Performance measures that optimize energy efficiency, thermal comfort & reduce GHG emissions.Toronto Green Standard Energy Icon


GHG 1.1 Building Energy Performance

Design, construct and label the building(s) to achieve at least ENERGY STAR® for New Homes, version 17.1 or R-2000 requirements 1,2,3,4


GHG 1.2 Building Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance

Design and construct the building in accordance with the CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program or Passive House Standards. 5,6

Specifications and Resources
  1. Complete the Energy Efficiency Design Summary for Part 9 residential housing, including a copy of the Builder Option Package form for ENERGY STAR® v. 17.1 or R-2000.
  2. Service Organizations are licensed by NRCan to deliver ENERGY STAR® qualified home labels or R-2000 certification. For a list of authorized service organizations see Natural Resources Canada.Certified Energy Advisors are independent contractors licensed by NRCan who perform the testing and final inspection and report. They submit their report documentation for compliance to the NRCan Authorized Service Organization. For more information: ENERGY STAR in Canada or to review ENERGY STAR® for New Homes v.17.0 or v17.1, Revision 2. The ENERGY STAR® trademark is administered and promoted in Canada by Natural Resources Canada and is used with permission. For more information: R-2000 Homes standard and label. R-2000 is an official trademark of Natural Resources and is used with permission.
  3. ENERGY STAR® for New Homes (ESNH) Standard evaluations are conducted by Certified NRCan-licensed Energy Advisors following either a performance or a prescriptive approach. For the performance approach, use the HOT2000 software v.10.51 specified in the version of the Standard you are using.For the purposes of ESNH, a Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURB) is defined as a low-rise of purely residential occupancy that consists of a set of separate stacked residential units with each unit having a private entrance either outside the building or from a common hall, lobby, vestibule or stairway, a minimum of two vertically stacked units and a minimum of two storeys above finished grade. For the prescriptive approach, evaluations are conducted using the BOP (Builder Option Package).
  4. More information about energy efficient products and appliances to include in the project.
  5. Conformance with the Technical Requirements shall be verified by a Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) Qualified Net Zero Service Organization (SO) and Energy Advisor (EA), as described in the CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program Administrative Requirements per the SO and EA Agreements. The plan evaluation, airtightness testing, and inspection of every Net Zero/Ready Home shall be carried out by a CHBA Qualified Net Zero EA to confirm that this requirement has been met. Tier 4, Net Zero homes include the provision of on-site renewable energy.
  6. Passive House Certification is encouraged and accepted to meet this requirement. Provide proof of registration, a copy of the Passive House Design Documentation Review Report and Design Stage Assurance Letter, and a copy of the final certification to the City and the third party qualified Tier 2 evaluator once available.


GHG 2.1 Solar Readiness

Ensure that buildings are designed to accommodate connections to solar PV or solar thermal technologies. 1,2,5

GHG 2.2 On-Site Renewable Energy

(Refer to Specifications & Resources 2,3,4,5)

Design on-site renewable energy systems to supply one of the following:

  1. Provide a minimum of 5% of the building’s annual energy consumption from one or a combination of acceptable renewable energy sources; AND
  2. Provide a minimum of 20% of the building’s annual energy consumption from low-carbon thermal energy sources.

Note: Tier 2 projects can choose to apply either GHG 2.1 or GHG 2.2 but meeting GHG 2.2 is preferred.

Specifications and Resources

  1. Assume a solar photovoltaic (PV) or solar thermal systems size that supplies at least 1 per cent of the building’s annual energy consumption. GHG 2.1 requirements are addressed if solar PV and/or solar thermal are pursued for the project.
  2. Acceptable renewable energy includes energy generated by:Solar photovoltaics (PV) – use of composite panels to convert solar energy into electricity, to be used within the building or exported to the grid.Solar thermal – use of solar thermal collectors to directly convert solar energy into heating air or water for use in the building.Low-carbon thermal energy sources include, but are not limited to: electric heat pumps (air-source, ground-source, etc.), wastewater heat recovery, and waste heat sources (e.g. data centres), at either the building scale or the district scale.
  3. Follow the CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program Technical Requirements. Electricity generation using renewable technologies shall be of sufficient capacity such that the net energy consumption of the proposed house is not greater than 0 GJ. GHG 2.1 and 2.2 support GHG 1.2 and when applying the CHBA Net Zero Ready or Net Zero Homes Standard. Renewable Energy is not a requirement if following the Passive House Standard certification pathway but is strongly encouraged.
  4. Savings must be demonstrated by third-party energy modeling tools such as RETScreen, GLD and whole-building modeling software utilized for demonstrating buildings energy performance, as approved by the Environment & Energy Division (EED).
  5. For additional guidance and technical specifications on how to install either solar domestic hot water systems (SDHW) and/or solar photovoltaic systems (solar PV), follow the Natural Resources Canada Solar Ready Guidelines.


GHG 3.1 Low Embodied Emissions Materials

Conduct an Upfront Embodied Emissions Assessment using BEAM (Building Emissions Accounting for Materials tool), or an equivalent tool, to measure A1-A3, stage emissions for all structural, enclosure and major finishes (cladding, flooring, ceilings, interior wall sheathing). Identify low-carbon sustainable material alternatives to the proposed structure or envelope to use in the building project. The report must demonstrate an emissions intensity of equal to or less than 250 kgCO2e/m2. 1,2,3,4

Specifications and Resources

  1. Using either the BEAM or MCE2 Material Carbon Emissions Estimator methodology, and tools, calculate the total embodied carbon in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (kg CO2e) and express the building average in kgCO2e/m2 of heated floor area. Note that this area value used to normalize the embodied emissions excludes parking garages. Include lifecycle stages A1-A3 and complete a contribution analysis by building assembly or material type for the proposed building.
    INCLUDE: Permanently installed envelope and structural elements including footings and foundations, complete structural wall assemblies (from cladding to interior finishes, including basement), structural floors and ceilings (not including surface finishes like paint and stain), party walls, roof assemblies, and parking structures.
    EXCLUDE: Stairs, millwork, trim, cabinetry, doors, appliances and fixtures (toilets, sinks, etc.), excavation and other site developments, building services (electrical, mechanical, fire detection, alarm systems, elevators, etc.), surface parking lots, and associated building site improvements.
  2. Complete the BEAM or MCE2 model and provide the results from the “Review tab” to identify all of the material selections for the project and their associated emissions and demonstrate a total material carbon intensity of less than 250 kg CO2e/m2 of heated floor area.
  3. For more information on embodied emissions in low-rise housing construction in Ontario see the Materials Benchmark Study (2022).
  4. Only newly procured materials need to be included. Any existing structure reused as part of a renovation/rehabilitation and/or salvaged material incorporated into the project can count as embodied emissions of zero and therefore be excluded from the assessment.