Better than Code demonstration homes yield water, energy and cost savings

Clarington March 15, 2016/- Clarington’s Green Demonstration Project has shown that green building practices can yield water, energy and cost savings. Six homes were built for this project equipped with water and energy conservation measures that surpass minimum requirements outlined in the 2012 Ontario Building Code. These so-called ‘better than code homes’ were monitored for performance and potential savings over the course of a year. Results of the monitoring were presented to Council during a Planning and Development Committee Meeting.

Results show the demonstration homes, on average, were 14 per cent more water efficient. The average daily indoor water consumption for these ‘better than code homes’ was 131 litres per capita. While average daily indoor water consumption in equivalent homes built to code 153 litres per capita. Three of the six demonstration homes were also equipped with a greywater recycling system that treats and recycles shower water for toilet flushing. These homes, on average, were 19 per cent more water efficient. The greywater recycling systems saved, on average, 13 litres of water per person per day, or the equivalent of 10 per cent of a person’s daily water use.

The demonstration homes also showed a 10 per cent reduction in energy intensity. Energy intensity compares the energy use of buildings relative to their size. A lower value signifies a home is more energy efficient. This reduction in energy intensity can be attributed in part to improved insulation, improved air tightness and duct sealing.

The ‘better than code homes’ also had some projected annual cost savings totalling, on average, around $386 based on 2015 utility costs. Almost three quarters of the average cost savings came from improved home energy efficiency.

Finally, the ‘better than code homes’ showed greenhouse gas emissions average reductions of 954 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent. Those emissions savings are roughly comparable to the greenhouse gas emissions left by a car travelling from Bowmanville to Kenora, Ontario, a roundtrip of 3,800 kilometres. In comparison to equivalent homes built to code, these homes reduced the electricity-based greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent; natural gas consumption-based emissions by 13 per cent; and water consumption based emissions by 16 per cent.

“The results of the home monitoring for the Green Demonstration Project are positive.

They show the potential environmental and economic value of building ‘better than code homes.’ This project shows the potential benefits that can be realized by encouraging green development,” said David Crome, Director of Planning Services.

The Green Demonstration Project is part of the Priority Green Clarington initiative adopted by Council and officially launched in October 2013. Priority Green Clarington aims to set a new environmentally friendly standard for residential development. It promotes sustainability, innovation and the continued goal to improve the community’s quality of life.

The Green Demonstration Project was undertaken as part of the larger Priority Green initiative to pilot and integrate green building practices into the planning and development process. The Municipality worked with the Region of Durham and three local builders constructing these six homes. The homes were monitored for total water, electricity, and natural gas usage under actual living conditions. Using modelling, the results were compared to equivalent homes built to code with no additional conservation enhancements. Before the monitoring period began, the Green Demonstration Homes were tested for air tightness and a home energy rating provided.

The Municipality of Clarington would like to extend its thanks to all agencies who partnered on this project including: The Region of Durham, Brookfield Residential, Halminen Homes, Jeffery Homes, and the six families who lived in the homes during the monitoring period.

Visit the Resources page to view Staff Report PSD-024-16 or the complete final report.

Green Demonstration Project Outcomes

The Final Report for Priority Green Clarington’s Water and Energy Demonstration Project is now available.  The report presents the results and outcomes of the Green Demonstration Project, carried out as a component of the Municipality of Clarington’s Priority Green Clarington initiative.  Water, energy and cost savings, and greenhouse gas reductions that were realized through a demonstration project approach going beyond the minimum requirements of Ontario’s Building Code (2012) support the Municipality’s commitment to further integrating sustainability into the planning and residential development process.  The project findings also have application for other municipalities and the building industry.

The Final Report can be viewed here.

The Green Demonstration Project outcomes will be presented to the Municipality of Clarington’s Planning & Development Committee on March 14, 2016. The meeting agenda, including Staff Report PSD-024-16 respecting the Green Demonstration Project, can be viewed here.


