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Green roofs
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Policy Solution

Green building and energy efficiency standards



Green building practices and energy efficiency standards improve building performance that reduce solar gains, energy consumption, and urban heat islands.


Provide zoning relief, expedited processing, or density bonuses for new projects or rehabilitations that meet or exceed green building standards.

Considerations for Use

Resources associated with ratings and certifications can provide upgrade recommendations that are applicable to all buildings not only participating buildings.


  • Climate:

    Cold, Hot/Dry, Hot/Humid, Temperate
  • Policy Levers:

    IncentiveFinancial and non-financial incentives to encourage stakeholders to implement heat risk reduction and preparedness solutions, including rebates, tax credits, expedited permitting, development/zoning bonuses, and more.
  • Trigger Points:

    Introducing new or updated zoning/codesIncludes codes, zoning requirements or by-laws pertaining to urban planning and building construction activity.
  • Intervention Types:

    Buildings and Built Form
  • Sectors:


Case Studies


  • Target Beneficiaries:

    Heat-vulnerable communities, Property owners, Residents
  • Phase of Impact:

    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:

    Number and scores or levels of certification for buildings that receive ratings


  • Intervention Scale:

    City, Nation, Region, State/Province
  • Authority and Governance:

    City government, National government, State/provincial government
  • Implementation Timeline:

    Medium-term (3-9 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:

    City government, Private developers
  • Funding Sources:

    Private investment, Public investment
  • Capacity to Act:



  • Cost-Benefit:

  • Public Good:

  • GHG Reduction:

  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):

    Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Co-benefits (Social/Economic):

    Increase property values, Save on utilities