Communities Program - Pilot
From a building perspective, a community is a development addressing people’s needs through diverse infrastructure. The BUILT GREEN® Communities certification program offers developers a framework that addresses performance on a human, neighborhood, and global scale. Program considerations include health; resiliency; lifecycle sustainability; new urbanism; greenhouse gas emissions; green space; and resource consumption.
The program provides participating developers with a competitive advantage—an avenue to showcase their leadership: in developing and third-party certifying greener communities, which may help with permitting and sales. And, BUILT GREEN® developers can influence a broader base—helping progress others in the industry including setting a standard for other developers to aspire and/or requiring builders buying lots to certify BUILT GREEN®. Meanwhile, those living in a BUILT GREEN® certified home can enjoy a healthier, more durable home with a lower environmental impact—plus, they may be eligible for rebates.
Consistent with Built Green’s other programs, the Communities program takes a holistic approach to sustainable development, to focus on site location; layout and design; energy systems; water conservation; materials and waste management; health and wellness; alongside business practices and innovation.
Beyond what’s contained in our programs, Built Green Canada rewards progressive practices, which may be awarded innovation points. We recognize that it’s developers and builders who are the ones on the ground, making sustainable building decisions, so we’re keen to reward their innovative choices that are not already covered in our program; and, submissions may be considered for adoption into the program checklist.
Program guiding principles include being achievable, practical, as well as measurable and verifiable. It’s understood that community development is inherently complicated, and no two communities are the same: therefore, the program offers flexibility, including a phased-in certification process, and openness to explore nuances community-to-community. And, as with all Built Green’s programs, it’s affordable.
To qualify, the community must consist of three or more buildings, and at least 50% of the structures must contain residential units.
The Communities program was informed by a steering committee comprised of developers and builders, sustainability consultants, alongside Built Green’s Technical Standards Committee. The development of this pilot has included an iterative engagement process, and industry input will continue to be welcomed.
Community Development Certification
Certification recognizes the authenticity of a project, offering third-party verification. There are levels of achievement—Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum—each requiring incremental increases in the percentage of builds certified in the community. These must meet energy performance requirements, outlined below, as well as requirements within the program’s seven other key areas of sustainability.
The following percentage of residential units must be enrolled with Built Green Canada, with registration fees paid for the appropriate BUILT GREEN® certification:
No requirement, though encouraged for Bronze certification;
25% required for Silver certification;
50% required for Gold certification;
75% required for Platinum certification.
We are committed to keeping the verification process straightforward, and to ensuring your development can be certified in a timely manner. This process is streamlined with a BUILT GREEN® Communities Verifier, who works with the developer to collect documentation, and who will make site visits, as some of the documentation may be provided through photos.
Recognizing the length of time required to build a community, we offer developers the opportunity to certify in phases.
Program Tools & Support
Built Green Canada provides program-specific tools, including a checklist, which guides the developer through the program, offering options on green features to integrate into their projects.
We are committed to supporting our developers and builders, to ensure a successful certification of their projects. And, we can also provide additional assistance, including technical advice and on-the-ground support from other experienced builders, developers, and industry professionals. To learn more, please contact us.