Last week, Natural Resources Canada announced that new mid- and high-rise residential buildings in Ontario can now qualify for ENERGY STAR certification for the first time ever.
Through various construction and design approaches, mid- and high-rise residential buildings must be at least 15% more energy efficient than the provincial building code requires in order to receive certification.
For low-rise, the homes need to be at least 20% more energy efficient than the building code requires. According to the recent release, the high-rise qualification is a five year pilot, so we’ll have to see if the target is increased once the pilot is complete.
“With the increased construction of stacked townhouses and high-rises, I am proud to see ENERGY STAR certification being extended to multifamily high-rise buildings,” says Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “This pilot program will not only contribute to the Government of Canada’s greenhouse gas emission targets, it will also reduce consumers’ energy costs, create good jobs and stimulate innovation in the housing sector.”
The ENERGY STAR Multifamily High-Rise (New Construction) Pilot Program will help builders adopt new energy efficient practices and teach them about available technologies. The program will create jobs in construction, consulting, and design.
“Trusted by consumers and respected by builders, ENERGY STAR Multifamily is a natural extension of ENERGY STAR for New Homes in a market rapidly shifting to higher-density housing,” says Corey McBurney, President, EnerQuality. “EnerQuality is proud to partner with Natural Resources Canada to demonstrate that innovation happens when industry and government work together to lead.”
While combating climate change, having more energy efficient mid- and high-rise buildings will amount to lower operating costs, increased value, lower energy costs, and overall better energy performance. When a home is more energy efficient, it is also more comfortable and typically has better air quality.
Mid- and high-rise builders already strive for LEED certification, so it will be interesting to see who jumps on the ENERGY STAR qualification first!