efficiency upgrades. 16 percent considered it only slightly likely or not at all likely that buildings’ energy efficiency would be improved by more insulation, better windows, and heating systems. There is a significant relationship between respondent status and the rating of the impact on the energy efficiency of existing buildings (p < .05) (see figure 4.35 for details).      5%36%50%11%18%25%30%45%27%25%27%HOMEOWNERSD IY 	RENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSIMPROVE	THE	ENERGY	EFF IC IENCY 	OF 	EXIST ING	BUILD INGS 	(N 	= 	89)Not	at	all	likely Slightly	likely Somewhat	likely Very	likely Extremely	likely I	don't	know.191  The chi square test results for “Improve the comfort of existing buildings” (p < .001) suggest that there is a statistically significant relationship of the distribution of the ratings (from ‘not at all likely’ to ‘extremely likely’).   Table 4.31 Survey Analysis: Rating of the potential Improvement  of the Comfort of Existing Buildings Chi-Square Test: x2 = 28.93, df = 4, p < .001   Fewer respondents (than expected) believed that it was not likely that more stringent energy efficiency requirements would improve the comfort of existing buildings. The analysis by respondent group shows that there is no significant relationship between respondent status and the rating of the impact on the comfort of existing buildings (p > .05). Professionals were, however, again slightly more sceptical than non-professionals when it comes to the desired outcome of improved comfort (see figure 4.36).  Rating of the effect of future more stringent energy efficiency requirements - Improve the comfort of existing buildings (N = 88)  Total  Not at all likely 7% Slightly likely 11% Somewhat likely 31% Very likely 36% Extremely likely 15% I don’t know. 0% Total 100% 192   Figure 4.36 Survey Analysis: Rating of the potential Improvement of the Comfort of Existing Buildings by Respondents’ Status Chi-Square Test: x2 = 10.42, df = 8, p = .24 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 11.95, df = 8, p = .15   4.6.7 Energy Efficiency from the Utilities’ Perspectives To add to the diversity of different perspectives about renovation and energy efficiency, this section examines the results of stakeholder interviews with residential energy efficiency Program Managers who work for the two main provincial energy utilities: BC Hydro and Fortis BC. Two staff members from the electric utility were interviewed as well as one staff member from the gas utility. In addition, the results from the Energy Advisor interview are included in this section.    5%9%25%8%27%25%33%18%25%37%45%16%25%HOMEOWNERSD IY 	RENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSIMPROVE	THE	COMFORT	OF	EXISTING	BUILDINGS	(N	= 	88)Not	at	all	likely Slightly	likely Somewhat	likely Very	likely Extremely	likely I	don't	know.193  4.6.7.1 Energy Efficiency Measures and Barriers “We need to engage customers repeatedly through different channels to succeed.” (Utility staff 1) This quote summarizes the necessary efforts by utilities to achieve the implementation of energy efficiency measures well. Table 4.32 outlines the most important statements regarding energy efficiency measures stemming from the interviews with the Utility Managers and the Energy Advisor. The largest agreement was on the fact that multiple home retrofit measures (e.g. insulation, heating equipment, and lighting upgrades) are difficult to achieve. Moreover, the stakeholders explained that the utility energy efficiency programs primarily target detached home customers since measures in MURBs were more difficult to implement and did not necessarily yield significant energy savings. Interviewees also converged on the fact that low-income households were more difficult to target for energy efficiency upgrades.   Energy	Efficiency	Measures	-	Utilities	&	Energy	Advisor			 Total	(4)	Multiple	home	retrofit	measures	difficult	to	achieve.	 75%	"Detached,	SF	homes	primarily	targeted."	 50%	"More	difficult	to	implement	in	MURBs."	 50%	Difficult	to	target	low-income	customers.	 50%	Lighting	and	heating	systems	mostly	targeted.	 50%	Divergent	objectives	between	governments	and	utilities.	 25%	Table 4.32 Energy Efficiency Measures from the Utilities’ & Energy Advisor’s Perspectives  194  Both BC Hydro staff explained that they focus more on lighting and heating system upgrades, while the Fortis BC staff member described that envelope measures are also increasingly targeted.  “For home retrofits, light bulbs – CFLs and LEDs [compact fluorescent lights and light-emitting diodes] – and heating systems are mostly targeted. They are easier to change because they need to be replaced. Insulation is harder to convince because it is invisible and doesn’t have to be replaced. The investment costs are higher.” (Utility staff 1)  “Today, we have a greater focus on envelope measures. Insulation rebates are offered without EnerGuide assessments because our evaluations showed that assessments are a barrier.” (Utility staff 3) This quote also highlights that the usefulness of EnerGuide evaluations as tools to convince customers of implementing measures was being questioned. When being asked how many homeowners take up energy upgrades that are being recommended as part of his evaluation reports, the Energy Advisor was not certain: “Few. Maybe 20 percent. In the City of Vancouver, homeowners do what they are required to do as part of the permitting process.” (Energy Advisor)  Turning to the subject of barriers to energy efficiency in residential buildings, all stakeholders converged on the fact that there is a lack of customer awareness about the possibility, need, and the benefits of greater energy efficiency (see table 4.33 for an overview of mentioned barriers). The Energy Advisor explained the situation in the City of Vancouver from his perspective:  “People don’t understand why they need to do an energy audit, what’s the reasoning behind it. We hear from many homeowners who are complaining on the phone. It needs to be better communicated that an energy audit is a service for the homeowner to show how to make the home more efficient, comfortable, improve the indoor air quality and so on.” (Energy Advisor) 195  Utility staff echoed that public messaging needs to be well tailored to be effective: “We need to advertise all benefits in the language that customers understand better such as comfort, better air quality, and cost savings.” (Utility staff 1)   Barriers	to	Energy	Efficiency	-	Utilities	&	Energy	Advisor			 Total	(4)	Lack	of	customer	awareness.	 100%	"Customers	have	competing	investment	projects."	 75%	High	costs	of	energy	efficient	retrofit	installations.	 75%	Uncertainty	and	changes	in	energy	efficiency	incentives.	 75%	"Advertise	benefits	in	language	that	customers	understand."	 50%	"MURBs	face	split	incentives	and	lack	resources."	 50%	Lack	of	contractor	training	and	certification.	 50%	Lack	of	control	over	contractors.	 50%	Table 4.33 Barriers to Energy Efficiency from the Utilities’ & Energy Advisor’s Perspectives  There was also agreement among the stakeholders that the high costs of energy efficient retrofits and competing investment projects impede the implementation of efficiency measures. Moreover, utility staff acknowledged that the uncertainty and changes in energy efficiency incentives were a hurdle: “It comes down to funding. Today, there is no guarantee that funding continues from one year to another.” (Utility staff 1)   196  On the subject of MURBs, utility staff explained why MURBs are difficult to target for energy efficiency upgrades:   “Most multi-unit residential buildings don’t have energy managers. [..] There is not much take-up. The Strata Council process is difficult to get buy-in from individual owners. [..] Barriers in condos are that we are competing with other projects and investments that the Council wants to implement. The priorities are often different. A set budget needs to be allocated ahead of time.” (Utility staff 2)  Finally, staff members from both utilities described that the lack of control over contractor work as well as contractor training and certification was problematic: “Contractor training is a significant barrier. It is an unregulated sector. Many different levers need to coincide and work together to improve that condition. Equipment is also becoming more complex and more maintenance is required which can be costly.” (Utility staff 3) Another interviewee explained:   “The problem is that business licences are easy to obtain. There is no formal training and guarantee that contractors do work well, particularly for insulation and windows. Heating systems are different because they require electric or gas ticketing. [..] Today, governments and utilities are very hesitant to certify contractors’ work.” (Utility staff 1)  The only direct install partnership both utilities have is for their residential low-income program: “The only exception are low-income programs. We have one partnership with a contractor who installs measures since finding a contractor was seen as a significant barrier for those households.” (Utility staff 1) The Fortis BC staff member revealed that the utility will invest more in contractors in the future. “Fortis relies heavily on contractors but they are hard to control and manage. [..] Contractor training, education, and outreach will be the focus for Fortis going 197  forward. Better quality installations for insulation and heating equipment is a future project for Fortis.” (Utility staff 3)  4.6.7.2 Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs On the subject of energy efficiency incentive programs, all utility staff members converged on the fact that continuous customer engagement was required and that the success of the incentive program depends on contractors: “Incentive programs live or die with contractors.” (Utility staff 1) All stakeholders acknowledged that the cost of the incentives that are paid out to the public are recovered through higher customer rates (see table 4.34).   Energy	Efficiency	Incentives	-	Utilities	&	Energy	Advisor			 Total	(4)	Continuous	customer	engagement	required.	 75%	Success	of	incentive	program	depends	on	contractors.	 75%	Utility	cost	recovery	through	customer	rates.	 75%	"Difficult	to	obtain	through	utilities."	 25%	"Decreased	since	managed	by	utilities."	 25%	Table 4.34 Energy Efficiency Incentives from the Utilities’ & Energy Advisor’s Perspectives  Importantly, the Energy Advisor described that incentive amounts had decreased since the programs were managed by utilities and that they were difficult to obtain: “Utility incentives are complicated for homeowners to understand. They are complicated for us, as Energy Advisors, to 198  fill in the paperwork, and understand and explain to homeowners. [..] We are not actively promoting them.” (Energy Advisor)   When asked about incentive program evaluation and monitoring, utility staff confirmed that strict energy savings measurement and verification were carried out by their organisations (see table 4.35 for details). Before an energy incentive was approved, incremental energy savings achieved by the measure and installation costs were compared. All interviewees reported that random site inspections were carried out to check retrofit installations and that program evaluations were carried out systematically through surveys and billing analysis.   Incentive	Program	Evaluation	&	Monitoring	-	Utilities			 Total	(3)	"Random	site	inspections	to	check	retrofit	installations.'	 100%	Program	evaluation	through	surveys	&	billing	analysis.	 100%	Incremental	energy	savings	and	installation	costs	are	compared.	 67%	Quality	of	installation	determines	energy	savings.	 67%	Strict	measurement	&	verification	of	energy	savings	by	utilities.	 67%	Utility	conflict	of	interest	with	energy	savings	that	are	too	high.	 67%	Table 4.35 Incentive Program Evaluation & Monitoring from the Utilities’ Perspectives  Two of the staff members acknowledged that the utilities had a demand side management mandate but that there could be a conflict of interest for the utility if potential energy savings 199  from efficiency measures were too high or the need for their service was eliminated. An example of this would be the implementation of a fuel switching technology, such as an air source heat pump, in a gas heated home which could cancel the need for gas space heating. Therefore, no incentives have so far been offered for heat pumps under the utility managed incentive programs.  4.7 Inspections As mentioned in the chapter 1, section 1.4, inspections form an integral part of the construction permitting process. Inspections ensure that the work that was planned was actually carried out safely and according to the building by-law. Trade and building inspections will take place during the construction process. The permit is only closed once the construction project has been completed and a final inspection has taken place. The following section first provides an overview of the organisation of the CoV’s inspection department and the allocation of permits. Results of the stakeholder interviews are then presented on the different opinions about inspections, followed by an evaluation of the inspection process obtained through the online survey.   4.7.1 Organisation of Inspections  The CoV currently employs about 25 Building Inspectors, including two Supervisors and a Manager. Supervisors are responsible for allocating the building permits to the inspectors. The objective of the City is to provide a prompt service to industry: Requests for inspections that are received until 2 pm should ideally be carried out within 24 hours.   200  While some building permits are allocated according to inspectors' training and background, in general, all inspectors examine all building types including new construction and existing building projects. In terms of the geographic allocation, Vancouver is broken up into 23 districts and 111 parcels. Each inspector is responsible for 4 to 6 parcels, depending on how dense and busy the areas are. Inspectors work in their respective districts; the aim is to have continuity and to establish a rapport with the local industry professionals. A buddy system exists for each district, supported by a trident system, with the objective of having the same two to three inspectors operate in one district and return to the same construction sites. In reality, however, this is not always achieved due to holidays, sick leave, and other time management issues.   For construction projects that include a development permit, the so-called ‘property enforcement (also called by-law enforcement) staff’ are the case file managers. For projects that only require building permits, the building inspectors are the case file managers. Trade inspectors (gas, electricity, plumbing etc) support the building inspectors and generally need to carry out less enforcement.   