High Performance Development Standard

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The High Performance Development Standard is a collection of voluntary and required standards that raise the performance of new building projects to achieve sustainable and resilient design. The High Performance Development Standard consists of three tiers of performance. The standards, also known as ‘metrics’ in Tier one are mandatory. Tiers two and three contain higher level voluntary standards.

Sustainable and resilient design in new development supports public health and safety, environmental protection and responds to climate change, all of which are priorities within Ottawa’s new Official Plan. Over the last two decades, many municipalities across Ontario have instituted what are commonly referred to as "green development standards". These have proven to be an effective tool in building capacity within the industry to advance the sustainability and resiliency in new developments.

Using the authority set out under the Planning Act, the City will phase in minimum performance measures for new developments that require site plan and plan of subdivision approval. This will begin when the new Official Plan comes into effect.

We welcome you to explore this page to learn more about the High Performance Development Standard and its measures.

If you would like to receive updates on the High Performance Development Standard and other climate change news subscribe to the climate change e-newsletter.

The High Performance Development Standard is a collection of voluntary and required standards that raise the performance of new building projects to achieve sustainable and resilient design. The High Performance Development Standard consists of three tiers of performance. The standards, also known as ‘metrics’ in Tier one are mandatory. Tiers two and three contain higher level voluntary standards.

Sustainable and resilient design in new development supports public health and safety, environmental protection and responds to climate change, all of which are priorities within Ottawa’s new Official Plan. Over the last two decades, many municipalities across Ontario have instituted what are commonly referred to as "green development standards". These have proven to be an effective tool in building capacity within the industry to advance the sustainability and resiliency in new developments.

Using the authority set out under the Planning Act, the City will phase in minimum performance measures for new developments that require site plan and plan of subdivision approval. This will begin when the new Official Plan comes into effect.

We welcome you to explore this page to learn more about the High Performance Development Standard and its measures.

If you would like to receive updates on the High Performance Development Standard and other climate change news subscribe to the climate change e-newsletter.

  • HPDS Project Update

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    A number of events have impacted the timing of the High Performance Development Standard coming into effect since it was approval by Council in April 2022. These events include:

    • The passage of Bill 109, More Homes for Everyone Act, which has implications on the site plan approval process and timelines for approvals;
    • The passage of Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, which initially removed the authority for municipalities to impose sustainable design criteria through Site Plan Control but was later amended to reinstate the authority for the HPDS under the Planning Act;
    • Provincial approval of Ottawa’s new Official Plan. Council had directed the HPDS to come into effect when the new Official Plan was provincially approved, however, Staff delayed this implementation in response to Bill 23.

    Staff are bringing a report to Environment and Climate Change Committee to reset the implementation date and set a clear path forward for the HPDS. There are no changes to the HPDS Site Plan Control and Plan of Subdivision Metrics approved by Council in April 2022. The HPDS requirements are posted online www.ottawa.ca/hpds.

    The report includes:

    • Revised HPDS implementation phasing plan;
    • A summary of next steps in the HPDS workplan, and;
    • Proposed amendments to the Site Plan Control By-law to bring the HPDS into effect.
  • Why is the High Performance Development Standard important?

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    The High Performance Development Standard has been introduced as part of the new Official Plan to realize the objectives of sustainable and resilient design. It is also one of the 20 priority projects identified in the Energy Evolution Strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emission in Ottawa to zero by 2050.

    Buildings are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in Ottawa. Designing new buildings to be energy efficient from the outset will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save on costly retrofits in the future. The High Performance Development Standard will also help build resiliency to our changing climate through tree canopy, ecology and urban heat island mitigation strategies.

    Collectively, the metrics aim to advance the climate change mitigation and adaption priorities of the Climate Change Master Plan, Energy Evolution and the Climate Resiliency Strategy as well as the City’s objectives related to public health, ecology and accessibility.

    Many of the requirements in the High Performance Development Standard are existing, whether part of an existing guideline, by-law or other document. The High Performance Development Standard will allow City staff to prioritize and package all the requirements that support sustainable and resilient design together in one place. It will also assist in reviewing and maintaining the requirements, as well as in tracking and reporting on sustainability objectives.

