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Green Development Standards

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The Tri-Country Green Development Standards (GDS) project is a collaborative initiative between Grey, Dufferin, and Wellington Counties to create consistent Green Development Standards that are informed by best practices, existing building credential programs, and local input from municipalities, industry, and residents.  

The Tri-County GDS will establish a consistent framework across the Counties making it easier for the development industry to meet and incorporate the standards into their projects. The final document will include standards and guidelines that can be applied through all phases of development planning applications right through to construction.  

Tri-County Green Development Standards Public Survey

Were you unable to attend one of the Green Development Standards public information sessions? We'd still like to hear from you. Take a moment to complete the Green Development Standards survey and help us understand your priorities. Community input is important in crafting standards that meet the needs of the region. The survey is anonymous and will be open until June 30, 2024.

Take the Survey

Green Development Standards are a set of principles that guide development. These standards help developers and builders construct with sustainability in mind and establish criteria to be incorporated into development proposals based on local priorities. These standards can be: 

  • At the building level (e.g. energy efficiency measures, sustainable building materials) 

  • At the site plan level (e.g. stormwater infiltration features, native and drought resistant plants) 

  • At the neighbourhood level (e.g. sidewalks and cross walks to make a walkable community) 

  • More resilience to climate change - Municipalities are experiencing increasing climate impacts such as higher temperatures, more severe weather events, threats to agriculture and health. ​GDS can help ensure new buildings are more resilient to these impacts to help keep residents safe. 

  • Reduced GHG emissions - Canadian lifestyles tend to rely heavily on fossil fuels to heat our buildings and power our vehicles. GDS aim to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, which create greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to climate change.  

  • Planning for the future - By supporting more efficient buildings and developments, GDS is a cost-effective policy tool that will benefit residents in the future.  

Green Development Standards will help Grey County mitigate GHG emissions, become more resilient to climate change and plan for the future. There are numerous benefits to adopting Green Development standards including:  

  • Environmental Benefits - Reduced energy consumption, reduced vehicle dependency, better water management, increased green space and biodiversity, and increased climate resilience. 

  • Social Benefits - Improved air quality, healthier and more active lifestyles, increased access to green space, more affordable, mixed use housing development, and community design that embraces heritage and culture 

  • Economic Benefits - Energy affordability, reduced municipal infrastructure costs, increased property values, longer lasting building stock, and job creation 

Working with Dufferin and Wellington Counties will create a standardized process for developers to follow in the whole region. Our work will be informed by green development standards that have been implemented elsewhere, but customized to reflect the unique values, culture, and economy of this region. The project will include training and support to attract the workforce and industries that will support the implementation of Green Development Standards. 

Green Development Standards apply to new development projects and are incorporated by developers and builders into new planned developments. Green Development Standards don’t make changes to existing buildings or neighbourhoods. 

Green Development Standards are often a blend of mandatory and voluntary measures. Some examples:  

  • The Tiered System – Developers must meet some minimum standards and are incentivized to go above and beyond.  

  • The Points System – Developments must score a minimum total of points across several sustainability categories, and the developer chooses what they want to prioritize to meet the required score.  

The Tri-County Green Development Standards project will develop our own system based on feedback from the public, staff and industry professionals. The Green Development Standards will be updated regularly to reflect changes in best practices.  

The Planning Act provides a framework and legislative authority for municipalities to engage in land-use planning by creating Official Plans, Zoning By-laws, and Community Improvement Plans. Green Development Standards may be enabled by Official Plans and enforced through site plan and permitting process.


  • March - April 2024: Building awareness of Green Development Standards among staff, industry and the general public.  

  • May - June 2024: Seeking input from staff, developers and other stakeholders on what should be considered in the Green Development Standard. 

  • August - November 2024: Creating and refining draft Green Development Standards. 

  • September 2024 - May 2025: Creating tools to support the implementation of Green Development Standards.  

  • March 2025 - March 2027: Supporting the implementation of the Green Development Standards with a grant-funded staff position.

Tri-County GDS Logo Tri-County GDS Logo

How can I learn more and get involved?

  • Learn more by reading this Municipal Green Development Standards briefing note from the Clean Air Partnership. 

  • Sign up for project updates or send us any questions or comments by completing the form below. 

  • If you work in the construction or development industry, attend the industry-specific session. Please complete the form and indicate your role and company to be added to our industry stakeholder list. 

Questions? Comments? 


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