Developers, architects, engineers, property owners and others in the building industry are doing just that by creating what’s known as high performance buildings.  Designed and constructed with more energy-efficient equipment, these new or refurbished buildings cost less to operate, are more environmentally friendly and are comfortable places in which to live, work or play.

Ontario companies can benefit from a range of high performance new construction programs — often offered by local utilities. These programs provide design assistance and incentives to building owners and architects who exceed minimum standards for electricity efficiency.

"Ultimately, sustainable towns and cities require a collective effort to design buildings properly from the outset."

A continuing commitment

The commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop once a new building is constructed or renovated. To keep an office or apartment functioning at peak efficiency, facility managers and operators benefit from ongoing energy training, enabling them to optimize how building systems work best together.

Companies investing in energy managers can gain additional operational savings by tracking energy use, updating and modernizing systems and continuously implementing best practices.

"Designed and constructed with more energy-efficient equipment, these new or refurbished buildings cost less to operate, are more environmentally friendly and are comfortable places in which to live, work or play."

A collective effort

Ultimately, sustainable towns and cities require a collective effort to design buildings properly from the outset, followed by a commitment to maintain and improve them over the long-term.

And at a broader regional level, the development of municipal energy plans play an important role in helping municipalities coordinate the energy use in buildings and transportation systems. Ontario is supporting local energy planning by introducing the Municipal Energy Plan (MEP) program. The MEP program is designed to help municipalities better understand their local energy needs and conservation opportunities, set goals and develop implementation plans.