  • High Performance Development Standard final report

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    CLOSED: This update no longer reflects most recent information

    The High Performance Development Standard was approved by Council on April 13, 2022 with additional changes and next steps through motions and directions.

    The High Performance Development Standard final report and supporting documents are available to download from the Council and Committee Meeting portal. The High Performance Development Standard includes:

    • Metric requirements for Site Plan and Plan of Subdivision
    • Draft Terms of Reference for the Community Energy Plan and Energy Model Report (finals to be brought forward with the package of Terms of Reference with the Official Plan Implementation Report).
    • Next steps recommendations related to the High Performance Development Standard

    The council approved metrics are:


    You can watch Committee and Council on YouTube.

  • High Performance Development Standard Requirements - Site Plan

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    Site Plan control is a tool that is used by the City to make sure that land development is designed appropriately, safe, functional and minimizes potential impacts on neighbouring properties. It also makes sure that the City’s standards for developing land are respected.

    There are 12 Tier 1 High Performance Development Standard requirements or “metrics” that will apply to Site Plan applications. Each requirement is described below.


    1.1 Building Energy Efficiency

    Building Energy requirement aims to address climate change by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the operations of new buildings. The focus is on exterior measures and early design decisions to enable sustainable design solutions while minimizing incremental cost. Energy priorities evaluated and set early in design enable innovative solutions and design trade-offs that are not available later in the building design. Energy saving features are significantly less expensive to implement when embedded in plans prior to construction, and can lead to significant operational cost savings.

    Requirement

    Complex Site Plan Applications are required to submit documentation demonstrating the following:

    Using exterior elements, buildings shall be designed to meet or exceed one of the following (Projects may opt to factor in interior measures into the proposed design):

    • Total Energy Use Intensity (TEUI), Thermal Energy Demand Intensity (TEDI) and GHG Emission Intensity (GHGI) targets by building type per Table 1 below. Multi Unit Residential Buildings are referred to as MURB in the table;

    OR

    • 25% carbon emission reduction beyond the Ontario Building Code, SB-10, Division 3 (2017)*;

    OR

    • Commitment to pursue certification program such as Energy Star for MURBS; LEED, or BOMA Best with a minimum number of energy points, or equivalent.

    Table 1 Energy Intensities Buildings



    TEUI
    (kWh/m²/yr)
    TEDI (kWh/m²/yr)

    GHGI

    (kg CO2e/m²/yr)


    MURB (≥ 4 Storeys)

    142

    52

    19

    MURB ( ≤ 6 Storeys)

    147

    62

    19

    Commercial Office

    142

    42

    19

    Commercial Retail

    132

    52

    12

    All Other Building Types

    25% over OBC

    Mixed Use Buildings

    Mixed-use buildings will use an area-weighted average, by occupancy type


    Compliance with this metric is proven through a preliminary energy model report submitted prior to approval. Project proponents are encouraged to engage an energy modeller as early as possible to maximize energy efficiency design opportunities.

    Energy Modeling is performed as per the guidelines in the Energy Modelling Report Terms of Reference.


    1.2 Site Plan Accessibility

    This metric contributes to an inclusive community by ensuring accessibility is considered in the preliminary planning of the site and equivalent access to all users and minimize site accessibility issues for those with mobility devices or challenges. Accessibility requirements also appear in the Ontario Building Code.

    Requirement

    All Site Plan Applications must demonstrate the following

    Projects to ensure accessibility is addressed through the following requirements:

    1. For public entrances to the site’s building projects must provide the same means of entrance for all users whenever possible, provide equivalent access when access by the same means is not possible, and identify on the site plan accessible building entrance(s).

    AND

    1. Projects are encouraged to minimize interruptions along paths of travel through site planning. Design of grates embedded in the ground must meet the following requirements:
    2. Grates along a path of travel must ensure openings do not allow passage of an object that has a diameter greater than 13 mm, ensure that elongated openings are oriented perpendicular to the pedestrian path of travel. (Figure 1)


    Grates must have openings that are oriented perpendicular to the pedestrian path of travel with openings no wider than 13 mm

    Figure 1 Grate Design Path of travel

    AND

    Grates that are outside a path of travel must have a maximum porosity of 20 x 20 mm (or 40 x 10 mm) or may be screened.


