5. LEADERSHIP IN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN (LEED) PROMOTION PILOT PROGRAM
PROGRAMME PILOTE DE PROMOTION DU SYSTÈME LEADERSHIP EN MATIÈRE D'ÉNERGIE ET D'ENVIRONNEMENT (LEED)
That Council approve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) promotion pilot program.
Que le Conseil approuve le programme pilote de promotion du système Leadership en matière d'énergie et d'environnement (LEED).
1. Deputy City Manager's report Planning, Transit and the Environment dated 27 November 2007 (ACS2008-PTE-ECO-0005).
2. Extract of Draft Minutes, 8 January 2008.
Report to/Rapport au :
Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement
and Council / et au Conseil
Directrice municipale adjointe,
Planning, Transit and the Environment Management/
Contact Person/Personne ressource : Carol Christensen, Manager/Gestionnaire, Environmental Sustainability/Durabilité de l’environnement, Economic and Environmental Sustainability/Viabilité économique et de la durabilité de l’environnement
(613) 580-2424 x21610, Carol.Christensen@ottawa.ca
RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT
Assumptions and Analysis:
Planning and Environment Committee has requested that staff investigate options for providing incentives for promoting the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system in the private sector.
LEED or green buildings provide a number of private and public benefits including less energy consumption, less potable water use, less solid waste, healthier indoor environments, and less overall environmental impact. Building to a LEED standard is increasingly seen as good business, and good for the community.
Municipalities are therefore interested in promoting LEED and, as in the case in Ottawa with the City Green Building Policy, this often starts with municipal construction projects. While there are some incentive programs in Canada, most interested municipalities are in the exploratory stage. There are many more active programs in the United States. Measures include providing information resources and guidelines, applying checklists and "green" approvals streams in the approvals process, fee rebates for LEED projects, bonuses such as increased density for LEED projects, and money for design assistance and certification expenses.
LEED projects are now appearing in Ottawa with 14 projects currently certified or registered on the Canada Green Building Council web site. These include City building projects under the City Green Building Policy, institutional projects such as the new CUPE headquarters and the new Rideau Valley Conservation office, and multi-residential projects such as the Currents on Wellington Street and development at LeBreton Flats. LEED is becoming a market driven initiative and a business case can be made that the incremental cost for building LEED projects is returned in lower operating costs and market advantage. In the low rise residential sector, Energy Star or R2000 housing is also becoming more of a market standard.
In recognition of the public benefits of LEED projects and the business case that can be made for LEED standards, a pilot promotion program is proposed that involves four components:
Hypothèses et analyse :
Le Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'environnement a demandé que le personnel étudie des options visant à fournir des mesures incitatives pour la promotion du système d'évaluation LEED dans le secteur privé.
Les bâtiments LEED ou écologiques offrent de nombreux avantages privés et publics, notamment une consommation d'énergie et une utilisation d'eau potable moins grandes, une réduction des déchets solides, des milieux intérieurs plus sains et un impact global plus faible sur l'environnement. La construction qui respecte les normes LEED est de plus en plus considérée comme une pratique saine pour les affaires et aussi pour la collectivité.
Par conséquent, les municipalités sont intéressées à promouvoir le programme LEED et, dans le cas d'Ottawa et de sa politique sur les bâtiments écologiques, cela commence souvent par les projets de construction municipaux. Même s'il existe au Canada quelques programmes incitatifs, la plupart des municipalités intéressées en sont encore à l'étape exploratoire. Il y a de nombreux programmes plus actifs aux États-Unis. Les mesures incluent les suivantes : fournir des lignes directrices et des ressources liées à l'information, appliquer des listes de vérification et des courants d'approbations « écologiques » au processus d'approbation, en plus des rabais pour les projets LEED, des primes, par exemple pour l'intensification des projets LEED, et des fonds pour l'aide à la conception et les dépenses liées à l'accréditation.
