April 1, 2008

The Regional Municipality of York encourages developers to build high density residential green buildings

Servicing allocation bonuses promote urban growth in centres and corridors
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council has approved a plan to provide developers with an incentive to build greener high density residential developments that provide healthy and comfortable living environments, lower usage of key resources such as energy, water, materials and land, and lower long-term operating costs.
 
The Sustainable Development Through LEED Program will grant servicing allocation bonuses of 20 to 40 per cent to new high density residential developments in The Regional Municipality of York that are located in Regional or local centres and corridors, and that meet LEED certification at either the Silver or Gold level.
 
“This voluntary program will further encourage the development of more sustainable development across York Region,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “It will move our Region toward a higher standard of development that is greener and sustainable in terms of quality, efficiency and long-term liveability.”
 
To qualify for an allocation bonus, eligible applicants must commit to building a green building of at least five stories that meets four separate sustainability objectives, including:
• Achievement of significant water conservation
• Conformity with York Region’s Transit-Oriented Development Guidelines
• Incorporation of a three-stream waste management system to help achieve the Region’s overall waste diversion target of 65 per cent
• Obtaining minimum LEED Silver certification
 
“The Sustainable Development Through LEED Program will have lasting benefits for our residents and communities,” said Town of Markham Regional Councillor Tony Wong, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.  “This is an opportunity to do the right thing at the right time because it will enable us to build strong communities that reflect our vision for urban development.”
 
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Canada New Construction program evaluates developments from a variety of perspectives, including site location and design, water efficiency, construction materials used, waste diversion, energy conservation, ozone protection and indoor air quality.  Points are also awarded for innovation in design.
 
The minimum requirement for level Silver is consistent with the minimum standard that York Region has established for our new facilities.
 
Promoting sustainable buildings through LEED provides a number of benefits, including:
• Using key resources such as energy, water, materials and land much more efficiently
• Creating healthier work, learning and living environments
• More natural light and cleaner air
• Contributing to improved health, comfort and productivity
• Long-term cost savings
 

To help ensure the achievement of water conservation targets, the Sustainable Development Through LEED Program will require the use of Energy Star qualified washing machines and dishwashers and the installation of separate water metres for individual units along with separate billing requirements.  Other items commonly implemented to achieve water conservation are low-flow plumbing fixtures and dual flush toilets.
 
The Sustainable Development Through LEED Program meets the goals of York Region residents as expressed in Vision 2026, the Region’s long-term strategic plan.  It will help to promote conservation, ensure clean water and air, create well-designed and liveable communities, take a strategic approach to growth management and balance growth with the environment.
 
The Program also serves to implement one of the action items in York Region’s new Sustainability Strategy, “Theme Area IV – Sustainable Natural Environment,” which includes a directive regarding the creation of a comprehensive green building strategy in consultation with the local municipalities that would incorporate Energy Star and/or LEED standards.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
 Cell:  905 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca

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