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January 27, 2010
Toronto launches green initiatives designed to build a more sustainable city
  
On January 31, the City of Toronto will introduce two initiatives designed to “green” Toronto’s new building stock: the Toronto Green Standard and Green Roof Bylaw.

The Toronto Green Standard is a two-tiered set of performance measures that promote sustainable development. To be compliant, as of January 31, 2010, all planning applications for new development are required to meet Tier 1 performance measures and targets, which address environmental issues such as air and water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, solid waste and the natural environment.

Developers may also chose to meet Tier 2, a voluntary higher level of environmental performance, and be eligible for a development charge refund of 20 per cent.

January 31 also marks the start to Toronto’s Green Roof Bylaw, the first bylaw in North America to require and govern the construction of green roofs on new developments. The bylaw will apply to permit applications for residential, commercial and institutional developments, while industrial buildings have until January 31, 2011 to include provisions for a green roof in new construction.

It is estimated that widespread implementation of green roofs in Toronto could save the City between $40 million and $120 million in stormwater infrastructure costs, and reduce the impacts of urban heat island effect by lowering local ambient temperatures by up to two degrees Celsius.

“I am proud of the work we have done to raise the bar for sustainable development in this city,” said Toronto Mayor David Miller. “If you consider that buildings currently account for close to 63 per cent of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions, it is clear that we need to take action today if we want to build a clean, prosperous and vibrant city for tomorrow.”

The Toronto Green Standard and Green Roof Bylaw are key elements of the City’s Climate Change Action Plan, an aggressive environmental framework aimed at reducing Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

To further encourage the business community to take action on climate change, the City also offers grants to help owners retrofit existing industrial, commercial and institutional properties with a cool or green roof. Known as the Eco-Roof Incentive Program, owners who install a green roof can apply for $50 per square metre up to a maximum of $100,000. Cool roofs, which feature a membrane or coating that reflects the sun’s rays, are eligible for $5 per square metre to a maximum of $50,000.

Applications for the spring round of Eco-Roof funding will be accepted, online, starting March 1, 2010.

Building owners and managers in Toronto can also work with the City’s Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) to determine additional strategies to reduce their energy demand. The BBP provides financial incentives and other resources to support the design and construction of new energy efficient buildings. The BBP also offers assistance for energy retrofits in existing buildings across the institutional and multifamily sectors.

For more information, visit http://www.toronto.ca/greendevelopment.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Media contacts:
Bruce Hawkins, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-392-3496, bhawkin@toronto.ca
Lyne Kyle, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-397-1410, lkyle@toronto.ca

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Backgrounder

January 27, 2010

Toronto programs aim to build a more sustainable city


About the Toronto Green Standard
http://www.toronto.ca/greendevelopment

The Toronto Green Standard (TGS) is a set of performance measures and targets that promote sustainable development. The TGS was initiated in 2005 with a review of green development requirements of more than 100 cities, and extensive consultation with developers, design professionals and the public. It was adopted by City Council in July 2006 as mandatory for new City-owned facilities and voluntary for private development.

A revised two-tiered TGS was approved by City Council on October 27, 2009. Applicable to all new planning applications made after January 31, 2010, Tier 1 outlines the elements of green development that are required by the City, while Tier 2 features a voluntary higher level of environmental performance. Site Plan applications approved after May 1, 2009 that meet Tier 2 of the TGS are eligible for a refund of 20 per cent of the Development Charges paid to the City.

To help developers register new construction for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the City is currently working with the Canada Green Building Council to develop the Toronto LEED Supplement as a guide for meeting the TGS and LEED criteria.


About the Green Roof Bylaw
http://www.toronto.ca/greenroofs

Toronto is the first city in North America to adopt a bylaw to require the construction of green roofs on all new development, and to establish a standard for the design and construction of green roofs. The bylaw, to take effect January 31, 2010, will apply to all building applications for residential, commercial and institutional buildings above 2,000 square metres of gross floor area, and will have a graduated coverage requirement ranging from 20 to 60 per cent. The bylaw will apply to new industrial development starting January 31, 2011.

A green roof is a roof on top of a building that includes vegetation; a growing medium; filter, drainage and root resistance layers; and a waterproof membrane. Widespread implementation of green roofs in Toronto will provide significant economic and environmental benefits in the areas of stormwater management, and reducing the urban heat island effect (and associated energy use), which is a particular concern as global temperatures rise. Green roofs also help enhance biodiversity, improve air quality and beautify the city.


About the Eco-Roof Incentive Program
http://www.toronto.ca/livegreen/bus_eco-roof.html

The Eco-Roof Incentive Program is meant to complement the Green Roof Bylaw by encouraging owners of existing industrial, commercial and institutional buildings to retrofit with a green or cool roof. The performance criteria for the Eco-Roof Incentive Program are consistent with the Toronto Green Standard and the Green Roof Construction Standard contained in the Green Roof Bylaw. The program was approved by City Council on December 1, 2008 and officially launched in March of 2009 with a total budget of $2.4 million for 2009 - 2012. Owners who install a green roof can apply for $50 per square metre up to a maximum of $100,000. Cool roofs, which feature a membrane or coating that reflects the sun’s rays, are eligible for $5 per square metre to a maximum of $50,000.


About the Better Buildings Partnership
http://www.toronto.ca/bbp

Toronto's Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) is a city-to-business program providing expertise, resources and financial assistance to building owners, managers and developers to successfully implement energy efficiency measures in existing buildings and new construction. Since 1997, approximately 700-assisted BBP projects, representing over 50 million square feet of gross floor area, have delivered a reduction of over 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Media contacts:
Bruce Hawkins, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-392-3496, bhawkin@toronto.ca
Lyne Kyle, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-397-1410, lkyle@toronto.ca


 

 

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