Les projets LEED commencent à voir le jour à Ottawa : il y a, en effet, 14 projets actuellement accrédités ou inscrits sur le site Web du Conseil du bâtiment durable du Canada. Ces derniers incluent les projets de construction de la Ville régis par la Politique de cette dernière sur les bâtiments écologiques, les projets institutionnels comme le nouveau siège social du SCFP et le nouveau bureau de l'Office de protection de la nature de la vallée Rideau, ainsi que des projets d'immeubles à logements multiples, par exemple les copropriétés « The Currents » sur la rue Wellington et le nouvel ensemble résidentiel sur les plaines LeBreton. Le système LEED est en train de devenir une initiative axée sur le marché, et on peut établir un plan de mise en œuvre où le coût différentiel de la construction de projets LEED se traduit par des coûts d'exploitation moindres et des avantages commerciaux. Dans le secteur des résidences basses, les maisons Energy Star ou R2000 sont également en train de devenir une norme du marché.
Dans le but de reconnaître les avantages publics des projets LEED et du plan de mise en œuvre qui peut être élaboré pour les normes LEED, on propose un programme pilote englobant les quatre composantes suivantes :
Répercussions financières :
Le financement (130 000 $) du programme pilote d'incitatifs à la conception, à la promotion et à l'analyse des résultats du projet pilote a été approuvé et inclus dans le budget des immobilisations de 2008.
Consultation publique et commentaires :
Il y aura des séances de consultation tout au long du projet pilote. Jusqu'à présent, nous avons procédé à une consultation amicale afin d'avoir un aperçu des approches potentielles.
On March 9, 2007, Planning and Environment Committee directed staff to investigate the establishment of incentives specifically aimed at encouraging the construction of buildings that achieve a LEED designation and report back on findings and recommendations. There has also been direction to explore promoting green roofs, one of the green building technologies which can contribute to LEED credits.
Staff have completed an initial review of work elsewhere on LEED incentives and promotion and had some preliminary discussions on possible approaches. This report recommends an initial program consisting of four components which will allow the City to begin promoting LEED and Green Building in the private sector through a pilot project and analysis. The initial program is designed to assess green building measures and approaches in Ottawa and determine the most constructive role for the City to play within the context of actual LEED building projects.
It is also important to note that the City has shown leadership in its own buildings through the Green Building Policy and the installation of a green roof. This leadership now sets the stage for a more active role in community and private sector promotion of green building approaches including green roofs and LEED.
Green buildings are designed to achieve high levels of environmental performance in design, construction and operation within the context of economic and social considerations. Energy, water and resource efficiency, occupant comfort and well-being, site development and community context, and the economics of building construction and operation are all considered Green buildings take advantage of natural processes to generate less waste, less pollution, and reduce their overall environmental footprint, and may:
Green buildings can contribute to reduced demand on municipal infrastructure for servicing, transportation and energy. They can also make a major contribution to meeting City environmental objectives. For example, 58 per cent of the community green house gas emissions (GHG) in Ottawa can be attributed to energy use in the building sector so efforts to reduce the footprint and resource consumption of the building sector is a critical component of any GHG reduction strategy. It has been suggested that improvements in energy use in existing and new buildings are one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to reduce GHG emissions.
Meeting GHG reduction targets at a corporate level has proven to be attainable due in a large part to the degree of control the City has over its own operations and building practices. The City Green Building Policy and its use of LEED is a case in point. At the community level, progress is more difficult and is compounded by the lack of direct control the City may have over reduction measures. Creative and incremental approaches are therefore required in partnership with stakeholders in the community.
LEED projects provide environmental, economic and social benefits. Successful Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects have resulted in:
A LEED building may reduce City infrastructure costs, provide some indirect public benefits depending on the technologies/measures used, and further City design objectives depending on the LEED credits obtained. The City has a direct interest in some of the LEED credits. While all green building measures such as internal air quality are of interest to the City in terms of quality of life and resident’s health, some credits have a direct bearing on City infrastructure responsibilities and capital spending. In some cases, Green building measures on a cumulative basis will save the City infrastructure dollars. These include credits related to:
LEED provides assessment systems at a range of scales and building types. There is LEED for:
Ø Neighbourhood development (community planning scale)
Ø New Construction (larger commercial, institutional, multi-residential buildings)
Ø Homes (Low rise residential)
New construction of larger buildings (primarily commercial including multi-residential and institutional) can now be assessed through an approved Canadian version of LEED NC (new construction) while the LEED for Homes and LEED for Neighbourhood Development rating systems are currently in the pilot project stage in Canada. While these systems operate at different scales and target different development types, there are common characteristics and assessment categories. The LEED for New Construction checklist is included as Document 1. This system has been previously described in some detail in reports to City Council as a result of the City Green Building Policy which applies LEED standards to new City construction.