4.7.2 Evaluation of Inspections “The building inspector has the ultimate authority. For example, on one of our projects, on the plan, the staircase was drawn to a certain dimension and that was approved [by the plan checker] but the inspector disagreed. He has the authority to make you change what you already built, change the material you already ordered.” (Builder 1)  This quote by a professional highlights the role of the inspector and one of the most frequently reported issues by regulators and regulatees: inconsistency between inspectors. Figure 4.37 201  provides an overview of the opinions expressed by the different stakeholder groups. The homeowner reported their experience with inspections:   “With the inspector, it seemed like a bargaining experience too. He allowed to grandfather certain things in but not others. It seemed arbitrary. Our building company had advised us that it would be a bargain. We needed to offer some things that we would change. But it was not systematic – either there is a rule or there is none. There seemed to be no written guideline, it was at the inspector’s discretion. And each inspector was different and had a different opinion.” (Homeowner)    Figure 4.37 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Opinions about Inspections  Another professional explained a similar experience regarding the inconsistency between plan review and inspections: 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%"Good	relationship	with	certain	inspectors."Inconsistency	between	plan	review	and	inspectors.In	favour	of	same	inspector	per	project.Final	inspections	do	not	always	take	place.Inconsistency	between	inspectors."Inspectors	are	the	final	authority."What	do	you	think	about	inspections?- Stakeholder	ComparisonRegulators	(5) Regulatees	(9)202  “There is too much room for interpretation by inspectors. We had a project recently where we built an in-fill dwelling with a residential fire sprinkler system. But the inspector argued that in the future, the property could be stratified and ‘I’m going to make you do a commercial system’. He made us rip out the entire new sprinkler system and implement a commercial one. It cost us $20,000. But the sprinkler system had been approved by the plan checkers.” (Architect 5)  An inspector described their role: “Building inspectors have the authority in their jurisdiction. This is laid out in part 1 of the Vancouver Building Bylaw. We are like the ‘police’ of the construction industry.” (Inspector 1) He then reported his experience of working in this job: “You have an important reputation in the field, the industry talks a lot. If they hear that they can push you around you have lost. The job entails a lot of conflict. The public is constantly pushing back. Technically, the job is not so difficult but it is a very rough industry.” (Inspector 1)  Interestingly, he also expressed how the role of inspectors has changed over recent years with the introduction of the 2014 revision to the VBBL and insufficient training: “The role of inspectors has changed. It has gone from authority enforcing the code to being a consultant, which is not our role. But it is hard if you don’t help the professionals. We are hand holding people on site! I had to train myself. There is a lot of extra work than there was before.” (Inspector 1)  Another inspector acknowledged that there can be inconsistencies between inspectors, which is not necessarily a bad thing, according to his perspective, due to human errors that can happen: “Sometimes it happens that I ask the builder to change something that has been approved by another inspector. If it is something that has been missed by another inspector. A fresh eye is useful.” (Inspector 2)  203  Another topic that was raised by both stakeholder groups is the lack of final inspections. A professional expressed his opinion: “Final inspections, or occupancy permits, have not always taken place. The City is not always interested in that because they certify the building with it and take the liability and risk.” (Architect 3) An inspector explained that final inspections do sometimes not take place due to heavy workloads:   “There is more than just the inspections. There are all the old buildings and permits that were taken out that we are supposed to follow up on, ask why people haven’t called for inspections in a long time. But this is the first thing that has dropped off. [..] There is thousands of permits out there where we need to find out whether they finished the work.” (Inspector 3)  An illustration of the heavy workload, due to reported understaffing and the high construction activity in Vancouver is provided by the following quote: “We had a goal of 8 inspections per day. But two days ago everyone was doing 15.” (Inspector 3) Another inspector complained: “Staffing and knowledge needs to increase. The staffing levels haven’t changed from before, including inspections, but the complexity has increased considerably over the last 3 years but resources have not changed.” (Inspector 1)  About half of all regulatees converged on the opinion that they would be in favour of having the same inspector on one project: “It would be better if the same inspector came to the same project to ensure consistency. Not 10 different plumbing inspectors, for instance. All inspectors should also be certain and have final authority. If they make a decision, it is final and other inspectors cannot go back on them.” (Builder 1)  204  An inspector confirmed that having the same staff member on one site is the goal but explained why some variation can also be beneficial from his perspective:   “We try to get back to the same site from start to finish but that is not always possible. It often still happens that we cover other districts. Sick leave, vacation and other things make that difficult. We all have the same knowledge. Contractors get to know the inspector and what they particularly insist on or look out for. They don’t like a different inspector showing up who might ask them for something else, that is valid.” (Inspector 1)   Finally, several professionals reported that they have good relationships with certain inspectors. As one of them put it: “Relationships with inspectors are important: There are only a certain number of inspectors in the city so you want to be on good terms with them.” (Architect 1)  Survey Results The online survey asked respondents one question about inspections: how they rate the consistency of inspections with permitting requirements. The findings show that inspections are generally rated rather positively. About one third of respondents (31 percent) considered that the consistency of inspections with permitting requirements is good or very good, followed by another third (34 percent) deeming inspections to be fair (see table 4.36).         Table 4.36 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Consistency of Inspections with Permitting Requirements  Rating of the consistency of inspections with permitting requirements (N = 89)  Percentage Valid Very good 7% Good 24% Fair 34% Poor 20% Very poor 8% I don't know. 8% Total 100% 205  On the other side of the spectrum, there were over one quarter of respondents (28 percent) rating the consistency of inspections as poor or very poor. There was no significant difference in the rating of inspections between respondent groups (p > .05, V < .3). Slightly more professionals than homeowners rated the consistency of inspections positively (32 percent versus 17 percent, respectively). On the other hand, professionals were also slightly more likely to rate the consistency of inspections poorly (30 percent) as opposed to homeowners (25 percent) or DIY renovators (zero percent) (see figure 4.38).   Figure 4.38 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Consistency of Inspections with Permitting Requirements by Respondent Status Chi-Square Test: x2 = 8.53, df = 10, p = .578 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 9.84, df = 10, p = .455  Cramer’s V = .219   8%17%33%24%58%33%30%17%22%8%8%33%8%HOMEOWNERSDI Y 	R ENOVATORSPROFESS IONALSRATING	OF	THE	CONSISTENCY	OF	INSPECTIONS	WITH	PERMITTING	REQUIREMENTS	BY	RESPONDENT	STATUS	(N	= 	89)Very	good Good Fair Poor Very	poor I	don't	know206  Permitting experience also didn’t appear to significantly influence respondents’ rating of the consistency of inspections with permitting requirements (p > .05, V < .3) (see figure 4.39). Respondents with direct permitting experience gave slightly more positive ratings than to those with only indirect experience: the percentage of individuals with direct permitting experience who considered the consistency good or very good (32 percent) was slightly higher than those with indirect experience (27 percent). In particular, those with indirect permitting experience were slightly more prone to rate inspections poorly or very poorly (32 percent) than those with direct experience (24 percent). Interestingly, those with no permitting experience still felt that they had sufficient knowledge to answer the question, albeit that subgroup being very small (N = 3).   Figure 4.39 Survey Analysis: Rating of the Consistency of Inspections with Permitting Requirements by Permitting Experience  Chi-Square Test: x2 = 5.69, df = 10, p = .841 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 6.60, df = 10, p = .763  Cramer’s V = .179  3%10%50%24%22%35%34%50%24%16%8%8%5%10%NO	EXPERI ENCEINDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCEDI RECT 	P ERMI T T ING	EXPER IENCERATING	OF	THE	CONSISTENCY	OF	 INSPECTIONS	WITH	PERMITTING	REQUIREMENTS 	BY 	PERMITTING	 EXPERIENCE	(N	= 	89)Very	good Good Fair Poor Very	poor I	don't	know207  4.8 Unpermitted Renovations This final section of the presentation of the interview and survey findings examines unpermitted residential renovation activity in Vancouver. The level and scope of unpermitted renovations has important implications and consequences, both on an individual level for homeowners and the municipality at large. This section provides a comparison of interview results regarding different stakeholders’ opinions about unpermitted renovations in Vancouver, followed by an analysis of the survey results about estimated levels of unpermitted renovation activity in single family and multi-unit residential buildings. Finally, a summary of the most common reasons for unpermitted renovation activity, both from interviews and the survey, will be presented.    4.8.1 Opinions about Unpermitted Renovation Activity “If the renovation concerns the interior only, then unpermitted work is common.” (Architect 1) “I’m sure small tenant improvements and interior renovations are unpermitted all of the time.” (Architect 3)   These quotes from interviews with professionals reflect the general consensus among the stakeholder groups well. The majority of both regulators and regulatees agreed that a high proportion of unpermitted renovation work takes place in Vancouver. Both stakeholder groups also agreed that unpermitted renovations depend on scope of work and whether internal or external refurbishments were taking place that are visible to the outside or not (see figure 4.40 for details).   208   Figure 4.40 Interview Analysis: Stakeholder Comparison Opinions about Unpermitted Renovations  Interestingly, regulators felt more strongly that undeclared renovations have increased in recent years. This might stem from the fact that they have greater insight in the number of enforcement permits (permits given out for work that started unpermitted) given out in recent years. An inspector explained why he believed that the permitting process and upgrade requirements are largely responsible for the rise in unpermitted retrofit activity:   “Due to code changes and because the City is pushing an agenda that is not clear and the code can be confusing for people who understand construction. [..] This has scared people and has pushed more into unlicensed work, in the underground market, through bureaucracy, convolution and increased requirements.” (Inspector 1)  A similar perspective was expressed by a professional:  0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%Some	work	performed	after	final	inspection.Enforcement	has	become	more	rigorous.Admits	to	doing	unpermitted	work.Unpermitted	work	varies	by	district.Increase	of	unpermitted	work	in	recent	years.Unpermitted	work	depends	on	renovation	scope.High	proportion	of	unpermitted	work.Do	you	think	everyone	always	applies	for	residential	renovation	permits?- Stakeholder	ComparisonRegulators	(5) Regulatees	(9)209  “It [the new code] affected new construction permits but renovation permits saw a similar impact in terms of the timelines it took to get a basic renovation permit. [..] I know there is a lot of unpermitted work going on and I don’t blame people because it is ridiculous. [..] If I had to guess, I would say that there has been a 30 percent uptake over previous trends [before 2015]. There has definitely been a spike.” (Architect 5)  All inspectors mentioned that unpermitted work varies by geography, an observation they can track through comparing the number of enforcement permits among the Vancouver districts. As one inspector put it: “Unpermitted work and complaint files vary from district to district. Mine [in East Vancouver] is heavy in complaint files.” (Inspector 2) His colleague confirmed: “Projects in affluent areas in the West of Vancouver are rarely unpermitted.” (Inspector 1)   About 40 percent of interviewed regulatees confessed carrying out unpermitted work themselves. “I have recommended some clients not to apply for a permit in certain situations. If it is a small renovation, interior only, and they have a good relationship with their neighbours – do the work without a permit. I renovated my own place unpermitted.” (Architect 2)  “We work unpermitted if we can get away with it. It depends on the scope of the work. For interior renovations, such as the bathroom or kitchen, we do without. It also depends on the owner. If the owner wants a permit then we will, of course, get one. But most people don’t want permits. The City of Vancouver has a bad reputation among builders and homeowners.” (Builder 1)   Several City staff reported that enforcement has become more rigorous in recent years although inspectors made clear that they do not actively seek unlicensed renovations. An inspector explained: “Complaints are made because of an unsafe site, noise complaints, or work without 210  permit. We only look at unpermitted work if there is a complaint, due to lack of resources. But if you are on a job site and see other work going on, you can ask for their permit.” (Inspector 3)  When asked whether the new software allows inspectors to check the status of construction sites in the field, a City staff member described: “The Posse system [name of the software] allows to look up addresses and whether they have a permit. [..] This isn’t used yet because there hasn’t been training on it yet. Posse is often also frozen for long times out in the field so it wouldn’t work easily to create an inspection.” (Inspector 3)  One professional mentioned that the practice of deferring work until after the final inspection is also common: “There is a lot of work that people will defer until after the final inspection and then go back in and do. You put a suite in after the final inspection.” (Architect 5)  4.8.2 Estimated Levels of Unpermitted Single Family Renovations Survey respondents were asked to estimate the percentage of single family and multi-unit residential renovations that take place without a permit in Vancouver. They were provided with six different answer options ranging from 0 percent to more than 75 percent including the choice to declare insufficient knowledge (‘I don’t know’).   