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Green buildings

Energy Conservation and Demand Management

In accordance with Ontario Regulation 507/18 enacted under the Electricity Act, 1998, the City of Ottawa is now required to prepare, implement and publish an energy conservation and demand management plan for the operation of its facilities. The energy conservation and demand management plan has two important components:

A summary of the City of Ottawa's energy consumption from its operations:

City of Ottawa - Energy consumption in municipal facilities in 2019 [PDF - 176 KB]

The City of Ottawa's Conservation Demand Management Plan 2019 [ PDF - 329 KB ]

LEED buildings in Ottawa

Buildings account for a large share of energy consumed. In Ottawa, almost 50% of greenhouse gas emissions come from heating, cooling, lighting and operating the building stock.

Green builders follow rating systems such as LEEDTM and Green Globes, while others do their best to reduce their projects' impact on climate, water use, and air quality. Ottawa currently has over 100 LEED certified buildings of which 12 are owned by the City of Ottawa.

City of Ottawa – Leading by example

The City of Ottawa is committed to reducing the environmental impacts of its building operations. Learn more about the City’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint:

  • Green Building Policy for the Construction of Corporate Buildings – Corporate Policy:  Adopted in 2005 and amended in 2007, this policy requires that all newly constructed City buildings with a footprint greater than 500 square metres be designed at minimum to a LEEDTM Certified standard. A total of 12 City buildings have received LEEDTM certification to date.
  • Energy Consumption in Municipal Facilities (2012): A summary report of the energy consumption of City facilities in 2012.
  • 2012 Green Buildings Promotion Program (If you would like a copy of the report, please contact Emma Langham, emma.langham@ottawa.ca) : On July 11, 2012, Ottawa City Council passed the 2012 Green Buildings Promotion Program which recommends a variety of activities that the City of Ottawa can undertake to further promote green building construction in the city.
  • 2014 Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan: On May 28, 2014, Ottawa City Council approved the 2014 Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan.  The Plan recommends a number of actions to reduce energy consumption in Ottawa’s building stock.
  • Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan 2015: This plan identifies the City of Ottawa’s strategy for conservation of electricity, natural gas, oil, propane, and water over a five year period (2015-2019) in City facilities. 
  • A number of organizations are continually adding to the green building knowledge base, promoting sustainable building, and offering incentives and support for green builders.

For Green Building related City reports, please see:

Resources for building green

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.

Government Programs

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 Businesses The 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

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.

Green Roofs

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

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.

BOMA BESt

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

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.