Green roofs have a number of benefits which contribute to LEED credits including reducing storm run-off from more frequent storms, reducing heating and cooling costs through improved insulation, and reducing ambient air temperatures thereby reducing the urban heat island effect.
In Ottawa, green buildings are now becoming more commonplace. There are currently 14 registered LEED projects (on the Canada Green Building Council web site) with some highlights listed below:
For low-rise residential construction, Energy Star homes provide a selection of energy saving features such as extra insulation, more energy efficient windows, and Energy Star appliances. Ottawa is known as an Energy Star leader in Ontario with most residential developers offering Energy Star options and some builders providing Energy Star exclusively (e.g. Tamarack) or within a particular development (e.g. Jackson Trails by Tartan homes)
The R2000 standard includes a broader range of environmental requirements (for example, environmentally friendly materials) which go beyond energy savings and also involves a more rigorous testing and certification system with each residential unit being tested. Some development companies are providing R2000 housing and Urbandale has made a recent commitment to construct a substantial portion of their new housing to an R2000 standard.
There has also been a pilot "equilibrium" or net zero-energy house (a CMHC sponsored competition) designed in Ottawa by Minto developments. LEED for homes builds on these systems by including credits related to community design and location which look beyond the environmental features of the individual home.
Green building and use of rating systems such as LEED (as a design tool if not an actual certification process) is increasingly seen as good business. The benefits in terms of productivity, reduced operating costs, and market advantage in terms of lease and resale values are proving to be greater than the initial additional capital cost. It is therefore difficult to justify simple subsidies or direct financial incentives for simply building LEED projects. In fact, LEED will not continue to expand if there is not a business case. The challenge is determining what the most constructive role is for the City to play in helping to grow the industry and acknowledge the public benefits of these projects.
Green Building Incentives:
Measures encouraging or promoting green building measures fall into several categories:
1. Education through Green Design and Building Resources.
· A number of municipalities provide web links and production of material for distribution on green buildings
2. Public Sector Leadership.
· Willingness to adopt green building technology and green design in the public sector is a prerequisite to community promotion.
3. Green building approvals process.
· This requires some agreement on what kind of projects would get special treatment, and how this would work. Some municipalities offer a LEED resource person to assist design teams, and expedited approvals processes.
4. Design Assistance Programs.
· These programs provide resources (for example some money to cover additional design and certification costs) to support the integrated design process and certification.
5. Direct Incentives.
· These programs provide direct grants to offset additional building costs for measures such as Green Roofs.
6. Fee and charge rebates.
· These programs provide reduced fees or development charges for Green Projects.
· Some additional tools are emerging from recent changes in the Planning Act and the building code is changing to improve energy efficiency components. Additional regulatory measures will require changes to the Official Plan and discussion with the development community.
8. Guidelines and checklists.
· These measures involve tools to ensure that green design measures are considered in the development process. It ensures that the "have you considered" questions are asked, that creative green design solutions are on the table, and that good green development is promoted and rewarded.
9. Review of bylaws and practices.
· Some municipalities have reviewed existing bylaws and standards to explore changes that could incrementally move building standards towards LEED levels.
Document 2 provides a summary of municipal incentive and programs elsewhere. Programs are most common in the United States where LEED has been in place longer. Municipalities such as Chicago and Seattle have incentive programs, which include expedited approvals processes, fee rebates, technical support and direct incentive dollars. Some U.S. cities such as Boston have taken the step of requiring LEED standards through municipal regulations. In Canada, programs are much less common but a number of municipalities are examining options and have put in place some initial incentives. Examples include:
In Ontario, a number of municipalities including Caledon, London, Pickering, Burlington and others are at a similar stage as Ottawa in that they are exploring options and completing background work.