Overall, estimates for unpermitted residential renovations are high, particularly in single family buildings. Moreover, whereas 17 percent of respondents deemed that they had insufficient knowledge to make an estimate for single-family houses, almost one third (30 percent) chose that option for multi-unit residential buildings.  211          Table 4.37 Survey Analysis: Estimate of Percentage of Single Family Renovations taking place without a Permit by Respondent Status Chi-Square Test: x2 = 7.94, df = 10, p = .635 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 10.67, df = 10, p = .384   For single family buildings, almost one third of respondents (29 percent) estimated that up to half of all renovations take place unpermitted, followed by 19 percent estimating that up to three quarters of renovations take place undeclared and 20 percent believing that even more than 75 percent of renovations are unlicensed. By contrast, only 1 percent of participants believed that there were no unpermitted single-family home renovations.   Homeowners and DIY renovators’ estimates are generally higher than professionals, although there is no statistically significant relationship between respondent status and the estimates of unpermitted renovations. Almost two thirds of homeowners (58 percent) believed that up to or more than 75 percent of renovations take place without a permit in Vancouver and half of the Estimate of percentage of single family renovations taking place without a permit by Respondent Status (N = 86)  Respondents' Status Total Professional Homeowner DIY Renovator   N = 70 N = 12 N = 4   0% 1%   1% up to 25% 14% 17%  14% up to 50% 30% 25% 25% 29% up to 75% 17% 33%  19% more than 75% 17% 25% 50% 20% I don't know. 20%  25% 17% Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 212  DIY renovators considered it to be more than 75 percent, although the sample is very small (N = 4) (see table 4.37 for details).   Interestingly, respondents who do not carry out single family renovations were not shy to estimate the proportion of unpermitted single family renovations. Only 17 percent chose ‘I don’t know’, albeit the sample being small (N = 6). Among those who are not involved in single family home renovations, the estimates of non-compliance were rather high, with 50 percent considering that more than three quarters of single family renovations might be undeclared (see table 4.38 for details). There is no significant relationship between estimates of the percentage of unpermitted single family renovations and experience in single family home renovations (p > .05).   Estimate of percentage of single family renovations taking place without a permit by single family renovation experience (N = 86)  Are you involved in single family home renovations? Total Yes No   N = 80 N = 6  Estimate of percentage of single family renovations taking place without a permit 0% 1%  1% up to 25% 15%  14% up to 50% 30% 17% 29% up to 75% 19% 17% 19% more than 75% 18% 50% 20% I don't know. 18% 17% 17% Total 100% 100% 100% Table 4.38 Survey Analysis: Estimate of Percentage of Single Family Renovations taking place without a Permit by Single Family Renovation Experience Chi-Square Test: x2 = 4.31, df = 5, p = .505 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 4.45, df = 5, p = .486   213  4.8.3 Estimated Levels of Unpermitted Multi-Unit Residential Renovations The proportion of unpermitted refurbishments in multi-unit residential buildings was deemed lower: one third of respondents believed that up to a quarter of multi-unit residential renovations take place without a permit, and 13 percent considered that up to half of all multi-unit renovations could be non-compliant. Again, the opinions of non-professionals were more negative than those of professionals: 17 percent of homeowners and 25 percent of DIY renovators believed that more than three quarters of multi-unit residential retrofits might be unpermitted (see table 4.39 for details). There is no significant relationship between respondent status and estimate of the percentage of unpermitted renovations (p > .05).   There is a higher correspondence between those who do not have direct multi-unit residential renovation experience and those who prefer not to make an estimate. 39 percent of those who claimed insufficient knowledge to answer the question are also not involved in multi-unit residential renovations. Accordingly, respondents who carry out multi-unit retrofits are slightly more represented in estimate categories from up to 25 percent of unpermitted renovations to more than 75 percent of unpermitted multi-unit residential renovations (see table 4.40 for details). Overall, there is no significant relationship between estimates of the percentage of unpermitted renovations in multi-unit residential buildings and experience in multi-unit residential renovations (p > .05).     214  Estimate of the percentage of renovations in multi-unit residential buildings taking place without a permit by respondents' status (N = 90)  Respondents' Status Total Professional Homeowner DIY Renovator   N =74 N = 12 N = 6   0% 7%   6% up to 25% 34% 33% 25% 33% up to 50% 14% 8% 25% 13% up to 75% 4% 25%  7% more than 75% 9% 17% 25% 11% I don't know. 32% 17% 25% 30% Total 100% 100% 100% 100% Table 4.39 Survey Analysis: Estimate of Percentage of Multi-Unit Residential Renovations taking place without a Permit by Respondent Status Chi-Square Test: x2 = 10.98, df = 10, p = .359 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 9.60, df = 10, p = .476   Estimate of percentage of renovations in multi-unit residential buildings taking place without a permit by multi-unit residential renovation experience (N = 86)  Are you involved in multi-unit residential renovations? Total Yes No   N = 29 N = 57  Estimate of percentage of renovations in multi-unit residential buildings taking place without a permit 0% 3% 7% 6% up to 25% 42% 29% 33% up to 50% 19% 10% 13% up to 75% 10% 5% 7% more than 75% 13% 10% 11% I don't know. 13% 39% 30% Total 100% 100% 100% Table 4.40 Survey Analysis: Estimate of Percentage of Multi-Unit Residential Renovations taking place without a Permit by Multi-Unit Residential Renovation Experience Chi-Square Test: x2 = 8.19, df = 5, p = .146 / Likelihood Ratio: x2 = 8.79, df = 5, p = .118   215  4.8.4 Reasons for Non-Compliance “We spoke to a lot of friends and families before our renovation. Everyone recommended not to get a permit and not to get the City of Vancouver involved. The reputation that the City permitting has: They are nightmare to deal with. It will cost a fortune. It will delay everything. If you don’t touch the exterior, better to just go without a permit.” (Homeowner)  This quote from the homeowner, who had started their own home renovation unpermitted, reflects the findings of the interviews and survey well about the main reasons why people decide not to get renovation permits in Vancouver. Figure 4.41 shows a summary of the most frequently mentioned explanations in interviews. All regulatees converged on the fact that the long delay in permit review and issuance is the primary reason why people decide to perform retrofits unlicensed. As one professional put it:   “What is the reason for that [unpermitted renovations]? The City of Vancouver is a hassle to deal with. It requires the same process for a small $50,000 and a million dollar renovation. The time and complexity of the process are the main reasons, the level of complexity that applies to any project, regardless of scale, is a major deterrent.” (Architect 3)  Avoiding complications and restrictions as well as the high cost of compliance with upgrade requirements were also frequently mentioned by interviewees.  216   Figure 4.41 Interview Analysis: Regulatees’ Opinions about Reasons for Unpermitted Renovations  The homeowner described what convinced them to take the risk and not apply for a permit:   “I interviewed five construction companies about the renovation and they all said that they could do it without a permit. ‘It is your choice.’ [..] They were factual about it. ‘If you apply for a permit, we are going to wait for six months, and it will cost you a lot of money. If we are honest with the value of your renovation then this will trigger all sorts of upgrades to your home.’ This would make it impossible for us to afford to finish the basement. These were the things we were told before we started.” (Homeowner)  Asked what she has learned from being forced to get a permit after their unlicensed home retrofit was discovered, the homeowner explained:   “The City of Vancouver would probably want for us to have learned our lesson starting the renovation unpermitted and now tell all of our friends to get permits. But of course, after this experience it is the exact opposite! What I learned from this is how to make sure not to get 0%20%40%60%80%100%Long	delay	in	permit	issuance.Avoid	complications	and	restrictions.High	cost	of	compliance.What	are	the	reasons	for	not	seeking	renovation	permits?Regulatees	(9)217  caught. And that you don’t want to have to deal with the City. And this is terrible and sad.” (Homeowner)  Survey Results Survey respondents were also asked to rank the most important reasons for not seeking renovation permits among seven options. Figure 4.42 shows the average score and standard deviation of all seven options, with 1 being attributed to the most important reason and 7 to the least important.    Figure 4.42 Survey Analysis: Most important Reasons for not seeking Renovation Permits in Vancouver 28                                                 28 Method used: Since survey respondents did not have to rank all options, blank ranks were attributed an average value based on the number of blanks. 5.475.044.744.213.822.871.850 1 2 3 4 5 6 7If	caught	in	violation,	the	penalties	and	consequences	are	insignificant.Owners	don’t	know	that	they	require	a	permit.	High	probability	of	getting	away	without	a	permit.The	permit	process	is	too	expensive.The	permit	process	is	inconsistent	and	unpredictable	across	agents.	The	permit	process	imposes	too	many	requirements/restrictions.The	permit	process	takes	too	long.What	do	you	think	are	the	most	important	reasons	for	not	seeking	renovation	permits	in	Vancouver?	N	=	83(Average	score,	1	=	most	important,	7	=	least	important;	+	SD)218  The results show that there is clear agreement between participants: ‘The permit process takes too long’ leads the ranking with an average score of 1.85. This result stems from 54 percent of respondents considering the delay of the permit process the most important reason for non-compliance and another quarter (27 percent) judged it to be the second most important reason (see table 4.41).   What	do	you	think	are	the	most	important	reasons	for	not	seeking	renovation	permits	in	Vancouver?	(N	=	83)			#1:	The	permit	process	takes	too	long.	#	2:	The	permit	process	imposes	too	many	requirements/	restrictions.	#3:	The	permit	process	is	inconsistent	and	unpredictable	across	agents.	Most	important	 54%	 24%	 8%	Very	important	 27%	 34%	 25%	Important	 12%	 20%	 27%	Moderately	important	 4%	 12%	 16%	Slightly	important	 4%	 4%	 8%	Of	little	importance	 0%	 5%	 16%	Least	important	 0%	 1%	 0%	Total	 100%	 100%	 100%	Table 4.41 Survey Analysis: Top Three Reasons for not seeking Renovation Permits  The second most popular explanation was ‘the permit process imposes too many requirements and restrictions’ with an average score of 2.87. About one quarter of respondents (23 percent) considered it to be the most important reason and one third (34 percent) the second most important (see table 4.41). ‘The permit process is inconsistent and unpredictable across agents’ was voted the third most important reason with an average score of 3.82. The cost of the permit process was considered the fourth most important reason (4.21 average score). 219  Insufficient knowledge by owners, who are legally responsible for obtaining renovation permits, was considered relatively unimportant. Finally, the least important reason for not seeking renovation permits was deemed to be the insignificant level of penalties and consequences, if caught in violation with the law (5.47 average score).   4.9 Discussion and Interpretation of Results As revealed in this chapter, the interview and survey findings are largely congruent and paint a clear picture of the impacts the introduction of the 2014 VBBL has had on industry stakeholders and homeowners who seek renovation permits, on permitting processes, and on City staff and resources. Insights could also be gained on how the energy efficiency requirements and their implementation were received, both by regulators and regulatees, and barriers were identified in achieving current and future more stringent standards for existing buildings.   In sum, it appears that the introduction of the 2014 VBBL coincided with a move to a new location of the Development and Building Services Centre and an internal reorganisation of the permit intake process. Multiple new upgrade requirements were introduced for existing building renovations, most notably the energy efficiency upgrade requirements, accompanied by little City staff training and no increase in internal resources. At the same time, construction activity was high and the application for new and existing building permits increased. A backlog of permit applications accrued and delays of permit review and issuance rose. On top of this, a new IT system was implemented. Industry professionals and homeowners received little communication and training of the new requisites but instead, perceived inconsistency in permitting requirements across agents. These circumstances led to mounting dissatisfaction 220  among regulatees and the City of Vancouver Building and Development department’s reputation suffered. This led in part to a growing number of homeowners and professionals deciding to perform unpermitted residential renovations or to declare lower than actual renovation values to avoid upgrades.   On the bright side, it appears that the key remedies to the multiple reported challenges are similar and that their rapid and timely implementation would provide solutions and relief to many barriers experienced by different stakeholder groups. In the following section, interview and survey results will be systematically discussed and implications and improvement suggestions provided. At the time of writing, it is probable that several of these issues are receiving attention by the City of Vancouver and that improvements are already underway, as was indicated by interviewed City staff.   