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Green Buildings Priority Stream Program

Green Buildings Priority Stream Program

The Green Buildings Priority Stream is a voluntary program designed to encourage energy efficient buildings.

  1. Recognizing and celebrating projects and builders committed to high performance building construction.
  2. Promoting leaders in innovative and energy efficient building design.
  3. Providing a full-service, streamlined process for Development and Building permit approvals.

Eligible projects


The program is available to new Part 3 & Part 9 buildings including:

Deep energy retrofits and high-performance infill homes may be added to this program in the future. In the meantime, individual retrofit or infill projects may be accepted into the program at The City’s discretion. 

Program incentives


Eligible projects will have access to: 

  1. Dedicated City staff providing general project support throughout all development review and approval stages. 
  2. Accelerated permit reviews, including:   
    • development permits (and associated land use amendments where applicable)            
    • development site servicing plans
    • erosion sediment controls
    • building permits
  3. Preliminary building code compliance review at the development permit stage.  
  4. Project promotion on www.calgary.ca.
  5. Overall corporate support from the senior leadership level.

Program entry pathways


Projects that can meet or exceed one of the program entry pathways may be eligible.

Other low emission projects may be accepted into the Priority Stream at The City’s discretion.

How to apply


Eligible projects must complete the following:

  1. Request a pre-application meeting
  2. Provide a preliminary energy performance model with submission of a Development Permit application (if applicable)
  3. Provide a post construction model, confirm the final energy performance rating or certification achieved.

Review the Program Requirements & Process Steps for more information.   

The Emissions Calculator may be used to calculate eligibility.  

Terms & Conditions  


Review the terms and conditions (2023) including a consent to public disclosure of project information. 

Frequently asked questions


Q: What are the benefits of high-performance buildings to Calgarians?

Answer:  

A high-performance building designed with energy efficient features such as well insulated and airtight building envelope and high-efficiency mechanical equipment reduces the energy required to heat and cool your home, resulting in lower energy bills. High-performance homes provide increased comfort through improved air quality and reduced in-home noise levels. Additionally, by adding renewable energy sources such as solar panels, high-performance homes can produce enough energy to serve all the home’s energy needs.

Q: Do high performance homes and buildings cost more?

Answer:  

Yes, they can. The typical cost of an energy efficient home or high-performance building may be anywhere between about 2-15% higher than a typical energy code compliant home or building. The larger the building the smaller the cost difference. Also, High-performance homes offer a potential long-term operational savings seen in lowered utility bill costs.

Q: Will the cost premiums for high performance buildings decrease?

Answer:  

Increasing energy prices in combination with ever-improving technology and building practices associated with construction of high-performance buildings are making energy efficient homes more attainable and popular.

The updated Calgary Climate Strategy includes a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Why does the program incentivize development projects designed to a lesser performance standard?

Answer:

Although the long-term goal of net zero emissions by 2050 will require buildings to achieve a net zero emissions standard, many current developments cannot be built to this standard due to technological and/or economical constraints. This program celebrates developments that use industry best practices to improve energy performance significantly beyond building code minimum, including projects designed to the highest levels of third-party building certification and labelling program

Q: Why are LEED projects not being considered?

Answer:  

The LEED building certifications do not solely focus on reducing GHG emissions. However, The City may add LEED certified buildings (and potential other building certification programs) with a minimum energy performance threshold to the program entry criteria in the future.

Q: The program seems to focus on energy and emissions, what about climate resilience?

Answer:  

The City is considering adding climate resilience (adaptation) measures to the program entry requirements in the near-term future.  

Q: Is the program going to run indefinitely?

Answer:  

No. As with any other incentive program, this program's objective is to promote and encourage a transition toward building better-performing buildings temporarily. 

Q: Will this program include monetary incentives to offset the incremental cost of energy efficient projects?

Answer:  

The City is exploring additional incentive opportunities (monetary & process) to further encourage the uptake in construction of high-performance buildings. 

Featured project profiles


Learn more & apply


Learn more about the program, schedule a meeting with the Program Coordinator, or determine if your project may be eligible. Connect with us!

Labelling programs


Learn about the Net Zero Home/Net Zero Ready Home and NetZero MURBs labelling programs and how the Canadian Home Builder’s Association (CHBA) is embracing energy efficient future.  

Certification programs


Learn more about the benefits of Passive House Certified homes and what Passive House Canada’ is doing to influence energy efficient building design and construction


Learn more about what makes Passive House Institute US Certified projects work well in Alberta’s climate.  


Learn more about how CaGBC is transforming Canadian communities with zero carbon buildings
 

Learn more about Built Green certified buildings

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