Ottawa’s Planning Committee approves Green standard for new developments

cna site
Proposed development on the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) site in central Ottawa (City of Ottawa planning file)

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Ottawa’s municipal planning Planning Committee has approved a plan to establish a High-Performance Development Standard for new Ottawa developments.

“Buildings are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and the metrics that make up the new standard would help determine how effective new building projects are at advancing sustainable and resilient design,” a city statement said after the March 10 meeting. “It would ensure all Ottawa builders work to the same minimum standard for projects that require a site plan control application or a plan of subdivision application.”

The city says the standard is in line with the most recent version of the Toronto Green Standard and includes three tiers of metrics.

“Each tier would require the applicant to meet an increasingly stringent energy standard. It would be mandatory for all buildings to achieve tier-one metrics while tiers two and three would remain voluntary for the first few years. Successive updates, however, would make the tier-one standard more stringent over time. The city is also developing an incentive program to help encourage applicants to strive for higher tiers.”

New development applications would need to include an energy model report starting in June 2022, although targets would only be enforced starting in June 2023, giving applicants time to learn what changes they might need to make to meet the tier-one standard.

The city’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee will consider the report on  April 7 before it reaches City Council for a final vote on April 13. to Council on Wednesday, April 13.

In other business, the committee approved applications to redevelop the site that houses a heritage building that houses the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) building in the Golden Triangle neighbourhood.

“The applicant would retain and incorporate significant elements of the building into the new development: a nine-storey residential building with 88 units. The existing building would be deconstructed and moved to the southeast corner of the site where it would be reconstructed and integrated into the new building. The concrete and glass lantern from the existing building would also be retained atop the new building’s roof.”

Committee members also approved a development application for three residential highrises  in Vanier. The 37, 28 and 16-storey towers would be built south of Montreal Road and west of Vanier Parkway, along with one eight-storey building. The applicant would provide nearly $790,000 in community benefits for traffic calming, improvements to local parks, landscaping and lighting. The City may apply the money to an affordable housing agreement to provide affordable housing on the property.

The committee approved the city’s response to a report by the Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force aimed at quickly increasing the supply of housing in Ontario. The task force’s report contains 55 recommendations, many of which would have a significant impact on city budgets and operations should the Province implement them. The approved report outlines Ottawa’s position on each recommendation and would be shared with the provincial government for consideration.


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