4.9.1 Renovation Permitting Process  The poor rating of the renovation permitting process in Vancouver and the perceived difficulty of obtaining a renovation permit seem to predominantly result from the permitting challenges that research participants expressed in both the interviews and the online survey. Interestingly, survey participants with indirect permitting experience had slightly worse opinions than those who deal with permitting directly. However, the proportion of those who rated the permitting process highly are similar among both groups. This suggests that individuals who go through the permitting experience second hand frequently get negative reports from their colleagues who deal with the process directly or from the professionals they hire. Another explanation might be that those who don’t have ownership over the process themselves but who are still dependent on 221  the progress and outcomes of the permitting procedures feel the negative aspects more strongly. Another interesting finding was that professionals who work for bigger companies, tended to evaluate the permitting process more poorly. This might be linked to the fact that professionals who work for larger companies have more indirect permitting experience since they are more likely to have colleagues who take care of administrative tasks and permitting procedures.     Moreover, it was also among the non-professionals that the ease of obtaining a renovation permit was rated more poorly. It is understandable that professionals who deal with the permitting procedures first hand and repeatedly have a better understanding of the building code and zoning requirements and find it easier to navigate the process. In general, first attempts frequently appear more difficult and take more effort and over time, we adapt to demands and procedures.   This finding also suggests, however, that the current support services and communication tools are not well adapted to homeowners and non-professionals. Since homeowners are, after all, responsible for obtaining renovation permits it appears important to better target this stakeholder group and tailor communication channels and explanations to them. It is counter-productive for the City to neglect this important stakeholder group since this might encourage the decision-makers to evade the permitting process.   4.9.2 Permitting Challenges The top challenges that emerged from the interviews and survey results were staffing and the long delays in permit review and issuance. Moreover, for regulatees, the inconsistency of permitting requirements and the high cost of compliance were main concerns. The compliance 222  costs were largely rated high due to the perceived many demands, upgrade requirements, and restrictions that the new VBBL imposes. Finally, insufficient communication, both across CoV departments and with regulatees, was seen as problematic.   Permit Process Speed Regarding the speed of permit issuance, an interesting finding was the divergence in opinion between regulators and regulatees on how long it takes to obtain renovation permits. Applicants most commonly reported up to four months, whereas City staff estimated average times to be four weeks to two months. This discrepancy in opinion could be explained by the interviewed sample having in fact had different experiences or by different accounting methods and project types being compared between stakeholder groups. For a systematic and accurate assessment of average permit issuance times, a software extraction and data analysis of permit start and end dates of different residential renovation permit types could be carried out (e.g. single family, multi-unit residential, minor, major renovation). The CoV alone has access to this data and would have to either carry out this analysis or allow an independent third party to access the information. 29  Regardless of the actual permit review length, there was consensus among regulators and regulatees that there is room for improvement. The expressed financial impact that long permit delays have on construction businesses and their customers is something that should be taken very seriously by the City of Vancouver. It would be in nobody’s interest if good quality                                                 29 The researcher requested this data from City of Vancouver staff but never received a response.  223  construction companies become discouraged from building and renovating in Vancouver because of the associated risk to operate in the city. Several interviewees expressed their concern that the current long delays especially disadvantage small architecture and construction firms that have limited capacity to work on multiple projects simultaneously.    Staffing A clear need was expressed to invest into human resources, both in terms of increasing the number of City staff and providing more training to existing permitting review staff and to inspectors. Given that permit reviews and construction practices and equipment have become more complex and that there is a rising number of applications, increasing the human resources budget to invest into staff appears justified. Hiring more staff and providing more high-quality training should have a number of positive impacts: reduce permit review times, improve the consistency in requirements across agents, and increase the accountability and decision-making confidence of City employees.   Permitting Requirements The reported inconsistency in permitting requirements across agents was found to be a major challenge for permit applicants. If requirements are not clear, this has a number of negative knock-on effects: it increases the number of enquiries and questions raised by telephone and email, it raises the number of visits to the Development and Building Services Centre, it increases the number of incomplete applications, it lengthens permit delays and costs businesses and clients more money. Negative ripple effects on City staff, time, and resources are inevitable. 224  Employees have to deal with a higher number of inquiries and they need to contact permit applicants more frequently to obtain missing documents to complete the application.  After a new building bylaw is introduced, a certain adjustment period and learning process is understandable for both regulators and regulatees. However, it appears that the implementation of the new energy efficiency requirements could have been more carefully prepared and tools created in advance to help staff and applicants. To improve transparency and consistency, all rules, requirements and explanations should be clearly documented and be made easily accessible online. In addition, examples could be provided with interpretations and FAQs (frequently asked questions).   Permitting Process Review A holistic review of the permit intake and plan checking process would be commendable to identify valuable ways of streamlining the process. This should include visits to the Development and Building Services Centre in order to reduce the reported long waiting times. A streamlined process would help reduce permit issuance delays, ensure that regulatees can expect predictable timelines, and reduce errors, such as lost permit applications. Improved communication, online application tracking, and regular outreach to industry stakeholders would ensure that regulatees feel more engaged, informed about recent and upcoming changes, and provide more certainty to homeowners and professionals.   Finally, questions can also be raised to what degree a cultural shift towards a heightened customer service attitude would be beneficial to introduce greater accountability of review length, consequences for lost permit applications, and consistency across City staff. Importantly, 225  it has to be considered that the CoV is not alone in accountability for long permit review times but that applicants also need to quickly respond to questions raised by City staff to expedite permit issuance.   4.9.3 Positive Aspects of Permitting While there are important challenges, positive aspects of permitting at the City of Vancouver were also expressed by interviewees. Staffing was the most frequently reported positive element and in particular, positive experiences with individual staff members and inspectors. This finding validates that it is the permitting system and procedures that are perceived as problematic, not the employees themselves. Since it is easier to change processes and systems than people this insight provides confidence that the permitting experience can be improved for all stakeholder groups. Other positive opinions concerned the enquiries centre hotline and the permitting website, which will be discussed next.   The researcher was surprised that only one interviewee reported how renovation permits protect homeowners and clients. In order to raise awareness among the public and industry professionals about the benefits that compliance offers, such as protection against unsafe work, financial and legal implications of future damages, and general peace of mind, these positive aspects should be communicated and emphasised more by the City. Instead of being perceived as a constraint, permitting should be transformed into a desirable service and protection to obtain.    226  4.9.4 Support Services Support services such as the enquiries hotline, the building and renovation website, online checklists, forms, and tutorials, were generally appreciated as valuable services by interviewees. Nonetheless, suggestions were made on how to improve them: the permitting and renovation website provides a lot of useful content but regulatees repeatedly often expressed that greater user-friendliness and ease of navigation would make it a better resource for them. In addition, it was suggested that the content needed to be updated more regularly and that each form should contain instructions, explanations as well as an FAQ section. These needed improvements likely explain why in the survey, respondents generally rated the support services more negatively than positively. Among respondents, non-professionals rated the services more poorly who are also more likely to have indirect permitting experience.   A possible explanation for this finding are the opinions expressed by the interviewed homeowner: she felt that the website was not adapted to the lay person and that it was difficult to obtain straight answers to common questions. Since every renovation starts with a decision by the building owner, who is also responsible for obtaining renovation permits, creating two separate online pathways, one for homeowners and one for professionals, to tailor the language and content to the different stakeholders would be beneficial. The City staff members mentioned in the interviews that this need was recognized by the City and that a new Home Renovation site was being created. It remains to be seen whether this new website will respond to the need.   One City staff member admitted that the renovation permitting process and the requirements have become so complicated today that the technical expertise of a professional is needed to 227  complete the permitting procedures. This is partly understandable, in particular for more complex renovations, but it also raises the question to what extent this evolution raises the renovation cost for owners and discourages them to carry out residential retrofits.   4.9.5 Energy Efficiency Requirements for Existing Buildings 18 months after their implementation, there seems to be a high degree of awareness of the existing building energy efficiency requirements in Vancouver, particularly among professionals. DIY renovators were the only stakeholder group of which a majority did not know about the new regulation. This finding is not surprising since the survey analysis also showed that many of the DIY renovators had either only indirect or no permitting experience.   The stakeholder interviews highlighted that the training, preparation and the communication prior to the requirements’ introduction and throughout the implementation process was judged insufficient, both by City staff and construction professionals. This is an important lesson to be learned by the City regarding future revisions to the VBBL and the introduction of more stringent requirements in the coming years. At the time of the interviews, it appeared that City staff training regarding the current regulation was still desired, especially among inspectors.   The survey findings revealed that the ease of compliance was rated fair but not the cost. In interviews, professionals expressed that renovation costs have increased due to the requirements – a result that was affirmed by the survey. It was particularly non-professionals who rated the cost of compliance high, which might suggest that construction companies charge (significantly) more for energy efficient materials and labour installation costs. Going forward, it will be 228  important for the City to consider how to reduce costs for owners and builders in the future as requirements increase.   4.9.5.1 EnerGuide Evaluations As outlined in chapter 1, section 1.5.1, EnerGuide reports are required for single-family home renovations exceeding $5,000. This is a relatively low threshold and it can be assumed that a large majority of single family renovations needs to obtain this energy evaluation. According to the interview findings, the usefulness of the evaluations seems to largely depend on the individual homeowners, how well the procedures and results are explained to them, and whether they are motivated and interested to improve the energy efficiency of their home. Consequently, it would seem advisable for City staff who deal with homeowners, Energy Advisors, and construction companies to all relay the same message to homeowners by explaining the purpose of the evaluation to them. Energy Advisors, in particular, should take time to explain the results and cost-effective upgrades to their clients. The interview revealed that this was not always the case. It might be difficult to find an open ear among owners who are not at all interested but one should not assume that this is the general attitude. The lay person will likely be keener and more open to such communication if attractive and understandable language is employed: increased comfort, productivity, air quality, reduced heating bills are all benefits that would likely appeal to most people.   The interview results suggested, however, that City staff and inspectors themselves need to be better trained to understand the purpose of the EnerGuide reports and how to interpret the results. The Energy Advisor, in particular, highlighted how he had witnessed discrepancy in the 229  enforcement of upgrade requirements among City employees and mixed-messaging to owners. A subject worth investigating further.   A disquieting finding from the interviews was the variation in reported costs of the EnerGuide evaluation. The Energy Advisor declared charging $500 for an assessment, whereas different regulatees reported costs of up to $1,500. Once of the services that the City could provide to homeowners is guidance on the cost of the evaluation as well as a contact list of recommended certified Advisors so that unlucky homeowners don’t pay three times the required price.   