New technologies and approaches to building green are emerging every day. Whether you're a builder or developer, a home owner, business owner or energy manager, there are many ways to conserve energy, water, and resources.
Below are links to government programs and green building resources including current information, incentives, and organizational support.
Natural Resources Canada – Office of Energy Efficiency
ecoENERGY Efficiency for Housing
The ecoENERGY Efficiency for Housing program encourages the construction and retrofit of low-rise residential housing through the EnerGuide Rating System (for both new and existing homes), ENERGY STARÒ for New Homes, and the R-2000 Standard.
ecoENERGY Efficiency for BusinessesThe ecoENERGY Efficiency for Businesses program provides tools to improve the energy performance of new and existing commercial and institutional buildings through Canada’s National Energy Code for Buildings and the ENERGY STARÒ Portfolio Manager energy benchmarking tool.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada’s national housing agency. In addition to its role in financing housing in Canada, CMHC also produces high-quality research on the state of the industry and on new approaches to homebuilding. This includes research on sustainable building and community design as well as demonstration projects.
EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative
EQuilibrium™ is CMHC's national Sustainable Housing Demonstration initiative. The program works with private- and public-sector participants to develop homes that combine resource- and energy-efficient technologies with renewable energy technologies.
CMHC Green Home Program
The Green Home Program provides financial incentives to homebuyers or owners seeking to purchase or refinance an energy-efficient home.
Green building resources
Local Environmental Organizations
EnviroCentre offers home energy assessments for new and existing homes. An energy assessment is an in-depth inspection of your home that helps homeowners decide how best to invest in improving comfort, energy efficiency and air quality in their home.
Gas and Electricity Utilities – Conservation and Energy Management Programs
Hydro Ottawa Electricity Conservation Programs
As the local electricity distributor for most of the Ottawa area, Hydro Ottawa administers a number of programs and incentives to reduce electricity consumption and peak power demand. There are programs for residential, multi-unit residential, commercial, and industrial customers, as well as for social and assisted housing and for homebuilders.
Enbridge Gas Conservation and Energy Management Programs
Enbridge offers incentives and technical support for customers seeking to reduce their gas usage and improve the efficiency of their facilities. There are programs for commercial, institutional or multi-unit residential customers; industrial gas users; and small businesses and restaurants. Enbridge also offers programs and support to builders and contractors.
The Green Roof Directory
Greenroofs.com offers a wealth of information on green roofs and green walls, including introductions to the green roof concept and technologies, a searchable project database and an extensive list of links to green roof resources.
Third-Party Green Building Rating Systems
LEED and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC)
The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) administers the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard in Canada. LEED Canada includes rating systems for new buildings, operations and maintenance of existing buildings, interior fit-ups, speculative multi-tenant buildings, and new neighbourhoods.
CaGBC has a local office in Ottawa which offers a variety of workshops and training opportunities.
Green Globes is a rating system used in the United States and Canada and applied to new construction, operations and maintenance of existing buildings, and fit-ups of commercial interiors.
In Canada, the Green Globes system for the operation and maintenance of existing buildings operates under the BOMA BESt brand.
The Building Owners and Managers' Association Building Environmental Standards (BOMA BESt) standard is used to establish and maintain environmental management practices in existing commercial buildings.
R-2000, ENERGY STAR and Energuide
The R-2000 Standard is a voluntary, industry-endorsed standard administered by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency. It has become a widely-accepted benchmark for energy efficient new home construction in Canada, and focuses on energy efficiency, indoor air tightness and quality, and environmental responsibility in home construction.
NRCan's Energuide rating system is designed to measure a home's energy efficiency, primarily with regards to heating efficiency. The ministry also promotes the ENERGY STAR for Homes label, which confirms that a house is substantially more efficient than the minimum standard required by the building code.
Passive House (or Passivhaus) is a rigorous energy efficiency standard developed in Germany. It is designed to produce buildings so airtight and so well insulated that they do not require artificial heating or cooling. Passive Buildings Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Passive House standard in all types of buildings in Canada.