    1.3 Fresh Air Intake

    Air pollution from idling cars can pose a significant risk to the health of building occupants, which can’t be easily filtered out through mechanical air filters. Planning safe locations for fresh air intakes will, ensure sufficient distance from pollution or, buffers are incorporated so that pollutants are largely dissipated before ventilation air is brought into the building.

    Requirement

    All Site Plan Applications must demonstrate the following

    Site plans must demonstrate how on-site outdoor amenities, and fresh air ventilation intakes, are protected from air pollutants resulting from adjacent sources, and how neighbouring outdoor site amenities and fresh air intakes are protected from air pollutant sources generated on site. Adjacent sources of air pollutants include traffic or idling vehicle areas such as drive-throughs, and loading zones, it does not include parking spaces.

    Protection from sources of air pollutants can be achieved through setbacks, vegetation, or other technologies, that provide absorbent and protective buffering, or a combination of these measures. Sources of air pollutants are defined as areas within:

    • 150 metres of a road with an average of 50,000 vehicles or more per day,
    • 100 metres of road with an average of 15,000 vehicles or more per day, and
    • 100 metres of idling areas.


    Protection options include:

    • Natural air pollutant buffering made up of rows of Red Maple, Red Oak, Little Leaf Linden or Honey Locust trees with a row of shrubs underneath the full length of the exposure zone.

    OR

    • Physical buffer either by the building, or other structures such as walls 1.5m high.

    OR

    3.5 metres, or more, above road level.


    1.4 Tree Planting

    Trees are an important part of our natural systems supporting natural species, managing heat island impacts, and supporting natural storm water management. To ensure healthy long living trees with large canopies sufficient soil is critical. This metric lays out planting requirements to support long term health and growth of the site’s trees.

    Requirement

    Volume of high-quality soil sufficient to support canopy cover on the site, as recommended in the City’s Tree Planting Guidelines.

    Projects must demonstrate 30 m3 high quality soil for street trees. Soil calculation can include continuous soil on private or public property. High quality soil excludes compacted soil, further details are provided in the Landscape Plan Terms of Reference.

    Trees to be maintained and warrantied for a minimum of 2 years.


    1.5 Plant Species

    Plant selection is important for maintaining long term health of the landscape design and impacts to the greater natural systems. For this reason, the standard lays out requirements for no invasive plant species and targets for a large proportion of drought tolerant plant species. Climate projections suggest that we can expect more frequent summer drought conditions in the coming decades.

    Requirement

    Landscape plan to include no invasive species and target a minimum 50% native plant species. Drought tolerant and pollinator friendly plant species preferred.

    Vegetated buffers to be 100% native vegetation.


    1.6 Exterior Lighting

    Exterior lighting is important to ensure nighttime safety of the site but the light pollution it causes can have negative effects on neighbouring residents, and local natural species. Nocturnal animals and migratory birds are particularly vulnerable to these impacts. Minimizing light pollution through Dark SkyTM compliant fixtures helps to mitigate these impacts.

    Requirement

    All exterior lighting fixtures will be Dark Sky compliant (full cut-off). No uplighting.

    Dark Sky Compliant fixture(s) must have the Dark Sky Fixture Seal of Approval which provides objective, third-party certification for lighting that minimizes glare, reduces light trespass and doesn’t pollute the night sky. If a Dark Sky Fixture Seal of Approval is not available, fixtures must be full-cutoff and with a colour temperature rating of 3000K or less.


    1.7 Bird Safe Design

    Thoughtful design of windows particularly in high priority areas can help prevent fatal collisions of birds with buildings.

    Requirement

    Mid to high-rise residential and medium to large scale commercial / industrial / institutional:

    • Use specified bird-safe glass or integrated protection measures to treat at least 90% of exterior glazing within the first 16 m of height or to the height of the adjacent mature tree canopy.

    AND

    • Use specified bird-safe glass or integrated protection measures to treat any glazing adjacent to a green roof, rooftop garden or garden terrace to a height of 4 m or to the height of the adjacent mature vegetation.

