Program Updates: 2019 High Density Checklist

As we near the end of 2018, we want to provide you with a summary of what’s new / changed in our 2019 BUILT GREEN® High Density Program Checklist. We’ve added a number of new checklist items, providing you with new opportunities to earn points towards your BUILT GREEN® certification. 

We have outlined both new checklist items as well as those that have modified. Program updates are informed by building code, the Technical Standards Committee, the Board of Directors, new technologies and innovations, and industry input.


As always, we value input from industry through the year, which may result in greater clarity on existing checklist items, a reallocation of points on select checklist items, as well as the addition of new checklist items. All of this to say, your engagement helps us keep our programs strong, so please stay in touch as we value your feedback.


We continue to encourage new approaches to sustainable building, and these may be awarded with innovation points. Part of this year’s updates are focused on resiliencyNatural disasters remind us that resilience is imperative in the built environment. In response to these vulnerabilities, we’ve included a series of disaster preparedness checklist items as they relate to the key areas of our sustainable building programs.


Important notes on project enrolment deadlines:

  • 2018 checklists may be used to enrol projects up to March 31, 2019. We realize you may have already costed out your specs for projects and therefore offer this transition time.
  • 2019 checklists are effective January 1, 2019 and beginning April 1, 2019, all project enrolments must use 2019 checklists.



Important Reminder Notes:

  • The checklist’s Section 1, Energy and Envelope, will not total without the energy modelling results (NECB/ASHRAE). However, you may upload the checklist to the portal to enrol a project, and update once the energy results come in. We can help you with this.
  • Your energy modelling results earn your project a set number of points, which will determine how high your BUILT GREEN® certification level can go (combined with points from the other six sections of the checklist). If you earn additional points when filling out the prescriptive part of Section 1, those will not affect your seal level, but they will go towards the project’s overall score.


NEW High Density Checklist items

1.2.1       All mechanical is placed above grade in the home to prevent damage from potential flooding. Concrete used in home has undergone carbon dioxide (CO2) treatment to reduce portland cement content by at least 5%.    Fire-resistant roofing materials such as metal, clay, tile, and asphalt shingles (Class A Fire Rating through American Society for Testing and Materials standards).    Impact-resistant roofing materials used (Class 4 asphalt, rubber, metal, cement through American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards regarding impact resistance (wind, hail).    Install ice-and-water underlayment shield over entire roof for a secondary line of defense against water penetration and ice buildup (wind, hail).

2.3.6       Window safety film is applied on interior face of window or laminate glass used on interior face of window.

2.3.8       Further anchor the soffits of the building, firmly secured to reduce wind damage between the wall and the trim into which the soffit panels are inserted.

2.3.17     Install a garage door that is pressure-rated for the geographic area of the home (winds) (ASTM E330 standard).

2.3.18     For projects adjacent to forested areas only, complete the FireSmart Structure and Site Hazard Assessment Form (1 point). Projects will earn additional points for achieving either a Moderate hazard level (1 point) or Low hazard level (2 points).

3.2.24      Provide a building component (e.g. a finishing product or interior surface product such as drywall) with the capacity to permanently absorb VOC emissions from other sources without creating any residual, or other, off-gassing (1 point).

5.6          Onsite gravel crusher to reduce vehicle miles. Crusher must be sensitive to neighbouring properties.

5.10        Provide convenient onsite facilities to homeowner to encourage collection of compost materials or on-site composting. For example, storage bin in kitchen or separator where local composting programs exist; or wormery or backyard compost bin.

7.1.9       Builder roughs in, and shows on drawings, provisions for future emergency power supply.

7.2.7       Community gardens 0.5% of site area for 1 point, and 1% of site area for 2 points.

7.3.2       Builder provides building owner with emergency kit.

7.3.3       Builder provides building owner with resiliency plan.


REVISED High Density Checklist items

1.1.16     Design all unit separations to be air tight, effectively sealing adjacent units from one another and from common space.

1.7.11     Install a home automation system in each dwelling unit that is capable of monitoring and adjusting:

               (i) heating, cooling, and humidity (2 points);

               (ii) lighting greater than 4 locations/rooms (1 point);

               (iii) if system can be controlled through a Wi-Fi, a smart phone, or app (1 additional point);

               (iv) all lighting and/or blinds to adjust to hourly sun schedule (1 point)

               (v) Domestic Hot Water (does not apply when there is a central system in the building) (1 point);

               (vi) a “vacation or away” mode that can turn off all non-essential electrical loads (1 point);

               (vii) and learning capability (1 point).

2.1.4       Reduce dimensional lumber use by using engineered wood stud material for minimum 10% of structural stud wall framing.

2.2.9       Use sustainably harvested exterior wall sheathing products (CSA, SFI, or FSC) for 1 point; recycled content of minimum 50% pre- or post-consumer for 1 point.

2.2.16     Doors:

                (i) Exterior doors contain minimum 15% recycled and/or recovered content.

                (ii) Interior doors contain minimum 15% recycled and/or recovered content.

                (iii) Minimum 75% of interior doors made from third-party certified, sustainably harvested wood (CSA, SFI, or FSC).

                (iv) Minimum 50% of interior doors have been salvaged from another project.

2.3.2       Low-VOC water- or damp-proofing on foundation walls. (SCAQMD Rule 1113, 2016 VOC limits: Waterproofing sealers <=100 g/L / Waterproofing Concrete or Masonry Sealers: <=100 g/L).

3.2.6       Insulation used is third-party certified to have zero or ultra-low formaldehyde (less than 0.008 ppm) or GREENGUARD Gold product.

3.2.7       Low-formaldehyde sub-floor sheathing (third-party certified to less than 0.09 ppm for particle board or 0.11 ppm for MDF) or sub-floor made from substance material that is formaldehyde-free, such as concrete.

3.2.8       Low-formaldehyde underlayment is used throughout (third-party certified to less than 0.09 ppm for particle board or 0.11 ppm for MDF).

3.2.9       Low-formaldehyde particle board/MDF used for cabinets: less than 0.09 ppm for particle board or 0.11 ppm for MDF for 1 point, or zero formaldehyde for 2 points.

3.2.10     Low-formaldehyde particle board/MDF used for shelving: more than 0.09 ppm for particle board or 0.11 ppm for MDF for 1 point, or zero formaldehyde for 2 points.

3.2.13     Water-based lacquer or paints are used on all site-built and installed millwork, including doors, casing, and baseboards (less than 100 grams/litre of VOCs for 2 points or less than 50 grams/litre for 3 points).

3.2.14     Interior paints used have low VOC content (less than 100 grams/litre of VOCs for 1 point or less than 50 grams/litre for 2 points).

6.2.4       Provide a list of drought-tolerant and native plants and a copy of the local municipality water usage guide to building manager(s)/occupants with closing package (1 point). In homeowner guide, specify the requirement to indicate which ones are native (for additional point).


We know this is a time of transition with building code changes, and we will do whatever we can to support our builders. Should you have questions or require support, please do let us know.


Find updates to the 2019 Single Family Program here and 2019 High Density Renovation Program here.