There is a business case for LEED and Green Buildings and there is now a proven track record and considerable market penetration in some cities. The Green Building industry has advanced that the cost premium is now in the two-five per cent range for certified/silver with demonstrated pay-back so direct incentives for simply building green should not be necessary.
Regulatory options are limited in that the powers under the Planning Act and standards under the Building Code are established at the Provincial level and, unlike some other jurisdictions, the City cannot set environmental performance measures related to such green building strategies as insulation, daylighting, mechanical systems, and materials use which exceed those standards. However, recent changes in the Planning Act have expanded municipal powers to address some aspects of green buildings as they relate to building exteriors such as green roofs.
There may be some opportunities to provide targeted incentives for specific measures that can help the City reduce infrastructure costs and address infrastructure issues but additional work is required to assess what measures may be considered and how to target any incentive programs. Current City studies and policy development in areas related to servicing, waste management in the ICI sector, and stormwater management policy all are looking at the contribution of green buildings. For example, the potential of using green roofs to meet stormwater objectives and address extraneous flows is being explored. In addition, the recent Brownfields Strategy included LEED design certification expenses as eligible expenses. Providing an incentive to simply build a LEED building may or may not result in reduced costs to the City depending on the LEED credits incorporated in the design. It is also important to note that some LEED credits rely on ongoing operating practices which must continue after any approval and construction stage for benefits to be realized.
The City has a direct role to play as an approvals authority under the Planning Act and related legislation such as the Building Code. Any measures the City can take to ensure that Green Building projects are dealt with efficiently would be beneficial. Other municipalities have created “green” approvals streams with either expedited approvals processes or special approvals “teams” to address more innovative green building projects and these measures are mentioned frequently as obvious high value incentive approaches.
LEED buildings will need to go through a development approvals process regardless and are unlikely to constitute a large approvals workload initially so a separate integrated “Green Path” in approvals should be relatively manageable, particularly as a pilot project. The City approvals and permitting process already works on an aggressive and tight timeline, and staff are becoming more familiar with green building projects and LEED. Building Code Services also has a program in place for dealing with new and innovative technology in the permitting process. However, concerns with moving green buildings through the approvals process have been raised so the approvals process should be reviewed by stakeholders to allow the City to assess if a "green" approvals process would be helpful, and manageable from a resource perspective.
The City also has an interest in learning more about costs/benefits and potential value of City interventions and actions, as well as an interest in the design process and good urban design as outlined in the Official Plan.
Staff involvement in the design process of some pilot projects would allow the City to become more knowledgeable about improving the integrated design process and promote credits of particular interest to the City including green roofs.
Given these observations, it is proposed to initiate a LEED promotion pilot program in 2008 with four components.
1. Design and application of a Green Building Design Checklist
As a part of the pilot program, a Green Building design checklist will be designed based in the approved Design Framework in Annex 3 of the Official Plan. The checklist would be used as a tool in the development approvals process to ensure that the objectives in the Design Framework are considered during development approval, and to begin to monitor the extent that sustainable design and green building measures are being incorporated into development and which measures are being considered and why. The checklist would be designed to be relatively easy for a proponent to complete at the pre-consultation stage of development, and update at the final approval stage. It would also serve as a tool to track consideration of green roofs which have not to date been prominent in private development applications. It will be developed during the pilot program period in consultation with stakeholders and applied to the pilot projects as well as other development proposals.
2. Reviewing Green Building Measures in the context of the Official Plan review
Many of the measures involved in green building and LEED are beyond the regulatory powers of the municipality. The City cannot establish its own building standards beyond those in the Building Code, and cannot regulate design matters that are beyond those empowered in the Planning Act.
