Green Buildings Priority Stream Program
The Green Buildings Priority Stream is a voluntary program designed to encourage energy efficient buildings.
- Recognizing and celebrateing projects and builders committed to high performance building construction.
- Promoting leaders in innovative and energy efficient building design.
- Providing a full-service, streamlined process for Development and Building permit approvals.
The program is available to new Part 3 & Part 9 buildings including:
- multi-residential, commercial, and mixed-use buildings;
- industrial buildings;
- institutional buildings; and
- multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) as defined in Part 9 of the National Building Code for Buildings of Canada
Deep energy retrofits and high-performance infill homes may be added to this program in the future. In the meantime, individual retrofit or infill projects may be accepted into the program at The City’s discretion.
Eligible projects will have access to:
- Dedicated City staff providing general project support throughout all development review and approval stages.
- Accelerated permit reviews, including:
- development permits (and associated land use amendments where applicable)
- development site servicing plans
- erosion sediment controls
- building permits
- Preliminary building code compliance review at the development permit stage.
- Project promotion on www.calgary.ca.
- Overall corporate support from the senior leadership level.
Program entry pathways
Projects that can meet or exceed one of the program entry pathways may be eligible.
Pathway #1: NECB 2017
Pathway #2: NBC – 2019 (AE)
Pathway #3: Net Zero Home Label
Pathway #4: Net Zero Ready Home Label
Pathway #5: Passive House Canada Certified Building
Pathway #6: Passive House Institute US Certified Building
Pathway #7: CaGBC Zero Carbon Building
Other low emission projects may be accepted into the Priority Stream at The City’s discretion.
How to apply
Eligible projects must complete the following:
- Request a pre-application meeting
- Provide a preliminary energy performance model with submission of a Development Permit application (if applicable)
- Provide a post construction model, confirm the final energy performance rating or certification achieved.
Review the Program Requirements & Process Steps for more information.
The Emissions Calculator may be used to calculate eligibility.
Terms & Conditions
Review the terms and conditions (2023) including a consent to public disclosure of project information.
Frequently asked questions
A high-performance building designed with energy efficient features such as well insulated and airtight building envelope and high-efficiency mechanical equipment reduces the energy required to heat and cool your home, resulting in lower energy bills. High-performance homes provide increased comfort through improved air quality and reduced in-home noise levels. Additionally, by adding renewable energy sources such as solar panels, high-performance homes can produce enough energy to serve all the home’s energy needs.
Yes, they can. The typical cost of an energy efficient home or high-performance building may be anywhere between about 2-15% higher than a typical energy code compliant home or building. The larger the building the smaller the cost difference. Also, High-performance homes offer a potential long-term operational savings seen in lowered utility bill costs.
Increasing energy prices in combination with ever-improving technology and building practices associated with construction of high-performance buildings are making energy efficient homes more attainable and popular.
The updated Calgary Climate Strategy includes a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Why does the program incentivize development projects designed to a lesser performance standard?
Although the long-term goal of net zero emissions by 2050 will require buildings to achieve a net zero emissions standard, many current developments cannot be built to this standard due to technological and/or economical constraints. This program celebrates developments that use industry best practices to improve energy performance significantly beyond building code minimum, including projects designed to the highest levels of third-party building certification and labelling program
The LEED building certifications do not solely focus on reducing GHG emissions. However, The City may add LEED certified buildings (and potential other building certification programs) with a minimum energy performance threshold to the program entry criteria in the future.
The City is considering adding climate resilience (adaptation) measures to the program entry requirements in the near-term future.
No. As with any other incentive program, this program's objective is to promote and encourage a transition toward building better-performing buildings temporarily.
Q: Will this program include monetary incentives to offset the incremental cost of energy efficient projects?
The City is exploring additional incentive opportunities (monetary & process) to further encourage the uptake in construction of high-performance buildings.
Featured project profiles
Learn more & apply
Learn more about the program, schedule a meeting with the Program Coordinator, or determine if your project may be eligible. Connect with us!
Learn more about the benefits of Passive House Certified homes and what Passive House Canada’ is doing to influence energy efficient building design and construction
Learn more about what makes Passive House Institute US Certified projects work well in Alberta’s climate.
Program Specific Links
- Development Permit Pre-application Process
- Development Permit Process
- National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2017
- National Building Code of Canada – 2019 (Alberta Edition)
- Canadian Home Builders’ Association
- Net Zero Home Labeling Program
- Passive House Canada
- Passive House Institute US
- Canada Green Building Council
- Zero Carbon Building
- Find an Energy Advisor