Clarington’s Green Homes Project Already Showing Water, Energy, and Cost Savings

Clarington May 5, 2015/- A great start to Clarington’s Green Demonstration Project, early results of the homes monitored show water, energy and cost savings. The project is part of Priority Green Clarington, a Municipal initiative to provide an environmentally friendly and sustainable standard to new residential development.

Clarington has partnered with three builders, Brookfield Residential, Halminen Homes and Jeffery Homes, on the Green Demonstration Project. The builders each constructed two “beyond code” homes, equipped with ultra-efficient water and energy conservation measures that surpass standards set out in the Ontario Building Code.

The homes are now occupied and are being monitored over a 12-month period to track those savings. Preliminary results after four-months of tracking show nine to 12 per cent more energy savings as compared to a home built to today’s minimum standard and eight to 17 per cent increased water efficiency. The homeowner may also see a projected cost savings on water and energy bills ranging from $154 to $530. These are preliminary results. A clearer picture of the savings will be available at the end of the 12-month tracking period.

“These are promising results. As we look to the future towards creating a set of green standards for neighbourhoods, these numbers demonstrate that improved building standards and sustainable development is not just great for our environment, it also provides ongoing cost savings for residents,” said David Crome, Director of Planning Services.

Clarington is working to establish a Green Development Framework. It’s a set of standards and practices to guide future environmentally friendly residential development within the Municipality. A Green Development Standards, Guidelines and Incentives study is underway to identify what is being done in other communities, looking at the best practices in residential green development. It is also looking at what standards should be put in place and what kind of incentives could be used to encourage developers and builders to exceed the minimum requirements and build environmentally friendly homes and neighbourhoods. The study will be done over the course of several months; further community consultation will also take place.

Read more about the Green Demonstration Project here.

Project Initiation Notice:

Green Development Guidelines, Standards & Incentives Study

The Municipality of Clarington is expected to see significant population growth to 2031. Up to 20,000 new housing units may be needed to accommodate forecasted growth. The Municipality is committed to ensuring that this growth occurs in a sustainable manner, building on the principles of the Official Plan, the Green Community Strategy and Council’s Strategic Plan.

The Municipality has established the Priority Green Clarington initiative to promote sustainable residential development and place a priority on the conservation of our resources (e.g. water, energy) and mitigating the impacts of climate change. The Green Development Standards, Guidelines and Incentives Study (the “Project”) represents an important milestone in this process and will establish a practical implementation framework to incorporate sustainable practices into the residential land development process.

Project Process
The Project consists of the following tasks:

  1. Background analysis and identification of best practices in residential green development, incentives and standards in Ontario and beyond;
  2. Provision of draft Green Development Standards and Green Development Guide;
  3. Identification of Incentive Options;
  4. A review of the development approvals process to expedite and incorporate standards and incentives;
  5. Consultation with the community, land development and building industry and government agencies;
  6. Final Green Development Standards, Guidelines and Incentives for recommendation to Council.

Community Consultation
Are you interested in following or participating in the Project?

Visit for regular updates. Public meetings will be scheduled throughout 2015 and anyone is welcome to attend. You can also submit feedback directly to

Technical working groups have been established as part of Priority Green Clarington. These committees will provide input and direction at key points during the Project.

Project Team
Clarington has retained consultants to assist with the Project.  The Consultant Team is being led by Macaulay Shiomi Howson Ltd (MSH) with assistance from Brook McIlroy.

For more information, please contact the Planning Services Department at 905-623-3379 and speak with Amy Burke, Priority Green Clarington Coordinator at extension 2423 (, or Carlos Salazar, Manager of Community Planning and Design at extension 2409 ( ).

GYG Image IPriority Green Clarington is excited to support Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority’s upcoming Greening Your Grounds event…

Want to enhance your yard, but don’t know where to start?  Learn about the newest trends in residential landscaping and how to use rain gardens, rain barrels and permeable pavers to add pizzazz and value to your property.  Join us for a two-part workshop on water efficient natural landscaping around your home.