Recent amendments to the Planning Act and the Provincial Policy Statement do provide some additional tools. The recent Community Improvement Official Plan Amendment established as part of the Brownfields Strategy incorporated one new tool in that energy efficiency and environmental measures are listed as a rationale for improvement programs. Other new tools require some changes in Official Plan policy which would logically be discussed during the upcoming Official Plan review. Examples include:
Potential Green Building policy measures will be identified and discussed during the Official Plan review.
3. Green Pathway LEED Pilot project
This is a program to provide design and LEED certification assistance to projects that will commit to LEED and an open design process including cost/benefit analysis and design charette. The City would provide some design assistance dollars, assist in the LEED certification process, and commit to an “integrated approvals process” with priority consideration.
This project will provide an opportunity to explore several green building tools in the context of actual building projects rather than the abstract. During the pilot projects, the integrated approvals team would look closely at the development approvals process to identify opportunities to provide additional assistance in terms of the process and timing to LEED projects. It will also provide an opportunity to explore City regulations and standards to see if there are any obstacles to green building measures, or any ability to adjust City requirements, within the context of legal empowerment and authority, to move closer to LEED or green building standards. Finally, it would provide an opportunity to complete some staff training and education through the use of practical case study information. Greater staff awareness and familiarity with green building approaches and LEED will also assist promotion and approval of LEED standards. All of these benefits would be more meaningful in the context of the practical case studies or pilot projects.
A proponent would commit to:
– Waste Management (75 per cent reduction)
– Water Conservation (30 per cent reduction)
– Energy Management (40 per cent reduction)
– Heat Island Effect roof
The City would commit to:
Ø LEED registration costs
Ø Design Charette costs
Ø LEED certification costs
Ø Extra design costs related to energy modelling and daylight and materials analysis
An additional $10 000 would be provided to a project that meets the Heat Island Roof credit through the use of a Green Roof.
The program would accept three projects as follows:
1. LEED New Construction office/commercial building
2. LEED New Construction multi residential building
3. LEED for Homes pilot
Projects would have to otherwise conform to the policies and permitted use provisions in the Official Plan. Brownfield projects would not be eligible if they are participating in the Brownfields program which includes similar incentives for design/certification expenses.
After the pilot projects are complete, a lessons-learned report including cost benefit information will be completed along with recommendations for the most constructive and cost-effective approach to ongoing municipal promotion of green building technologies, green roofs, and the use of the LEED rating system.
While there is considerable material available, some customizing will be required to focus on elements of particular interest in Ottawa, and promote and disseminate the results of the pilot project. There will be a project initiation forum, report on lessons learned and potential future options, and a one-day workshop and evening forum on the results of the project and possible future measures. Pilot projects will also be profiled and promoted on the City web site. City staff will also look at ways to increase the profile of environmental measures within the Ottawa Urban Design awards
Environmental performance of buildings, and sustainable site design, has significant public and private benefits that will only increase as resource costs go up and issues around sustainability, public health and climate change adaptation emerge. The challenge is in determining the most constructive role for the City within the limits of regulatory powers and financial resources. The initial package of measures suggested in this report will:
A follow-up report with lessons learned and future recommendations will be brought forward on completion of the pilot project and Official Plan review.
CITY STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS
Promotion of green buildings and use of LEED in the private sector supports a number of the City Strategic Directions including:
It is also supportive of the Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan and the Environmental Strategy.
LEED projects have a significant number of environmental benefits as described in the body of this report. The pilot projects will have direct environmental benefits and by helping shape and inform an ongoing City program, will result in increased market penetration of green buildings and LEED certification.
Consultation will occur throughout the pilot project phase with stakeholders and the development industry, including initial consultations to further refine the details of program components. To date, various components of the pilot program have been discussed with the Environmental Advisory Committee and informally with industry stakeholders.
Document 2 Summary of municipal programs elsewhere in North America
Santa Monica also offered $20 000-$35 000 to developers designing to LEED standards and no one took it but they are soon to offer fast tracked development approval and that is generating more interest. Goal is to have all buildings over 10 000 square feet LEED certified by 2010.
Cincinnati, Ohio: Allows for a 100 per cent tax break for LEED certified commercial and residential buildings for 15 years for new construction and 10 years for renovations (with maximum limits).
