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3.2.3Develop region-wide building standards to encourage and support zero-carbon development of all new buildings in the region


  • Not started
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Completed


Building standards can help to promote transition of local construction to building all new buildings to net-zero carbon. While local municipalities cannot directly regulate energy efficiency of buildings, energy-focused common standards across local municipalities can help to encourage buildings to be built to net-zero or net-zero ready building standards earlier, and reduce the number of buildings that need to be retrofitted later. These standards will take time to develop but will support the efforts in actions 3.2.1 and 3.2.2.

This work will be led by the Area Municipalities with support from the Region of Waterloo and WR Community Energy. Please see below for the most recent publicly available updates.


WR Community Energy is currently leading a study on region-wide Green Development Standards for new building construction in partnership with the Region of Waterloo and area municipal planning & building services departments. As referenced in the WRCE 2022 Progress Report, Green Development Standards are a critical policy tool for municipalities to ensure our new buildings are future-ready and meet our community needs. In 2021, WRCE worked collaboratively on a region-wide GDS in two phases. Phase 1, completed in fall 2022, focused on educating the broader municipal and utility partners on GDS. The objective was to understand and measure our level of ambition for these standards.

In the spring of 2023, Councils in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge as well as the Region of Waterloo endorsed proceeding with initiating a work plan to initiate consultation and research to prepare a harmonized standard including the townships starting later this year.


The Township of Woolwich will consider policies in the new Official Plan to see new subdivisions consider addressing this.