March 16 & 30, 2015  6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Newcastle Public Library, 150 King Ave. E, Newcastle

Part I – Let’s Get Started (March 16th 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
Learn the basics of natural landscaping and how it can benefit you and the environment.

Part II – Ask the Experts (March 30th 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
Hear from expert Anna Van Maris from Parklane Nurseries on natural design and how to effectively and affordably Green Your Grounds.

Registration Deadline – Wednesday March 11, 2015
Limited Space Available

For more information, contact:
Kestrel Wraggett, Stewardship Technician
Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority
905-885-8173 ext. 247 or

GYG Sketch Image

GRCA claringtonlogo383x106 Enbridge_logo GreenSideUp_logo

Roundtable Brings Community Members Together to Discuss Higher Density Development in Clarington

To achieve a balance between continued population growth in Clarington and supporting the community’s goals to protect our agricultural lands and natural heritage features, building complete neighbourhoods and shifting to a more dense approach to urban development will become increasingly important.

What opportunities and challenges could this shift from a predominantly low density residential development pattern to a more dense or compact urban form present?

How can we develop at higher densities while maintaining the community character we love in Clarington?

Roundtable 002Roundtable 001These are a couple of the questions explored by a group of 25 community members at the Growing Clarington Together Roundtable hosted by the Planning Services Department on November 26th.  A broad spectrum of perspectives were brought to the table by residents, youth representatives, Municipal Advisory Committee members, neighbourhood and rate payer associations, development and building industry associations, the local business community, and environmental, public health and affordable housing advocates.  The valuable input received will inform the shaping of policies and criteria that will guide the development of compact, complete and sustainable neighbourhoods in Clarington.

Our sincere thanks to roundtable participants for their engagement, feedback and ideas!

Stay tuned for more information on this topic in early 2015.

Clarington paves the way for environmentally friendly construction

Clarington October 23, 2014/- Priority Green Clarington has paved the path for the construction of more energy efficient and environmentally friendly homes within the Municipality. Jeffery Homes, a local builder, is constructing 20 new energy and water efficient homes that are now up for sale in a local subdivision in west Bowmanville.

Jeffrey Homes is one of three builders who participated in the Green Demonstration Project, a key component of Priority Green Clarington. Those “beyond code” homes were constructed with ultra-efficient water and energy conservation measures that surpass the standards set out in the Ontario Building Code. Those homes are part of a study to track energy and water savings.

Jeffrey Homes has received Clarington’s endorsement to take the “beyond code” approach in constructing 20 new homes. “We were delighted to be approached by Jeffery Homes about taking the beyond code approach from demonstration to practice on a larger scale,” said David Crome, Director of Planning Services. The homes are not part of the Green Demonstration Project. “The homes will be built with the same beyond code principles: reducing their energy, water, and sewer footprint and lessening the pressure on both infrastructure and the environment,” said Scott Jeffery, owner of Jeffery Homes.

All 20 homes will include many of the same energy efficiency and water conservation features implemented by Jeffery Homes in the Green Demonstration Project. The homes will be designed to be 25 per cent more energy efficient than required by the Ontario Building Code. “Jeffrey Homes has taken the principles of Clarington’s Green Demonstration Project and applied them on a wider scale. The company is building green homes for the future, reducing their environmental imprint and improving the community at large,” said David Crome.

Image of a drain water heat recovery system, a wall framed using an advanced framing technique, and an ultra low flow toilet.

A system to recover heat from shower water (left), advanced wall framing techniques using less wood and more insulation (centre) and ultra low flush toiles needing 20 per cent less water for flushing than is required by the Ontario Building Code (right) are a few of the green practices being assessed during the Green Demonstration Project. These green practices will now be standard in 20 new homes being built by Green Demonstration Project partner, Jeffery Homes, in west Bowmanville.



Media Contact:
Basia Radomski, Communication Manager
905-623-3379 ext. 2214