Howard County, Maryland: All new county projects are required to meet LEED silver, expedited permits for projects seeking LEED gold or platinum are also given.
Issaquah, Washington: Expedites permits for those projects meeting LEED certification and provides consultation to developers using LEED standards.
LEADERSHIP IN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN (LEED) PROMOTION PILOT PROGRAM
PROGRAMME PILOTE DE PROMOTION DU SYSTÈME LEADERSHIP EN MATIÈRE D'ÉNERGIE ET D'ENVIRONNEMENT (LEED)
The following correspondence was received and is held in file with the City Clerk:
· Letter of support dated January 7, 2008 from the Canada Green Building Council
· Motion of support from the Environmental Advisory Committee from its meeting of November 8, 2007
David Miller, Planner III, and Carol Christensen, Manager of Environmental Sustainability, were present to respond to questions. A PowerPoint presentation was also circulated and is held on file with the City Clerk.
Pauline Rochefort, president of the Canadian Wood Council, referenced concerns previously noted in an email to the Deputy City Manager of Planning, Transit and the Environment, dated January 7, 2008 (held on file with the City Clerk). Specifically, Ms. Rochefort asked that the report not be adopted in order to consider other options, stating the following:
· LEED only endorses wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), one of three certification bodies.
· LEED does not require third party certification of alternative building materials.
· Wood is the number one building material in residential construction in Ontario and Canada and its use is growing in non-residential construction.
· Canada’s Athena Institute explained how the CO2 absorbed by growing forests results in wood products from a life cycle approach having a very friendly environmental footprint.
· Other jurisdictions, such as California, have recently backed away from LEED-only policies or programs.
· A continuous improvement approach to green building policies must be enacted to allow consideration of future innovation and advancements.
· The City of Ottawa should insist on the use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in any building rating system encouraged by the City for evaluating environmental performance.
· The pilot must be inclusive and incorporate the voice of Ontario Wood WORKS in support of the City’s green building promotion program.
· For residential construction, the City of Ottawa should continue to encourage all existing Ontario programs, such as R2000 and Energy Star.
In response to questions from Councillor Wilkinson, Ms. Rochefort confirmed LEED allocates points if a minimum of 50 per cent of wood products is certified in accordance with FSC principles and criteria. She said the majority of Canadian wood products found in home improvement stores or used in residential construction are certified. The majority of Canadian wood products are certified according to the Sustainable Forestry Management Standard, which is not recognized by LEED. Ms. Rochefort emphasised the industry would like to see the City of Ottawa encourage the use of all wood certification systems.
Mr. Miller responded that the materials component of building rating systems was the biggest challenge. He noted staff was aware of discussions between the wood industry and the Canada Green Building Council regarding certification. He emphasised the objective of the pilot project is to begin promotion of greener buildings. LEED was chosen, as it is a building rating system that has the greatest market penetration in Ottawa. Issues raised by Ms. Rochefort would be looked in the course of the pilot.
Councillor Desroches touched on the lack of partners in the funding of this project. Mr. Miller stated the first step was to receive 2008 budget approval. Now that municipal funding is in place, partners will be identified and approached for financial and in-kind contributions.
Staff was directed to pursue a partnership with Hydro Ottawa, which has promoted energy conservation. Chair Hume confirmed he and Councillor Harder, as members of the Hydro Ottawa Board of Directors, would bring this matter forward as well.
Responding to questions from Councillor Wilkinson with regard to other potential certification programs and concerns related to the cost of certification, Mr. Miller advised the objective is to achieve green buildings and a third party certification is essential. He added individual technologies could be pursued.
Councillor Wilkinson indicated two significant municipal buildings would be constructed in her ward in the next year or so and should be covered under this type of initiative.
Mr. Miller clarified this pilot deals specifically with private development, but municipal buildings fall within the City’s Green Building Policy. In response to a question from Councillor Doucet, Mr. Miller advised the project is targeted to new construction.
That Planning and Environment Committee recommend that Council approve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) promotion pilot program.
CARRIED, with G. Hunter dissenting.