    AND

    • Eliminate all fly-through effects (e.g., glass corners, parallel glass) and other traps from building design or use specified bird-safe glass or integrated protection measures.


    Ottawa Bird-Safe Design Guidelines


    1.8 Sustainable Roofing

    As buildings take up more and more of the available space on property, rooftops become increasingly important component of site design. There are lots of opportunities to address sustainable design on the roof top. Including gardens or green roofs, reflective roofing, and solar power generation. This metric directs projects to incorporate one or a combination of these strategies.

    Requirement

    For flat roofs (low slope ≤ 2:12) over 500m2 projects must provide:

    1. Green roof for at least 50% of available roof space1;
    • Where possible, green roof area should be incorporated into visible or accessible locations, such as podiums.
    • Where green roof is accessible, the green area may be reduced by 20%
    • Where green roof is edible landscaping, the whole garden area, including pathways and adjacent terraces, may be counted as “green area”.

    OR

    1. Cool roof installed for 90% of available roof space1 and if the roof is over 2,500m2 a minimum of 1,000 m2 will be designated solar ready2,3;

    OR

    1. A combination of a green roof, and cool roof and solar PV installed for at least 75 per cent of available roof space.


    Specification details

    1Available roof space is considered roof space that is not otherwise occupied by mechanical and electrical equipment.

    2Proponents may seek an exemption from the solar ready component where:

    1. Accommodation of a solar energy system and/or a solar hot water heater would be impractical due to poor solar resources at project site;
    2. A substitute renewable energy system will be installed at the time of construction; or
    3. Where proponent can justify that a solar installation does not make sense such as buildings with low electrical loads making solar net metering an unfeasible option.

    3Solar Ready Requirements

    At a minimum, the project shall include requirements for:

    1. Static load roof strength, with a requirement that roofing where solar equipment could be placed be capable of supporting a minimum of 29 kg/m2 , where alternate solution for dealing with the loading requirements of solar is recommended by a professional engineer this may be used in lieu of the 29kg/m2 threshold, a letter from engineer stating alternate solution to be submitted.;
    2. Placement of non-solar related rooftop equipment, taking into account positioning that avoids shading of solar equipment (i.e., north of solar ready zone) and maximization of continuous roof space;
    3. Provision of space for a solar energy system DC-AC inverter on an outside wall in the utility room in accordance with ESA requirements (within 4.5m of future array location).
    4. Placement of solar ready area located in a space with high solar potential.


    Recommended to also consider:

    1. Sizing and/or provision of extra electrical panels to accommodate addition of an appropriately sized future solar energy system.
    2. A conduit for wiring from roof to electric panel.


    Links:


    1.9 Cool Landscape and Paving

    Although Ottawa is a heating dominant climate, summertime impacts to human health are becoming an increasing concern. The urban heat island effect can increase the urban temperature several degrees above the natural rural temperature. This increase in temperature is largely due to greater paved area in the urban environment. Increasing the landscaped area, increasing shade or incorporating reflective paving can all help to reduce the urban heat island.

    Requirement

    Soft landscaping area requirements are addressed in the zoning By-law the project is exempt from cool paving requirements where soft landscaping area exceeds the Zoning By-law by 20%,

    OR

    Use a combination of the following strategies to treat at least 50% of the site’s non-roof hardscape:

    • High-reflectivity paving materials with an initial solar reflectance of at least 0.33 or SRI of 29.
    • Open grid pavement with at least 50 % perviousness.
    • Shade from existing or new tree canopy within 10 years of landscape installation.
    • Shade from architectural structures that are vegetated or have an initial solar. reflectance of at least 0.33 at installation or an SRI of 29.
    • Shade from structures with energy generation.
    • For parking areas projects may plant one tree for every five parking spaces distributed within or along the border of the parking area, in lieu of reflective paving or completing a shade study.


    Non-roof hardscape includes driveways, walkways, courtyards, surface parking areas, artificial turf and other on-site hard surfaces.

    Industrial work yards or similar areas that limit the available options for shading or reflective surfaces may be excluded from the hard surface area calculation.


