About Durham Greener Buildings

Photo: Exterior of Durham Regional Headquarters
Durham Region logo

A Durham Region Project

On January 29, 2020, Durham Regional Council voted to declare a climate emergency. To act on this direction, Region of Durham is implementing programs to:

  • Build more resilient infrastructures, communities, and natural systems to reduce the impacts of climate change, and
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strive to be a carbon neutral community.

The Durham Community Energy Plan calls for deep energy retrofits across all existing buildings in the Region as a key strategy to reduce GHG emissions and transition to a clean energy economy. In April 2022 the Region launched Durham Greener Homes, a deep energy retrofit program focused on the residential sector and single family homes and is now interested in taking steps to enable emissions reductions in other segments of the building sector including commercial, institutional and multi unit residential buildings.

The Region understands that building energy benchmarking is a key first step to improving GHG performance in the building sector. To this end, Durham engaged an independent consultant, Introba, to support the development of a building energy benchmarking program for commercial, institutional and multi unit residential buildings across the Region.

Project steps included the following:

  • Understanding the benchmarking landscape in Ontario
  • A best practice review of other benchmarking programs
  • Characterization of Durham’s building stock and exploration of target markets
  • Drafting a program structure
  • Stakeholder engagement to solicit feedback on the draft program structure, further understanding the potential value and ideal nature of an energy benchmarking program in the Durham Region, as well as the barriers to (and means of encouraging) participation
  • Provide final recommendations for program design and implementation

The culmination of all the prior work resulted in Durham Region taking action by engaging Windfall Ecology Centre to complete the detailed program design and deliver a comprehensive Institutional and Commercial building benchmarking and disclosure program. Windfall Ecology Centre has been an innovative leader in the design and delivery of building retrofit accelerator programs for 23 years.