Thunder Bay buildings minimize energy consumption and conserve resources.

Why it matters

Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use energy, water, and materials, while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal -- the complete building life cycle.

Thunder Bay's geographic location means cold winter months with significant heating requirements in all sectors. Buildings are a major contributor to local GHG emissions, and also generate waste in both their construction and demolition. The residential sector alone produces 27% of the community's GHG emissions, so there are significant savings opportunities to be achieved. Energy efficient building design helps to prevent heat loss, reduce electricity and natural gas consumption, and consequently lower GHG emissions. Building better not only saves energy, it can address other environmental issues such as stormwater management, water efficiency, waste reduction, and air quality. Better buildings are also more resilient in the face of extreme weather, and their design and siting should take climatic factors into account.

The City of Thunder Bay has demonstrated leadership by adopting Facility Design Standards that require gold and silver LEED standard for all new municipal buildings over >2000 m2 and >500 m2 in size respectively. This policy will yield long-term cost-savings to the City's taxpayers. The community will also benefit economically from the promotion of new technology, green building materials, and increased building renovation.


  • By 2020, buildings are being constructed and renovated to improve resilience, increase energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from the 2009 baseline.
  • By 2020, Thunder Bay has a robust green building sector (developers, contractors, builders, and suppliers).
  • By 2020, sustainable building design is integrated into land use planning.
  • New and retrofitted structures create a sense of place that enhances local values by integrating buildings as part of a vibrant city-scape

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