    1.10 Common Area Waste Storage

    For the city to reach its waste diversion targets, individual actions are critical. Multi unit residential buildings rely on common area waste storage to enable residents to correctly sort their waste streams. Good design of the spaces with sufficient area and equal access helps to empower residents to maximize their waste diversion. No new requirements are proposed at this time, however, a reference to the Zoning By-law has been included in the High Performance Development Standard.

    Requirement

    Design and construct property with adequate space for City-allocated garbage, recycling, and organic waste containers. As required by Zoning, and the Solid Waste Collection Design Guidelines for Multi-Unit Residential Development.


    1.11 Electric Vehicle Parking

    Requirements will ensure that infrastructure is available for electric vehicle charging to meet future demands. No new requirements are proposed at this time, however, a reference to the Zoning By-law has been included in the High Performance Development Standard to point to electric vehicle requirements in zoning. This will come into force when requirements are brought into effect as part of the new Zoning By-law Official Plan conformity exercise.

    Requirement

    Where parking is provided, projects are to evaluate EV charging readiness and indicate approach and number of EV ready spaces in conjunction with any requirements as referenced in zoning.

    EV Readiness Requirements Framework


    1.12 Bike Parking

    Requirements will ensure that the infrastructure is available for bike parking to meet current and future demands. No new requirements are proposed at this time, however, a reference to the Zoning By-law has been included in the High Performance Development Standard to point to bike parking in zoning.

    Requirement

    Provide bike parking infrastructure as required by zoning.

  • High Performance Development Standard Requirements for Draft Plan of Subdivision

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    A subdivision is land that has been divided into multiple lots for the purpose of development. These lots may be developed individually, or as a group. They may be used for a range of uses such as residential, commercial or institutional lots depending on the designation of the land in the Official Plan and Zoning By-law. The purpose of a draft plan of subdivision is to:

    • develop land in an orderly manner by making sure that the proper infrastructure and municipal services will be in place, if they are not already
    • manage the effect of development of the proposed subdivision on matters of provincial interest

    There are 3 Tier 1 requirements or “metrics” that will apply to Plan of Subdivision applications.


    1.1 Community Energy Plan

    The Community Energy Plan ensures communities plan for the infrastructure necessary to move toward zero emissions and enables solutions that are only available if planned on community scale. For example, district energy is most efficient and cost effective when accounted for along with the other utility plans. Another example is that currently there are limitations on the electrical grid infrastructure’s capacity to connect to local renewable energy sources. This limits the number of net zero homes which may be constructed in any given area.

    Requirement

    Complete a Community Energy Plan as per the terms of reference document.


    1.2 Trees

    Trees are an important part of our natural systems supporting natural species, managing heat island impacts, and supporting natural storm water management. To ensure healthy long living trees with large canopies, sufficient soil is critical. The standard lays out the planting requirements to support long term health and growth of the site’s trees.

    Requirement

    Volume of high-quality soil sufficient to support canopy cover on the site, as recommended in the City’s Tree Planting Guidelines.

    30 m3 high quality soil required for street trees. Soil calculation can include continuous soil on private or public property. High quality soil excludes compacted soil, further details are provided in the Landscape Plan Terms of Reference.

    Trees to be maintained and warrantied for a minimum of 2 years.


    1.3 Planting

    Climate projections suggest that we can expect more frequent summertime drought conditions in the coming decades. Plant selection is important for maintaining the long term health of greenspace set out in landscape design and address impacts to the larger natural heritage system. For this reason, the standard restricts invasive species and requires a large proportion of drought tolerant species.

    Requirement

    Landscape plan to include no invasive species and target a minimum 50% native plant species. Drought tolerant and pollinator friendly plant species preferred.

    Vegetated buffers to be 100% native vegetation.

  • How the High Performance Development Standard has changed from what was proposed to Council

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    Through motions and directions received at council the following items have changed from the report.


    Timing and phasing

    The standard will come into effect as the date that Section 11.1. Policy 3 of the Official Plan comes into force. This date is not yet known as it is contingent on Provincial Approval of the new Official Plan.

    Effective April 13 2022 to prepare for the High Performance Development Standard coming into effect the High Performance Development Standard will be part of pre applications.

    Effective June 1 2023 re-submissions and extensions of Plan of Subdivision will be subject to the HPDS.