4.9.5.2 Future More Stringent Requirements Survey respondents’ rating of the likelihood of potential impacts of future retrofit requirements that will likely demand more energy efficient heating systems, windows, and additional insulation were slightly contradictory: The effect on the number of renovations was rated quite evenly, with roughly the same proportion of respondents believing that fewer renovations will be very likely as opposed to not likely. However, a large majority believed that future more stringent requirements would likely lead to more demolition and new construction. Regarding the scope of renovations, respondents did not necessarily think that renovations would become more modest. The most striking result that the rating revealed was the relatively high confidence among respondents that fewer permits will be sought in the future. This suggests that if the permitting processes and support services don’t improve before more stringent energy efficiency requirements are introduced, compliance might deteriorate further in the future. This outcome would be highly undesirable for the City since it would make it more difficult to achieve 230  Vancouver’s climate targets and could also translate into lower permit revenues and property taxes for the City (more details on these subjects are provided under section 4.9.7).   Another important insight that this rating revealed was the considerable scepticism among respondents that better heating systems, envelopes, and windows would actually achieve the desired results of reducing energy use and increasing comfort. Just over half of respondents believed that more stringent requirements would likely improve the energy efficiency and comfort of existing buildings. This means that the other half of respondents was not convinced that such requirements would be beneficial. It was particularly professionals who expressed scepticism of these desired outcomes. It is impossible to know whether doubtful respondents thought that the mechanism would be ineffective or that energy efficiency measures wouldn’t yield the desired outcomes.   4.9.5.3 Energy Efficiency from the Utilities’ Perspectives The interviews with the residential Program Managers at Fortis BC and BC Hydro showed that the utilities’ energy efficiency efforts are focused on detached houses. All managers admitted that multi-unit residential buildings and lower income customers are more difficult to target which highlights that there is a clear need for extra support and programs for these market segments, either delivered by public authorities or third parties who specialise on them. The interviewees also mentioned that multiple home retrofit measures are difficult to achieve thereby reinforcing the observation that the depth of retrofits and achieved energy demand reductions are naturally low if left to market forces (see chapter 2, section 2.1 for details).   231  Other reported barriers to energy efficiency were the lack of customer awareness about the possibility and benefits of energy efficient home retrofits, coupled with the high costs of multiple measures, the low energy costs savings, and competing investment desires by owners. The program managers emphasised that awareness raising and tailoring the communication well to the language the general public understands was important. They acknowledged, however, that utility efforts alone are insufficient and that the uncertainty and frequent changes in their own incentive programs were problematic. Contractors and industry professionals are arguably best placed to advertise energy efficiency and incentive programs to their customers and should be better trained on how to sell measures and available subsidies. By the same token, utility managers described how the current lack of contractor training, certification, and the poor quality of installations was a barrier – a subject to be taken seriously and investigated further.   Finally, a relevant finding from the interview with the Energy Advisor was that he admitted to finding the utilities’ incentives programs difficult to navigate and was therefore not actively promoting them to his clients. It should be evaluated whether this lack of knowledge is common among Energy Advisors and if so, efforts should be invested into training them on available incentive programs. They are well positioned to advertise available subsidies to homeowners and could even help them in completing the application. Energy Advisors, in turn, would benefit from selling their services more easily to customers.   4.9.6 Inspections In interviews, several professionals expressed their experience and concern of inconsistencies in requirements among inspectors, as well as between inspectors and with plan review. In the 232  survey, the consistency of inspections with permitting requirements was predominantly rated fair or positively. This might suggest that these inconsistencies are not such a common issue. Regarding the inconsistency between inspectors, interviewed inspectors themselves acknowledged that such events occur. They argued, however, that such incidences can also be beneficial since human errors might occur and one person might emphasise certain valid elements more than another. Both stakeholder perspectives seem compelling and whether a late change on site is legitimate or unjustified likely depends on the specific project and circumstances. However, all City staff should endeavour to provide certainty to professionals and homeowners and be aware that late changes result in additional project cost and time for the owner and professional.   A worrisome finding was the reported role change of inspectors to ‘consultants’. If inspectors frequently need to advise construction professionals on solutions and on how to renovate correctly to meet the building code, this would suggest that builders and contractors require further training and experience.   Finally, multiple different stakeholders expressed that there was a lack of final inspections and that certain permits don’t get closed. One of the explanations given for unclosed renovation permits was the heavy workload reported by inspectors due to the rising number of applications and the greater complexity of construction techniques and materials. Both concerns suggest that more resources are needed for inspection staff, both in terms of staff numbers and training. To understand the magnitude of unclosed renovation permits, an evaluation could be carried out by the City of Vancouver on the number of open permits that have not requested an inspection over 233  the last 12 months for instance. Another worrisome finding was that several professionals explained that people purposefully wait until after the final inspection to carry out changes that would otherwise not be allowed.   4.9.7 Compliance & Unpermitted Renovations The legal and financial implications for homeowners of performing work without a permit were outlined in chapter 1, section 1.3.1. The most important implication of unpermitted work is that it may be unsafe, depending on the quality of the repair, construction, or alteration work. Another implication is that incorrect sewage, plumbing, or electrical work could lead to electrical or water damage, without the homeowner being able to make an insurance claim.   On a municipal level, fewer building permits issued translate into reduced property taxes and permit revenues for the city. Issued renovation permits trigger the actions of the appraisal and tax departments. Thus, when work is done without a permit, the tax revenue will be impacted. Reduced property tax revenues adversely impact general fund revenues and lower permit revenues affect the operating budgets of planning and building departments and other agencies (San Luis Obispo Courts 2008). While the revenue received from renovations, additions, and alteration permits represents only a fraction of the revenues obtained from new construction, the potential revenue impact of high unpermitted retrofit activities should still be considered.   In addition, for jurisdictions, such as the City of Vancouver, that rely on retrofits for energy efficiency upgrade requirements, a high level of undeclared renovation activity also undermines the jurisdictions’ ability to demand and verify energy efficiency upgrades. It therefore reduces 234  the likelihood of achieving and accurately measuring progress towards municipal energy efficiency and GHG reduction targets.   Estimated Levels of Unpermitted Renovations In interviews, both regulators and regulatees believed that the level of unpermitted residential renovations is high in Vancouver. Moreover, both stakeholder groups described how unlicensed work largely depends on the scope of the renovation, with interior renovations that are invisible to the outside being commonly unpermitted. Inspectors also pointed out that the proportion of unpermitted renovations varies by district: according to their experience, renovations in more affluent neighbourhoods of Vancouver are more likely to be licensed. Several City staff and professionals described that the level of unpermitted work has increased in recent years, explaining that additional administration and permitting requirements have deterred compliance. It was telling that several regulatees admitted in the interviews to carrying out unpermitted renovations themselves, either in their own residences or even with clients.    The survey findings affirmed high estimated levels of unpermitted renovation work taking place in Vancouver, in particular in single-family residences. In this building sector, the most frequent estimates ranged from up to half to more than three quarters of residential renovations taking place unpermitted. Interestingly, estimates were slightly higher among those who are not involved in single-family renovations, albeit the sample being small. This might indicate that the very high estimates of more than three quarters are less accurate, since they were more commonly made by those who are not themselves involved in this market segment.   235  For multi-unit residential buildings, the estimates were lower: the most common rating was that up to a quarter of MURB renovations take place unlicensed. However, those who are involved in MURB retrofits were more likely to rate the percentage higher. This might imply that the most frequent estimate is underrated. Another explanation might also be that respondents believed that MURB renovations are more difficult to hide. In Strata managed condos, renovations, even of individual units, require approval from the Strata Council and it is understandable that owners would therefore be less likely to carry out renovations unlicensed. On the other hand, in private rental apartment buildings, one can imagine that unpermitted retrofits are more common, if the landlord decides to go ahead without a permit. It is unlikely that neighbours would ask the building manager or owner whether they obtained a permit.   Another important finding was that a large majority of survey respondents believed it to be likely or very likely that fewer permits will be sought if energy efficiency requirements become more stringent in the future. Overall, these results are troubling and should come as a warning sign to the City of Vancouver.   Reasons for Non-Compliance  The most important reasons for non-compliance are closely linked to the identified permitting challenges: the delay of permit issuance was ranked the most critical reason, followed by the permitting process being perceived as imposing too many requirements and restrictions. Third, the inconsistency and unpredictability of the process was ranked a major deterrent. The results indicate that homeowners and professionals decide not to take out renovation permits not because they believe that compliance is not important or because they do not fear the potential 236  consequences but rather that the current challenges of the permitting process are so serious that they drive people into non-compliance.   On the bright side, the findings suggest that if the CoV works on alleviating the most important challenges – namely reducing permitting delays and improving staff training, consistency, and communication – then unpermitted renovation activity will go down. A clear need was identified through this research to make permitting more desirable and supportive to encourage compliance and reduce costs and efforts for all involved parties. In addition, the City could also develop stronger messaging and communication, targeted at homeowners and professionals, highlighting the benefits and protection that legal renovations offer, as well as emphasising the risks and potential consequences of unpermitted work.   Finally, questions can also be raised to what degree increased enforcement and compliance checking would be beneficial. Heightened control would probably require more staff resources for inspections. As a first step, existing inspectors could be more proactive and carry out spontaneous inspections in the field. Interviewed inspectors expressed that the new IT software possesses this functionality but that it was not yet used due to insufficient training and problems with the software. Finally, if penalties were made more severe and fines increased, this might also dissuade non-compliance. Overall, however, the results show that a more effective method and more urgent need exists to create a positive, supportive environment. This would likely achieve better and more sustainable outcomes than focusing on enforcement.     237  Chapter 5: Conclusion 5.1 Summary A growing number of cities and regions have set ambitious climate targets and pledged to significantly reduce GHG emissions by mid-century. This thesis used Vancouver as a case study to provide insight into the challenges of reducing emissions from legacy buildings through renovation permits. While Vancouver benefits from high levels of new construction, a significant fraction of existing buildings will still be in use by 2050. Residential buildings formed the focus of this research because they occupy nearly three quarters of the floor area and are responsible for almost half of stationary GHG emissions. To start addressing the existing building stock, in 2015, Vancouver was the first Canadian jurisdiction to introduce energy efficiency upgrade requirements for existing buildings at the time of renovation when they apply for building permits. Given that the City has chosen this policy pathway, compliance with renovation permitting requirements is paramount to achieving building energy efficiency and GHG reduction targets.   A literature review of energy regulations for existing buildings provided the contextual understanding for the need of code requirements for legacy buildings, the different policy options available for triggering energy codes, and currently applied policy pathways in North America (chapter 2). An examination of Vancouver’s residential building stock highlighted the housing forms that should be prioritized by the City’s decarbonisation strategy. This was combined with an analysis of renovation permitting statistics over the past decade to calculate residential renovation rates and to forecast the proportion of the existing housing stock that will be renovated by mid-century if current trends continue (chapter 3). Based on stakeholder interviews 238  with those seeking renovation permits, as well as with City staff and inspectors, subjective experiences of the permitting process and of energy efficiency requirements were gathered. An online survey with construction industry professionals and homeowners allowed to obtain a larger sample size; the survey results largely confirmed interview findings. High estimated levels of unpermitted residential renovation activity and common reasons for non-compliance, obtained through interviews and the survey, highlighted potential risks for the City in achieving its building targets (chapter 4). The combined results paint a clear picture of challenges in reducing GHG emissions from legacy buildings through permits and potential steps to ameliorate these.   