Ottawa, Ontario Green Building Policies

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Ottawa, Canada

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


Green building features include sustainable, durable and low maintenance building design and operation, energy and water efficiency, attention to indoor and outdoor air quality, the use of recycling and conservation in building materials and products, and many more practices.

Are you considering the integration of green building technologies in your home?

Building permits may be required.

The Ontario Building Code regulates the design and installation of green building technologies requiring property owners to obtain a building permit prior to construction or installation. Code amendments introduced in the 2006 Building Code include provisions regulating the use of:

  • Solar photovoltaic systems
  • Solar hot water systems
  • Storm and grey water use
  • Roof top storm water retention systems
  • Structures used in the support of a wind turbine generator with a rated output of more than 3kW
  • Solar collectors with a face area of 5 m² or greater that are mounted on a building

The Building Code Services Branch continues to embrace innovation through prescriptive and objective-based approaches in the use of green building technologies and materials while considering the interest of public safety. Green technology is playing an important role in our collective future—not just in the Ottawa but across the country.

Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems (SDHW)
From a Building Code perspective, SDHW systems are regulated under two broad categories based on nationally approved referenced standards. These include factory packaged and non-packaged systems.

A factory packaged SDHW system generally consists of a complete series of assembled components which provide solar pre-heated water to a domestic hot water storage tank through the use of solar thermal collectors, heat transfer exchangers (utilizing a liquid heat transfer media and potable water) and includes all appropriate plumbing and electrical controls to affect the transfer. Non-packaged systems refer to the series of individual components that make up a SDHW system not specifically produced to be used in a proprietary system.

In an effort to clarify the regulatory requirements for both packaged and non-packaged SDHW systems, the Building Code Services Branch has developed a guideline outlining the requirements for submission and installation.