    Energy Requirement

    The energy requirement under site plan application originally applied to only buildings over 2000 square metres. This has been revised to apply to all Complex Site Plan Applications; Complex site plan applications include residential developments containing fourteen or more units, five or more floors and/or having a gross floor area of 1,200 square metres or more; all planned unit developments; mixed-use buildings containing fourteen or more units, five or more floors and/or with a gross floor area of 1,400 square metres or more; non-residential development of five or more floors and/or with a gross floor area of 1,860 square metres or more; and drive-through facilities in the Site Plan Control Inner Area or abutting residential zones.


    Electric Vehicle Charging

    All site plan applications will now be required to evaluate EV charging readiness and indicate approach and number of EV ready spaces.

    The recommended solutions for EV charging under tier 2 have been revised to clarify metering requirements and remove level 1 charging option.


    Staff Directions

    Staff have been directed to:

    1. Report back with simplified energy requirements for Standard Site Plan Applications;
    2. Report back on additional Tier 2 measures, and;
    3. Explore opportunities to pilot home energy labelling and work with Natural Resources Canada to support plans to require mandatory home energy labeling at time of sale. Staff be further directed to explore disclosure of participating homes and as modelled home information on the online portal under the Better Buildings Ottawa program.
  • How will the High Performance Development Standard be applied?

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    The High Performance Development Standard requirements will be applied during the development approvals process, including Site Plan and Draft Plan of Subdivision Applications.

    The High Performance Development Standard will not apply to projects that are only subject to building permits.

    Limitation of the High Performance Development Standard energy efficiency requirements

    It is important to understand while the standard aims to advance ambitious goals related to energy efficiency, it only informs one part of the complex land development process. The realization of these goals will require cooperation from many stakeholders.

    What the High Performance Development Standard can do:

    • Leverage the City planning process to inform early design decisions
    • Take localized context into account

    What the High Performance Development Standard cannot do:

    • Address all energy requirements necessary to meet climate change goals
    • Overrule or replace Ontario Building Code requirements for the purpose of permit applications
    • Address the performance gap between design intent and realized savings

    Role of other stakeholders in addressing climate change in new development

    • Industry - builds capacity and advances climate change goals ahead of legislated mandates
    • Upper levels of government - set the building codes
    • Public - make energy and sustainability a priority in purchase and design decisions
  • The High Performance Standard is a tiered standard

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    The High Performance Development Standard has been developed as a tiered standard. Tier 1, the lowest tier, contains the mandatory requirements. Tier 2 and higher requirements are voluntary, while setting the direction for increasing requirements to be made over time. A tiered standard is helpful to inform and enable industry to prepare and plan for future mandatory requirements.

    Tier 1 will be mandatory for all projects requiring either a site plan or plan of subdivision application.

    Tier 2 or higher will be optional. The metrics of Tier 2 serve several purposes:

    • Incentives to advance the adoption of Tier 2 and higher performance is under development.
    • Tier 2 and 3 will bring awareness and understanding of incremental increases in requirements. Overtime, the minimum performance will move up such that Tier 2 will become mandatory. The image below helps to demonstrate the incremental aspect of a tiered standard.
    • Tier 2 and 3 metrics will also serve to help evaluate projects for City recognition


    At this time, Tier 3 is only referenced in building energy emission targets, which aligns with the 2030 emission reduction targets proposed in Energy Evolution.

    The High Performance Development Standard has three tiers. The metrics in tier one are mandatory. tiers two and three contain higher level voluntary standards. Overtime the minimum performance levels will increase.

  • Other Municipalities

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    The High Performance Development Standard is also referred to as a Green Development Standard by other municipalities and agencies in Ontario. These types of standards have been adopted by many municipalities across Ontario and have been found to be an effective tool in transforming the industry and building capacity to advance the sustainability and resiliency of new buildings. In development of the High Performance Development Standard staff have consulted with colleagues in other municipalities and tried to learn from and align with their best practices.

    The table below provides a summary of similar standards across Ontario. In addition, the Clean Air Partnership funded through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities worked with eight municipalities across Ontario, including Ottawa, to develop a Green Standards Toolkit. This toolkit is a useful reference if you would like to learn more about Green Standards in general.