5.1.1 Renovation Context and Residential Renovation Rates in Vancouver Building use represents the largest single source of emissions in Vancouver. If the City wants to achieve its RCS targets by 2050, it is imperative to achieve significant energy efficiency gains and GHG reductions through deep energy retrofits. Given the local context of a mild climate and low energy prices, the business case for building retrofits and energy efficiency upgrades is relatively unattractive in the Lower Mainland. Residential buildings pose a particular challenge: First, most residential buildings are family homes without the benefit of scale. Second, multi-family residential buildings rarely employ energy managers who could identify potential efficiency gains. Private owners, Strata Councils, and building managers are therefore often less aware of upgrade opportunities; they tend to have little technical knowledge, avoid complications, and are unwilling to take risks. Even when the economics are positive, energy efficient retrofits are frequently declined due to little experience and help with coordinating retrofit projects. Third, opportunities, such as heat reclaim from cooling loads, available in commercial towers are not available in residential settings.  239  The examination of Vancouver’s residential building demographics showed that the age of the housing type does not necessarily predict its GHG intensity: While predominantly having been built in the last 25 years, mid to high-rise condos are the most GHG intense residential archetype, followed by detached homes (which in turn are the oldest housing form in Vancouver). The elevated GHG intensity of mid to high-rise condos can be explained by the fact that this building type often has more energy intensive mechanical systems as well as large window and glass areas which are prone to significant heat loss. Condo’s also frequently possess gas fired energy-intense amenities such as pools, gyms, and fire places. This finding suggests that the City of Vancouver needs to target these worst polluting housing forms to achieve significant emissions reductions in the residential sector.   The empirical investigation of renovation permitting statistics revealed that between 2003 to 2016, the annual residential renovation rate stood at 0.4 to 0.6 percent. If the average renovation rate of 0.5 percent was to be maintained for the next 32 years, only 16 percent of the existing housing stock would be renovated by 2050. Even without considering the actual achieved energy demand reductions from retrofits, these findings indicate that without a significant acceleration in renovation or demolition rates, there will be a considerable stock of legacy buildings and their associated GHG emissions by mid-century unless their energy supply is carbon free.   5.1.2 Upgrade Requirements’ Impact on Permitting Processes The interview and survey results suggested that the introduction of the 2014 VBBL, including the energy efficiency upgrade requirements, were insufficiently prepared and communicated, both internally among City staff and externally to those seeking renovation permits. The 240  consequences have been significant challenges for both stakeholder groups, particularly in terms of staffing (training and staff resources), permit delays, and the transparency and consistency of the permitting process. Moreover, construction industry professionals expressed the negative financial impact the requirements have on their business and customers, due in part to the perceived increase in construction cost, and the prolonged waiting times to obtain renovation permits. An important risk of these challenges is the potential to spur unpermitted renovations – a development that several interviewed City staff members and professionals reported has been taking place since 2015.   5.1.3 Compliance and Unpermitted Renovations The level of unpermitted residential renovations is high in Vancouver. This was the consensus among interviewed regulatees and regulators, especially if the renovation concerns the interior only. But what does high mean and what are the reasons for such perceived, widespread non-compliance? Survey results showed that professionals and homeowners’ most common estimates ranged from up to half to more than three quarters of single family renovations taking place unlicensed. In multi-unit residential buildings, levels of unpermitted retrofits were considered lower. Another insight gained from this research is that the primary reasons why people take the risk to renovate their residence unlicensed are directly linked to the permitting challenges – the long delay of permit issuance and the inconsistency and unpredictability of the process. In addition, the permitting requirements and restrictions appeared to deter professionals and owners further. Another important survey result was that future more stringent energy efficiency requirements, such as more efficient heating systems, windows and more insulation, were largely deemed to discourage compliance further. The results highlight that the pathway the City of 241  Vancouver has chosen of enforcing energy efficiency requirements through renovation permits is at risk of not achieving the desired outcomes. The reported negative consequences that the introduction of the 2014 VBBL, including the energy efficiency requirements, have had on permitting processes and the experienced permitting challenges are to be taken seriously. Moreover, there appears to be a potential for increased unpermitted retrofit activity to avoid code compliance in the future. This outcome would be highly undesirable for the City of Vancouver since it would make it more difficult to achieve the City’s building targets under the current policy framework. It could also translate into lower permit revenues and property taxes for the City. These insights highlight the importance of improving the permitting process and to thoroughly prepare for the implementation of forthcoming updates to the energy efficiency requirements.   5.2 Practical Recommendations and Policy Implications The findings from this research are most applicable to jurisdictions who wish to pursue the same policy pathway as the City of Vancouver and demand existing building energy upgrades at the time of renovation. While the results of Vancouver’s case study reveal many specific details of the consequences of the introduction of the 2015 energy efficiency requirements and of permitting challenges experienced by local stakeholders, the results can be insightful to all jurisdictions that aim to significantly reduce GHG emissions from legacy buildings.   Overall, this thesis has added to the list of city case studies of energy code implementation, enforcement and compliance challenges, specifically in the context of renovation permits. The findings indicate general obstacles to achieving building energy efficiency and GHG reduction 242  targets due to low residential renovation rates. The described difficulties with permitting processes and requirements, both for City staff and those seeking renovation permits, require the attention of City building and permitting departments and City management alike. The interview and survey results helped to identify a number of key lessons learned from Vancouver’s case study and allow to draw conclusions on practical recommendations and policy implications.   5.2.1 Permitting Process Create a Supportive Environment This research highlighted the critical need to create a supportive environment for those seeking renovation permits. Ideally, permitting should be recognized as a resource instead of a constraint by industry professionals and building owners alike. It is only when stakeholders understand the benefits and protection renovation permitting can provide, when they feel supported with the demands the jurisdiction imposes, and ideally even share the goals the City pursues, then compliance with permitting requirements will become desirable.   Invest in Staffing The perspectives and feedback from both regulators and regulatees revealed that investment into staffing at the City of Vancouver’s Development Services, Buildings and Licensing department is pivotal. Investment should consist of increased staff numbers and enhanced and continuous training for staff members dealing with permit enquiries, application review, plan checking, and inspections. Examples of improved training methods, suggested by interviewees, consisted of explanations of how changes and new rules and regulations need to be interpreted, the provision of checklists and practical tools that permitting staff and inspectors can use in their daily jobs, as 243  well as technical training on new energy and building requirements, their impact on building practices and equipment.   Staff members also expressed a desire to be engaged and consulted before modifications and new rules are introduced. It appears important to design an internal consultation process and offer input opportunities to those who deal with industry stakeholders and homeowners on a daily basis. Staff members also expressed the need to understand what the goals of forthcoming changes are and explanations of why updates are introduced. Modifications to existing procedures and new requirements always necessitate adaptation periods, both for internal and external stakeholders; a certain learning period is normal. Augmented levels of support for City staff and those seeking permits, for at least 6 to12 months after the implementation of wide ranging changes, (such as the introduction of a new building bylaw) is recommended. Staff members also expressed the wish for ongoing support and communication with their colleagues and City departments who prepared the policy changes, through repeated training sessions and availability as issues and questions arise.   Streamline Permitting Processes  The main objective of a recommended building permitting process review is to identify opportunities to accelerate permit review and turnaround times in Vancouver. This includes reducing the number of enquiries and visits to the Development and Building Services Centre per permit application and decreasing the wait times at the Services Centre. Conducting a review of permitting processes and procedures across other jurisdictions might be worthwhile for comparison and best practice identification.  244  The expressed desire by many professionals to introduce a Qualified Professional Fast Track system should be the subject of further investigation. How to guarantee fairness among all players would have to be considered, alongside the criteria that would qualify or disqualify a company from such a system. While it appears to be a good idea to reward those businesses that repeatedly comply with requirements and demonstrate a high level of work ethic and commitment, there is a risk of disadvantaging those who only do few renovations in the City and are less familiar with requisites.   Improve Communication and Support Services A clear need was expressed by interviewed regulatees for the City of Vancouver to enhance and complete the documentation of all renovation permitting rules and requirements. Moreover, a handbook of all permitting processes that describes all steps and procedures for homeowners and professionals, including links to forms and checklists, might prove useful to improve the transparency and provide guidance throughout the process.   A renovation and permitting website infrastructure and design review is recommended to improve the easy of navigation, identify outdated content, and make sure that stakeholders easily find the required information and answers to questions they are looking for. Providing easy to follow instructions and an FAQ section for each online form would also be useful.   Consistently notifying professionals of upcoming changes in permitting processes and requirements, in advance of their introduction, is also recommended to enhance communication and provide stakeholders with an opportunity to adapt and prepare. The creation of a renovation 245  permitting distribution list or a regular online newsletter that professionals can subscribe to was requested by multiple interviewees. 30   The research also highlighted the need to provide more targeted communication and support to homeowners who wish to renovate their residence. Since homeowners are responsible for obtaining renovation permits, it appears important to better cater to this stakeholder group, even if only a fraction of them will actually decide to engage in the permitting process directly. A possibility might be to use the City of Vancouver’s community centres for public outreach and engagement.   Other important tools to improve the support to professionals and enhance the transparency of the process are the provision of online application tracking for all permit applicants; this includes the generation of automatic emails to inform applicants of the current permit review status and provide certainty of the expected permit issuance date. Rapid notification messages of incomplete applications and missing documents would also help to reduce turnaround times; In the more distant future, the provision of digital permit submission should be planned. 31 Another useful support service that was mentioned in interviews and ranked as relatively important in the survey was the introduction of a single point of contact and issue resolution process. How this could best be implemented should be the subject of internal review and further                                                 30 The researcher subscribed to a permitting newsletter on the CoV website in spring 2017. At the time of writing (February 2018) not a single notification was received. This suggests that such a service has been created but that it is not yet properly implemented or maintained.  31 A few professionals mentioned that online application tracking had recently been introduced but that it was not consistently available. Others were not aware of this service at all. A City staff member confirmed that the provision of digital permit submission was currently explored but still in its infancy.  246  investigation by the City. It might also be useful to conduct focus groups with industry professionals to better understand what stakeholders’ specific concerns and suggestions are in this regard.   5.2.2 Permitting Statistics Improve Permitting Data Collection and Analysis  The City of Vancouver currently only appears to be systematically recording and analyzing permit data that is related to the number and value of permits and the general building type (e.g., single family homes, row houses, apartments etc). Multiple recommendations can be made to improve permitting data collection and analysis that would help observing trends and inform decision-making:  • Record the renovation type and scope (e.g. minor, major renovation, bathroom renovation, cladding renewal, house extension etc.). • Record the types of energy efficiency measures that are implemented (e.g. wall insulation, window replacements, furnace upgrade etc).  • Record the size of energy efficiency measures or the efficiency of the equipment installed (e.g., sq ft of attic insulation installed, R-value and type of insulation material used, furnace efficiency, etc). • Segment building categories further to capture the exact type of residential building being renovated as well as the number of units in multi-unit residential buildings being affected by the retrofit (e.g. distinguish between rental apartments, condo apartments, social housing etc). In addition, recording the number of annual dwelling units in MURBs that are being 247  renovated (instead of just the number of apartment permits) would allow a more accurate calculation of annual renovation rates for this housing form.  • Segment small permits under $50K further in alignment with thresholds for energy efficiency upgrade requirements (e.g. $5 – $25K and > $25K – $50K) and collect the data systematically for all residential building types (the small permit category appears to be currently only applied to single and row houses).   5.2.3 Energy Efficiency Requirements for Existing Buildings Boost Residential Renovation Rates The analysis of the annual residential renovation rates in Vancouver over the last decade showed that current retrofit rates are low. For the City of Vancouver to achieve its ambitious climate targets, an increase in retrofit rates and high rates of compliance with energy efficiency requirements will be required. The City can, of course, only encourage but not control the level of residential retrofits. In addition, uncertainty remains whether even high levels of compliance with energy efficiency and permitting requirements would ensure that the City achieves its aggressive GHG reduction targets.   In order to drive and support energy efficiency upgrades and fuel switching technologies, the City should work with the provincial government and the energy utilities to develop more extensive retrofit incentives and low carbon financing to make energy code compliance possible and non-punitive for owners. Other support measures that will be particularly important for multi-unit residential buildings are assistance with building energy studies, decision-making, and project management and implementation help. Finally, it seems to be risky to only rely on one 248  policy trigger – namely time of renovation – for enforcing upgrade requirements. The introduction of a combination of different policy measures should be considered, such as performance-based requirements for large buildings. As mentioned in chapter 2, section 2.4.1., building energy benchmarking and disclosure would be the first step for pursuing such a pathway. The City of Vancouver’s regulatory powers are currently limited in these areas. It is advisable for the City to continue to work with other municipalities in the Lower Mainland to lobby the provincial government for a change in legislation and to ideally introduce a province wide benchmarking requirement to ensure uniformity across BC. Once this is achieved, the way would be paved to demand performance improvements for underperforming buildings a few years later.   Evaluate and Ameliorate Enforcement and Compliance Robust enforcement and high compliance rates are critical to improve the energy performance of buildings and unlock deep energy savings. It is therefore important for jurisdictions to provide sufficient education, training, and resources to their own staff as well as to industry professionals. Chapter 2, section 2.5.2. provided an overview of best practices to improve existing building code compliance and enforcement. Based on these best practices and insights gained from this research, the most relevant recommendations for the City of Vancouver are summarized below.  • Provide regular training sessions to local permitting staff members, inspectors, and to industry professionals and keep engagement levels high.  • Schedule multi-disciplinary pre-design meetings for (major) renovation projects for stakeholders with uncertainty and inquiries about the building code so that they can ask all of 249  their questions in one place. Such meetings might perhaps even persuade building owners to go beyond requirements and include additional, voluntary energy upgrades as part of the retrofit.  • Make the VBBL available for free online to encourage compliance.  • Conduct an energy code compliance assessment to acquire the information and data needed to drive improvements in code enforcement efforts. A peer-reviewed methodology has been developed by the City Energy Project. As part of this exercise, an evaluation of and follow-up with open renovation permits that have not called in for an inspection in 6 to 12 months could be included. Moreover, an assessment of the magnitude of unpermitted heating equipment upgrades in single family homes could be conducted. For this purpose, the City of Vancouver could compare the number of gas permits taken out for the replacement of gas-powered appliances (hot water tanks, boilers, furnaces) over the last 5 years, with the number of single family dwellings in the City. Based on the average lifespan of these appliances, it is possible to estimate the number of replacements that take place annually and identify the gap between theoretical replacements and permit numbers.  • Consideration might also be given to setting up a third-party inspection system that outsources energy code plan review and on-site inspections to third-party experts to relieve the development and building department of the burden of developing and/ or retaining in-house capacity.  EnerGuide Evaluations Improve communication to homeowners about the purpose and the results of the EnerGuide evaluation of their house. Permitting staff and certified Energy Advisors should work together to 250  relay the same message to homeowners and explain the benefits of energy efficiency upgrades in a language that is tailored to the public. There also appears to be a need for Energy Advisors to be trained on currently available utility incentives which would allow them to better promote upgrades and their own services to homeowners. To avoid for owners to be charged more than the competitive market rate, the City of Vancouver could provide advice on their website on the cost of an EnerGuide evaluation and provide contact details of Energy Advisors that charge this rate. It would also be interesting to track the effectiveness of these home evaluations in terms of convincing homeowners to perform cost-effective, voluntary upgrades. For this to be accomplished, the Development, Building and Licensing department would need to record the implemented energy efficiency measures after the completion of evaluations.   5.3 Limitations and Future Research Research Limitations One of the major limitations of the research methods is that the results are very specific to Vancouver and the transferability and generalizability of the findings to other jurisdictions are somewhat limited. Conducting similar analysis in other jurisdictions that have also introduced energy efficiency requirements via renovation permits would help address this shortcoming.   The unequal number of respondents among the different stakeholder groups, in both the interviews and the survey, does not allow to make perfectly accurate comparisons between the different groups. For the survey, the small sample size and the self-selection bias of respondents are the biggest limitations. Moreover, using the catch phrase “improve residential renovation and permitting” to recruit participants might have appealed more to those who have had negative 251  experiences and believe that permitting processes should be ameliorated. It is generally those with neutral experiences that are least motivated to respond.   It is also important to emphasize that the perspectives gathered in the interview and the survey represent a snapshot of opinions and experiences at a certain point in time (namely the first half of 2017) when data was gathered. Systems and processes might have already evolved and opinions changed. In particular, it is possible that the City might have already initiated some of the improvement suggestions – which would be highly desirable.   Finally, the documented levels of non-compliance in the single family and multi-unit residential sectors stemming from the survey are based on stakeholders’ estimates of unpermitted renovations taking place in Vancouver. They do not result from an empirical analysis of the level of unpermitted renovations and therefore only provide an indication of what the reality might look like. Non-compliance is inherently difficult to measure. Conducting an energy code compliance assessment, such as mentioned in chapter 2, section 2.5.2, and an evaluation of the magnitude of unpermitted gas appliance replacements, as proposed in section 5.2.3., would provide a more accurate picture of the proportion of non-compliance.   Moving Forward Several future research directions arise from the results of this thesis. First, this study has not evaluated at what level of stringency energy efficiency and upgrade requirements would have to be to dramatically reduce GHG emissions from existing buildings. As mentioned in chapter 1, section 1.5, Vancouver’s current energy retrofit requirements are aimed at reducing GHG 252  emissions and energy use from existing buildings by 20 percent below 2007 levels by 2020. It would be useful to conduct an analysis that outlines the energy efficiency and fuel switching requirements that would be necessary to reach the much deeper GHG reductions desired by mid-century. In this context, an assessment of which types of technical upgrade requirements are suitable for which building types and which combination of prescriptive, compliance, and outcome based pathways should be pursued, would be valuable.   A second related field of inquiry would be to establish a forecast for Vancouver of which building types and housing forms are most likely to disappear, in favour of which building types, by 2050. Having an understanding of the buildings that don’t need to be prioritized by decarbonisation because they will likely be taken down over the next decades, as well as the geographic areas that are most likely going to be affected by increased density and demolition rates could provide useful background for the City in shaping its strategies.   Energy efficient incentive programs live and die with contractors. This was the perspective expressed by the interviewed utility managers. It would therefore be useful to conduct a best practice review of other jurisdictions’ efforts in this field and to evaluate how contractors and installers could be better incentivised to sell relevant energy efficiency upgrades to their customers. Targeting this stakeholder group would have a greater multiplier effect than aiming at building owners themselves.   The interviews with utility managers suggested that there is currently a lack of contractor training and certification in BC which affects the quality of energy efficiency installations (in 253  particular for insulation and windows). 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Assessment of Energy Efficiency Achievable from Improved Compliance with U.S. Building Energy Codes: 2013–2030, Institute for Market Transformation, Available at: http://www.imt.org/uploads/resources/files/IMT_Report_Code_Compliance_Savings_Potential.pdf (Accessed November 24, 2017)  Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) 2017. UBCM 2017 Resolutions Book, Available at: http://www.ubcm.ca/assets/Resolutions~and~Policy/Resolutions/2017_UBCM_Resolutions_Book.pdf [Accessed November 10, 2017]   U.S. Department of Energy n.d. Compliance and Enforcement Basics, Building Energy Codes Program, Available at: https://www.energycodes.gov/compliance/basics (Accessed November 24, 2017)  VanGeem, M. 2016. Energy Codes and Standards, Whole Building Design Guide, Available at: http://www.wbdg.org/resources/energy-codes-and-standards (Accessed November 20, 2017)  Westerhoff, L., Coté, S., Chu, A., Sheppard, S., Burch, S., & Paul, S. 2017. Motivating communities to retrofit their homes: The potential of thermal imaging in BC. Pacific Institute For Climate Solutions, Victoria. Available at: http://pics.uvic.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/Thermal_Imaging_WP_WEB.pdf [Accessed November 10, 2017]   264  Appendices Appendix A   Total Residential Construction Permit Values for the City of Vancouver, 2005 – 2015   Value of Residential Construction Permits by Building Type for City of Vancouver, 2005-2015 (New & Renovation)   		 2005	 		 		 2006	 		 		 2007	 		 		Row	Labels	 Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Vancouver,	BC	 $1,019,229	 2,249	 $453	 $1,046,837	 	2,128		 $492	 $1,427,967	 	1,840		 $776		Multiple	 $760,199	 	628		 $1,211	 $785,513	 	692		 $1,135	 $1,206,077	 	578		 $2,087			Apartment	 $692,716	 	394		 $1,758	 $764,549	 	390		 $1,960	 $1,163,688	 	342		 $3,403							Apartment	 $427,028	 	384		 $1,112	 $343,745	 	374		 $919	 $859,454	 	311		 $2,764							Apartment	-	Condominium	 $265,688	 	10		 $26,569	 $420,804	 	16		 $26,300	 $304,234	 	31		 $9,814		Double	 $1,019	 	4		 $255	 $1,573	 	5		 $315	 $6,102	 	21		 $291							Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	 $584	 	3		 $195	 $1,573	 	5		 $315	 $6,102	 	21		 $291							Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	-	Condo	 $435	 	1		 $435	 	 	 	 	 	 		Row	 $63,522	 	14		 $4,537	 $15,024	 	12		 $1,252	 $33,257	 	15		 $2,217							Row	House	 $63,522	 	14		 $4,537	 $15,024	 	12		 $1,252	 $25,045	 	13		 $1,927							Row	House	-	Condominium	 	 	 	 	 	 	 $8,212	 	2		 $4,106							Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $2,942	 	216		 $14	 $4,367	 	285		 $15	 $3,030	 	200		 $15		Single	 $259,030	 	1,621		 $160	 $261,324	 	1,436		 $182	 $221,890	 	1,262		 $176							Single	House	 $249,866	 	995		 $251	 $255,089	 	986		 $259	 $215,947	 	851		 $254							Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $9,164	 	626		 $15	 $6,235	 	450		 $14	 $5,943	 	411		 $14	Grand	Total	 $1,019,229	 	2,249		 $453	 $1,046,837	 	2,128		 $492	 $1,427,967	 	1,840		 $776	    265   Value of Residential Construction Permits by Building Type for City of Vancouver, 2005-2015 (New & Renovation)   		 2008	 		 		 2009	 		 		 2010	 		 		Row	Labels	 Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Vancouver,	BC	 $659,943	 	2,067		 $319	 $775,874	 	2,083		 $372	 $1,014,638	 	2,550		 $398		Multiple	 $417,416	 	845		 $494	 $564,978	 	984		 $574	 $689,777	 	1,129		 $611			Apartment	 $406,019	 	588		 $691	 $530,948	 	610		 $870	 $655,550	 	790		 $830							Apartment	 $113,723	 	458		 $248	 $52,310	 	303		 $173	 $284,148	 	642		 $443							Apartment	-	Condominium	 $292,296	 	130		 $2,248	 $478,638	 	307		 $1,559	 $371,402	 	148		 $2,509		Double	 $914	 	2		 $457	 	 	 	 $1,205	 	4		 $301							Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	 $914	 	2		 $457	 	 	 	 $1,205	 	4		 $301							Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	-	Condo	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 		Row	 $6,404	 	12		 $534	 $28,254	 	12		 $2,355	 $27,838	 	14		 $1,988							Row	House	 $6,404	 	12		 $534	 $28,254	 	12		 $2,355	 $27,718	 	13		 $2,132							Row	House	-	Condominium	 	 	 	 	 	 	 $120	 	1		 $120							Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $4,079	 	243		 $17	 $5,776	 	362		 $16	 $5,184	 	321		 $16		Single	 $242,527	 	1,222		 $198	 $210,896	 	1,099		 $192	 $324,861	 	1,421		 $229							Single	House	 $237,154	 	865		 $274	 $204,770	 	710		 $288	 $319,049	 	1,081		 $295							Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $5,373	 	357		 $15	 $6,126	 	389		 $16	 $5,812	 	340		 $17	Grand	Total	 $659,943	 	2,067		 $319	 $775,874	 	2,083		 $372	 $1,014,638	 	2,550		 $398	      266    Value of Residential Construction Permits by Building Type for City of Vancouver, 2005-2015 (New & Renovation)   		 2011	 		 		 2012	 		 		 2013	 		 		Row	Labels	Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Vancouver,	BC	 $1,117,560	 	2,821		 $396	 $1,525,676	 $2,796	 $546	 $1,446,732	 	2,465		 $587		Multiple	 $718,388	 	1,353		 $531	 $1,039,921	 $1,353	 $769	 $971,779	 	1,275		 $762						Apartment	 $706,576	 	964		 $733	 $1,022,390	 $924	 $1,106	 $939,337	 	907		 $1,036						Apartment	 $596,088	 	885		 $674	 $852,671	 $895	 $953	 $853,647	 	904		 $944						Apartment	-	Condominium	 $110,488	 	79		 $1,399	 $169,719	 $29	 $5,852	 $85,690	 	3		 $28,563		Double	 $150	 	1		 $150	 	 	 	 	 	 						Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	 $150	 	1		 $150	 	 	 	 	 	 						Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	-	Condo	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 		Row	 $5,108	 	5		 $1,022	 $9,840	 $4	 $2,460	 $25,818	 	9		 $2,869						Row	House	 $5,108	 	5		 $1,022	 $9,840	 $4	 $2,460	 $25,818	 	9		 $2,869						Row	House	-	Condominium	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 						Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $6,554	 	383		 $17	 $7,691	 $425	 $18	 $6,624	 	359		 $18		Single	 $399,172	 	1,468		 $272	 $485,755	 $1,443	 $337	 $474,953	 	1,190		 $399						Single	House	 $392,419	 	1,115		 $352	 $481,953	 $1,217	 $396	 $472,557	 	1,033		 $457						Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $6,753	 	353		 $19	 $3,802	 $226	 $17	 $2,396	 	157		 $15	Grand	Total	 $1,117,560	 	2,821		 $396	 $1,525,676	 $2,796	 $546	 $1,446,732	 	2,465		 $587	      267   Value of Residential Construction Permits by Building Type for City of Vancouver, 2005-2015 (New & Renovation) 		 2014	 		 		 2015	 		 		 2005	-	2015	 		Row	Labels	Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Permit	Values	Number	of	Permits	Average	Permit	Values	Total	Permit	Values	Total	Number	of	Permits	Vancouver,	BC	 $1,407,470	 	2,570		 $548	 $2,336,371	 	2,809		 $832	 $13,778,297	 	26,378		Multiple	 $935,875	 	1,321		 $708	 $1,859,286	 	1,552		 $1,198	 $9,949,209	 	11,710		Apartment	 $919,023	 	899		 $1,022	 $1,793,521	 	1,032		 $1,738	 $9,594,317	 	7,840		Apartment	 $601,121	 	883		 $681	 $943,780	 	954		 $989	 $5,927,715	 	6,993		Apartment	-	Condominium	 $317,902	 	16		 $19,869	 $849,741	 	78		 $10,894	 $3,666,602	 	847		Double	 $641	 	1		 $641	 $2,285	 	2		 $1,143	 $13,889	 	40		Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	 $641	 	1		 $641	 $2,285	 	2		 $1,143	 $13,454	 	39		Semi-Detached	or	Double	House	-	Condo	 	 	 	 	 	 	 $435	 	1		Row	 $8,673	 	6		 $1,446	 $54,130	 	58		 $933	 $277,868	 	161		Row	House	 $8,173	 	5		 $1,635	 $49,026	 	56		 $875	 $263,932	 	155		Row	House	-	Condominium	 $500	 	1		 $500	 $5,104	 	2		 $2,552	 $13,936	 	6		Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $7,538	 	415		 $18	 $9,350	 	460		 $20	 $63,135	 	3,669		Single	 $471,595	 	1,249		 $378	 $477,085	 	1,257		 $380	 $3,829,088	 	14,668		Single	House	 $467,740	 	996		 $470	 $473,484	 	1,033		 $458	 $3,770,028	 	10,882		Small	Project	(permits	under	$50K)	 $3,855	 	253		 $15	 $3,601	 	224		 $16	 $59,060	 	3,786		Grand	Total	 							$1,407,470	 	2,570		 $548	 $2,336,371	 	2,809		 $832	 $13,778,297	 	26,378		 Table 6.1 Value of Residential Construction Permits by Building Type for the City of Vancouver, 2005 - 2015 (Source: Statistics Canada 2017)   268  Appendix B  Survey: Building Renovation and Permitting in Vancouver  	Institute	for	Resources,		Environment	&	Sustainability	2202	Main	Mall	Vancouver,	BC	Canada	V6T	1Z4	Tel:		(604)	822-7725			Fax:		(604)	822-9250			Website:	www.ires.ubc.ca	 Survey:	Building	Renovation	and	Permitting	in	Vancouver			The	results	of	this	survey	will	assist	in	streamlining	building	permitting	processes	and	providing	better	support	services	to	permit	applicants.	By	participating	in	this	survey,	you	will	make	a	significant	contribution	to	help	achieve	this	objective.	All	information	will	only	be	reported	in	aggregate.	An	individual	participant's	responses	will	remain	strictly	confidential.		Study	team:	Dr.	Hadi	Dowlatabadi,	Principal	Investigator,	Institute	for	Resources,	Environment	&	Sustainability	(IRES),	University	of	British	Columbia	(UBC),	email:	hadi.d@ubc.ca;	Michaela	Neuberger,	Co-Investigator,	MA	Candidate,	IRES,	UBC,	email:	m.neuberger@alumni.ubc.ca;		Study	description:	The	survey	consists	of	14	multiple	choice	questions	and	will	take	approximately	15	minutes.	Results	will	be	reported	in	Michaela	Neuberger’s	graduate	thesis	and	may	be	published	in	journal	articles	and	books.	The	results	may	also	inform	the	City	of	Vancouver	building	regulation	and	permitting	protocols.	The	City	of	Vancouver	will	not	have	access	to	data	that	could	identify	individual	participant’s	responses.	Risks	and	benefits:	There	is	no	direct	negative	impact	for	individuals	who	participate	in	this	survey.	Any	indirect	concerns	are	addressed	below	(e.g.	privacy).	Your	participation	will	help	official	decision-makers	better	understand	the	needs	of	permit	applicants.	Privacy:	All	survey	responses	are	confidential.	Data	collected	by	this	survey	will	be	housed	on	a	Canadian	server	by	fluidsurveys.com	and	will	not	be	used	or	shared	by	them.	Participant’s	name	or	company	name	will	not	be	collected	or	identified	in	any	publication.	Contact	for	concerns	about	the	rights	of	research	subjects:	If	you	have	any	concerns	or	complaints	about	your	rights	as	a	research	participant	and/or	your	experiences	while	participating	in	this	study,	contact	the	Research	Participant	Complaint	Line	in	the	UBC	Office	of	Research	Ethics	at	604-822-8598	or	if	long	distance	e-mail	RSIL@ors.ubc.ca	or	call	toll	free	1-877-822-8598.	Participant	consent:	Participation	in	this	study	is	optional.	If	you	are	not	comfortable	answering	any	question	you	can	skip	it	and	still	complete	the	survey.	You	may	leave	the	study	at	any	time.	If	the	survey	is	completed,	it	will	be	assumed	that	consent	has	been	given.	You	must	be	19	years	or	older	to	consent.		269  Residential	Renovation	Permitting		A	renovation	permit	is	usually	required	when	you	make	additions	or	alterations	to	existing	buildings.	For	certain	minor	types	of	work,	no	permit	is	required.	You	will	be	asked	questions	about	different	aspects	of	the	permitting	process	and	your	perspective	on	permitting	in	the	City	of	Vancouver.			1.	Are	you	a	construction	industry	professional	or	homeowner?	Please	choose	which	answer	primarily	applies	to	you	in	relation	to	most	residential	renovation	projects.		 	 Professional	–	I	get	hired	to	carry	out	residential	renovations.		 Homeowner	–	I	own	the	project	but	hire	a	professional	company	to	complete	the	renovation	on	my	property.			 DIY	renovator	–	I	complete	the	renovation	on	my	property	myself.			2.	Please	indicate	the	approximate	number	of	residential	buildings	you	have	been	involved	in	renovating	over	the	past	5	years.	Please	estimate	the	number	of	building	renovations	per	building	type.	Write	“0”	if	none	apply.	Single-family	houses	 	 	Multi-unit	residential	buildings	 	 	I	don’t	know.	 	 	 [Please only answer questions 2.b and 2.c if you have been involved in BOTH SINGLE and MULTI-UNIT residential renovations.] 2.b.	Does	the	renovation	permit	process	differ	between	single-family	and	multi-unit	residential	renovations?	Please	select	the	appropriate	answer.		 Yes.		 No.		 I	don’t	know.	   270  2.c.	If	you	answered	‘Yes’	to	question	2.b.	above,	please	explain	how	the	permit	process	differs	between	the	building	types.	Please	enter	your	answer	in	the	box	below.			3.	Normally,	who	takes	care	of	renovation	permit	applications	and	associated	administrative	duties?	Please	select	the	appropriate	answer.		 I	am	that	person.		 A	professional	company	(e.g.,	consultant,	builder,	contractor).		 Individual(s)	inside	my	company.			 No	one	(my	project	doesn’t	involve	a	permit).				 I	don’t	know.	 [Please only answer question 4.a. if you are a construction industry PROFESSIONAL.] 4.a.	Overall,	how	would	you	rate	the	renovation	permitting	process	in	Vancouver	compared	to	other	municipalities	in	Metro	Vancouver?		 Very	poor	 Poor	 Fair	 Good	 Very	good	 I	don’t	know/NA		 	 	 	 	 	    271  [If you are a HOMEOWNER or DIY RENOVATOR, only answer questions 4.b-4.e if you have direct experience with renovation permit applications.]  4.b.	How	would	you	rate	the	ease	of	obtaining	a	renovation	permit	in	Vancouver?		 Very	poor	 Poor	 Fair	 Good	 Very	good	 I	don’t	know/NA		 	 	 	 	 		4.c.	How	would	you	rate	the	speed	of	obtaining	a	renovation	permit	in	Vancouver?		 Very	poor	 Poor	 Fair	 Good	 Very	good	 I	don’t	know/NA		 	 	 	 	 		4.d.	How	would	you	rate	the	transparency	and	consistency	of	the	renovation	permitting	process	in	Vancouver?		 Very	poor	 Poor	 Fair	 Good	 Very	good	 I	don’t	know/NA		 	 	 	 	 		4.e.	How	would	you	rate	the	cost	involved	in	obtaining	a	renovation	permit	in	Vancouver?		 Very	low	cost	 Low	cost	 Fair	 High	cost	 Very	high	cost	 I	don’t	know/NA		 	 	 	 	 		 	272  5.	How	would	you	rate	the	support	services	the	City	of	Vancouver	provides	throughout	the	permitting	process	(e.g.,	enquiries	hotline,	online	checklists,	forms	and	tutorials)?		 Very	poor	 Poor	 Fair	 Good	 Very	good	 I	don’t	know/NA		 	 	 	 	 		6.	How	would	you	rate	the	consistency	of	inspections	with	permitting	requirements?		 Very	poor	 Poor	 Fair	 Good	 Very	good	 I	don’t	know/NA		 	 	 	 	 		7.	What	is	your	estimate	of	the	percentage	of	single-family	renovations,	costing	more	than	$5,000,	taking	place	without	a	permit	in	Vancouver?		 0%	 Up	to	25%	 Up	to	50%	 Up	to	75%	 More	than	75%		 I	don’t	know.		 	 	 	 	 		8.	What	is	your	estimate	of	the	percentage	of	renovations	in	multi-unit	residential	buildings	taking	place	without	a	permit	in	Vancouver?		 0%	 Up	to	25%	 Up	to	50%	 Up	to	75%	 More	than	75%		 I	don’t	know.		 	 	 	 	 			 	273  9.	What	do	you	think	are	the	most	important	reasons	for	not	seeking	renovation	permits	in	Vancouver?		Please	select	up	to	7	reasons	and	rank	them	in	order	of	importance	from	1	to	7.	1	=	most	important	and	7	=	least	important.		 The	permit	process	is	inconsistent	and	unpredictable	across	agents.			 People/Owners	don’t	know	that	they	require	a	permit.			 High	probability	of	getting	away	without	a	permit.			 If	caught	in	violation,	the	penalties	and	consequences	are	insignificant.			 The	permit	process	is	too	expensive.		 The	permit	process	takes	too	long.		 The	permit	process	imposes	too	many	requirements/restrictions.		 Other.	Please	specify	_______________________________________________________________________________		10.	How	could	you	(and	your	company)	be	better	supported	to	comply	with	building	regulations	and	permitting	requirements?		Please	select	up	to	7	options	and	rank	them	in	order	of	importance	from	1-7.	1	=	most	important	and	7	=	least	important.		 Pre-application	checklist	including	sample	forms,	online	tutorials,	and	common	pitfalls.		 Provision	of	digital	permit	submissions	and	online	application	tracking.			 Predictable	and	shorter	delays	in	permit	review	and	issuance.		 Adequate	number	of	well	trained	City	staff.			 Streamlining	visits	to	the	Development	and	Building	Services	Centre.		 Single	point	of	contact	and	issue	resolution	process.		 Qualified	Professional	Fast	Track	(rewarding	professional	applicants	with	accelerated	processing).			 Other	(please	specify)	_______________________________________________________________________________	274  11.	Are	you	aware	that	since	2015	renovation	permits	may	trigger	energy	efficiency	assessments	and	upgrades?		Please	select	the	appropriate	answer.		 Yes.		 No.		 I	don’t	know.		Below	is	a	summary	of	energy	efficiency	retrofit	requirements	for	single-family	houses	since	2015.			Permit	Value	 Requirement	<	$5,000	 No	energy	upgrades	required.	$5,000	-	$25,000	 EnerGuide	assessment	$25,000	-	$50,000	 EnerGuide	assessment	&	Weather	Sealing	>$50,000	 EnerGuide	assessment	&	Weather	Sealing	&	Attic	Insulation		12.	How	would	you	rate	the	ease	of	complying	with	these	energy	efficiency	requirements?			 Very	poor	 Poor	 Fair	 Good	 Very	good	 I	don’t	know/NA		 	 	 	 	 		13.	How	would	you	rate	the	cost	involved	in	complying	with	these	energy	efficiency	requirements?			 Very	low	cost	 Low	cost	 Fair	 High	cost	 Very	high	cost	 I	don’t	know/NA		 	 	 	 	 			275  14.	In	the	future,	retrofit	requirements	will	likely	demand	more	energy	efficient	heating	systems,	windows,	and	additional	insulation.	How	do	you	think	this	will	affect	residential	renovation	projects?			 	 Not	at	all	likely	 Slightly	likely	 Somewhat	likely	 Very	likely	 Extremely	likely	 I	don’t	know	Fewer	renovations	 	 	 	 	 	 	More	modest	renovations	 	 	 	 	 	 	Fewer	permits	will	be	sought	 	 	 	 	 	 	More	demolitions	and	new	construction	 	 	 	 	 	 	Improve	the	energy	efficiency	of	existing	buildings	 	 	 	 	 	 	Improve	the	comfort	of	existing	buildings	 	 	 	 	 	 		Your	Background		 [Only answer questions 15 and 16 if you are a construction industry PROFESSIONAL.]	15.	What	type	of	company	do	you	work	for?		Please	choose	the	most	appropriate	company	type.		 Construction	company/Builder		 General	contractor		 Subcontractor/Trade	contractor		 Developer		 Equipment	Installer		 Engineer		 Architect/Designer		 Design	and	Build		 Other	(please	specify)	 	 	276  16.	How	many	people	work	at	your	company?		Please	indicate	the	total	number	of	staff.		 1-9		 10-49		 50-249		 250	+		17.	For	how	many	years	have	you	been	working	in/doing	building	renovations	in	the	Vancouver	area?	Please	select	the	total	number	of	years.	 	 Less	than	1	year		 1-5	years		 6-10	years		 10	+	years		Demographics	This	final	set	of	questions	will	help	us	compare	your	responses	to	the	general	population	of	British	Columbians.	As	with	all	other	answers	you	submit	they	will	be	kept	confidential	and	only	be	reported	in	aggregate.		18.	Please	select	your	age	group.		 	 	 18-34	years		 35-44	years		 45-54	years		 55-64	years		 65-74	years		 75	years	and	older		 Prefer	not	to	answer.				 	277  19.	Please	select	your	gender.			 	 Male	 			Female	 			Prefer	not	to	answer		20.	What	is	the	highest	level	of	education	you	have	completed?			 	 High	school	and	less			 Technical	school	/	Diploma	program		 Bachelor	studies			 Graduate	or	post	graduate	studies		 Prefer	not	to	answer.		SURVEY	COMPLETE	–	THANK	YOU		Thank	you	for	completing	the	survey.	Your	participation	is	greatly	appreciated	and	will	provide	vital	information	to	help	streamline	building	permitting	processes	and	provide	better	support	services	to	permit	applicants	in	Vancouver.			We	value	your	feedback.	If	you	have	any	final	comments,	please	enter	them	in	the	box	below.		Please	be	specific	and	include	details.			 										 	278  Appendix C   Survey Invitation Card   Figure 6.1 Illustration of the Front and Back of the Survey Invitation Card designed by the Researcher   

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