    Municipality
    Name
    Adoption year
    Toronto
    Toronto Green Standard
    2006
    Mississauga, Vaughan, Brampton, Richmond Hill
    Sustainability Performance Metrics
    2018
    Whitby
    Whitby Green Standard
    2020
    Halton Hills
    Green Development Standards
    2014
    East Gwillimbury
    Thinking Green! Development Standards
    2018
    Durham
    Resilient House Standard
    Not yet adopted
  • Other City Policies to Advance Sustainable Design

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    The High Performance Development Standard is the City’s tool to advance sustainable resilient design as part of planning applications. There are a number of other tools the City has in place or under development that advance sustainable and resilient design for buildings that are out of scope or authority of the standard.

    Building Types Outside of the High Performance Development Standard Scope

    Existing Buildings

    • Earlier this year the City of Ottawa launched Better Homes Ottawa. This program is a one stop site for Ottawa residents to help make their homes more energy efficient and climate friendly. It includes financing and advice to help residents get started.
    • The City of Ottawa is also working on the launch of the Better Buildings Ottawa Program. This program will aim to support commercial, industrial, institutional, as well as multi-unit residential buildings in reducing their energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The Program will seek to share industry learnings, undertake energy benchmarking, and provide financing strategies that help support building owners to realize deep energy retrofits.


    Municipal Buildings

    The City of Ottawa has an existing Green Building Policy and an internal building energy efficiency department working to help make municipal buildings more efficient. The City has set ambitious climate mitigation targets and is undergoing a risks and vulnerabilities assessment to respond to future climate conditions. In relation to these the following projects are in the works to improve municipal buildings.

    • Green Building Policy update
    • Municipal Building Retrofit Program


    Low rise infill

    Small low rise infill building projects largely fall outside of the planning requirements the City has in place. These building types currently make up a relatively small portion of development in Ottawa although this may increase over time as a result of the New Official Plan’s growth targets. These building types in general are more energy efficient and are helping to increase density around established public transit networks which have positive implications to the City’s sustainability targets. These development types are subject to a number of existing policies aimed at managing the environmental impacts resulting from their development including the Tree Bylaw and zoning. As part of the High Performance Development Standard, incentive options will be reviewed which may play a role in further advancing sustainability of these building types.


    Other Policy Areas

    There are a number of other regulatory policies that address related and connected areas. Stormwater programs and zoning have been described in more detail below. More information can be found on the provinces website on land-use planning regulations and building regulation.


    Stormwater

    • Rain Ready Ottawa is a pilot program that encourages and supports residents to take action on their property to reduce harmful impacts of rainwater runoff.
    • Stormwater Management Retrofit Plans for Pinecrest/Westboro (ACS2011-ICS-PGM-0114) and Eastern Subwatersheds (ACS2019-PIE-IS-0002) contain a combination of measures designed to minimize the negative impact of uncontrolled runoff.
    • Two engineered rain garden sites have been constructed within the road right-of-way in Ottawa, one on Sunnyside Avenue in Old Ottawa South and one on Stewart Street in Sandy Hill.
    • Two additional rain gardens have been installed at the Manordale-Woodvale Community Building and the Cornerstone Residence in the Pinecrest Creek watershed.
    • The Site Alteration By-law protects agricultural resources and natural heritage features from negative impacts caused by site alteration within Ottawa and prevents drainage issues and public nuisances resulting from site alteration activities.


    Zoning

    The High Performance Development Standard References Zoning in a number of places where zoning is the more appropriate tool to advance objectives than the standard. The zoning by-law controls the use of land. It implements the objectives and policies of the official plan by regulating and controlling specific land uses (and as such, must conform with the plan). A zoning by-law achieves this by stating exactly:

    • what land uses may be permitted (for example, residential or commercial)
    • where buildings and other structures can be located
    • which types of buildings are permitted (for example, detached houses, semi-detached houses, duplexes, apartment buildings, office buildings, etc.) and how they may be used
    • lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and densities, and setbacks from a street or lot boundary

    The Zoning by-law will be undergoing a consistency update to align with the new official plan. Stay tuned to City communications for more information coming on this update.

Page last updated: 26 May 2023, 10:31 AM