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Planning & Building Safety Department





Building a Sustainable City

Why does the City Go Green?

To improve our environmental, social and financial performance and to be at the forefront of environmental planning in southwestern Manitoba; most importantly, provides the stewardship in building a sustainable community for Brandon.

PDF Icon Brandon's Building a Sustainable City Action Plan (236 KB)

PDF Icon Action Plan Summaries (87 KB)

 

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.

 

Where do we start?

The Department’s goal is to promote and advocate sustainable development as part of the day-to-day development applications review and the long-term land use planning processes. The policy statements set forth in all our planning documents including, but not limited to, the BAPD Development Plan 2013, the BAPD Fringe Area Growth Strategy, the North Gateway Secondary Plan, the SW Brandon Secondary Plan, and the Urban and Landscape Design Standards Manual all gearing toward promoting sustainable developments and green building practices.

 

What is sustainable development?

The World Commission on Environment and Development frame the term 'sustainable development' based on the 1987 report produced through the Brundtland Commission called “Our Common Future,” which has become the most often-quoted definition as: "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."1

 

Triple Bottom Line concept

The City of Brandon strives to build a sustainable city by balancing the social, environmental and financial sustainability - which is commonly known as the triple bottom line concept. The triple bottom line concept or approach helps us to balance the social, environmental and financial interest in making land use development decisions. In achieving our "Building a Sustainable City" goal, a number of initiatives have been developed, please continue to visit this website for details and updates.

 

Environmental Sustainablility

What is a Green Building?

The practices promote construction of buildings that are healthier for the occupants and healthier for the environment. Sustainable or “green” building practices can reduce the tremendous impact that design, construction operation and maintenance of buildings has on both people and nature. Buildings generally consume 40% of the world's total energy, 25% of its wood harvest and 16% of its water. The building industry is the nation's largest manufacturing activity, representing more than 50% of the nation's wealth and 13% of its Gross Domestic Product. Energy and material consumption in buildings contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emission which impact global climate change.2

 

Beyond Green Buildings

Sustainable practices, from land use development and planning perspective, go beyond constructing a green building, it involves the practice of energy and water conservation, environmentally sensitive site planning, resource efficient building materials and superior indoor environmental quality. Some of the key benefits are:

  • Lower energy and water utility costs
  • Preference for use of building materials with fewer chemicals and less impact on the environment
  • Enhanced health and productivity
  • Long-term economic returns
  • Reduced environmental impact

 

Examples of Green Buildings

Healthy Living Centre          Healthy Living Centre

Brandon University Healthy Living Centre

 

Len Evans Centre          Len Evans Centre

Len Evans Centre for Trades and Technology

 

BRHC          BRHC

Brandon Regional Health Centre

 

Western Manitoba Cancer Centre          Western Manitoba Cancer Centre

Western Manitoba Cancer Centre

 

Western Manitoba Cancer Centre          YMCA

Dood Cristall Family YMCA

 

Planning, Property and Buildings Department's Efforts to Date

PDF Icon City of Brandon Building a sustainable City Action Plan (236 KB)

PDF Icon Building a Sustainable City Pamphlet (771 KB)

Green Building Image

Brandon's Certified Green Homes Program

As the City of Brandon continues to focus efforts on building a sustainable city, the Planning, Property and Buildings Department has launched Brandon's Certified Green Homes Program. Through the program, the City of Brandon is encouraging builders and homeowners to design, build, and certify their homes through a third-party home certified program. The program involves Manitoba Hydro's Power Smart for New Homes program which offers design and energy modeling incentives and encourages builders to construct homes which are at least 20% more energy efficient than comparable new homes. The program also involves Built Green Canada's certification process, which extends beyond energy efficiency and also includes the preservation of natural resources, reduction of pollution, waste management practice, ventilation and air quality, and the improvement of home durability. Built Green Canada is a third-party, non-profit organization that works with builders interested in responsible sustainability practices in the residential building sector. Information on the certification process can be obtained directly from Built Green Canada or by calling 1-855-485-0920.

"Part of the corporate culture and history of Manitoba Hydro is our commitment to serve the communities where we live and work, and to be proactive in protecting the environment," said Colleen Kuruluk, Manager of Marketing Programs at Manitoba Hydro. "Power Smart supports all Manitobans by providing access to energy efficient alternatives and increased home comfort. Through Brandon's Green Homes initiative, families will enjoy substantially lower monthly energy costs and produce less greenhouse gas emissions."

The fundamental benefit of a green home goes beyond reducing carbon emission into the atmosphere; a green home provides superior interior environmental conditions for the occupants and reduces the energy cost to the homeowner. A green home helps achieve the triple-bottom line concept of building environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. Not many homeowners understand what a green building is and how to build one. The Planning, Property and Buildings Department's goal is to facilitate the process by providing the homeowners with resources available to build a green home or even to retrofit their home into a green home through this certification process.

Brandon's Certified Green Homes Pilot Project

The City is currently seeking interest to be part of the Pilot Project for the purpose of supporting this Certified Green Homes initiative. There is currently no funding support available from the City, but the "New Built Single Detached Home" and the "New Built, Moderate Density Homes" may qualify for the Manitoba Hydro's Power Smart for New Homes program and a Provincial grant, depending on their designs. The types of homes to be part of this Pilot Project include single-family existing homes wishing to go through a retrofit green home certification process, a vacant lot ready for the construction of a new green home certification process, and a low or medium density multi-family development ready to go through the green building certification process. This Pilot Project is at its infancy, we are in the process of identifying the contractor/builder to participate as Manitoba Hydro and Built Green Canada only work with the contractors/builders directly. However, if you are a homeowner and are interested in building a certified Green Home or retrofitting your home into a certified green home, please do not hesitate to contact our office for assistance, we will be happy to help facilitate the process.

Details of the certification process of these homes in this Pilot Project and their progress will be available in early summer, please come back to visit these homes by clicking on the images or links below in the coming months.

New Built Single Detached Home
Renovated Existing Home
New Built Moderate Density Homes
Single Detached Home  Renovated Existing Home  New Multi Family Home

 

 

Community/Social Sustainablility

Public Engagement Program

Design Studio 

In an attempt to promote public participation and to provide informational and educational sessions on the development projects and programs, the Department created the Brandon Design Studio public engagement program in 2015 where citizens can participate. Through the Brandon Design Studio, we hope to encourage citizens to be part of the effort to build a sustainable Brandon - the city where you live, work and play. The Brandon Design Studio is a vehicle for us to host a number of workshops and events throughout the year. For the majority of the workshops and events, the Brandon Design Studio will be hosting the events at the City's Cultural Resource Centre at 638 Princess Avenue (6th Street entrance), depending on the nature of the workshop or events, the workshop or event may be held somewhere else in the city.

 

Financial Sustainability

The purpose of fiscal impact analysis in to estimate the impact of a development or a land use change on the costs and revenues of governmental units serving the development. The analysis is generally based on the fiscal characteristics of the community - e.g., type of land use, distance from central facilities. The analysis enables local governments to establish the difference between the costs of providing services to a new development and the revenues - taxes and user fees, for example - that will be generated by the development. Because a fiscal impact analysis is primarily based on an analysis of local government revenues and expenditures, key players on a team to conduct an assessment include the communities clerk or finance officer, the tax assessor and a facilitator to gather additional information from several functions, including public works, emergency services, parks and health and human services.  

In an effort to implement the action items identified in the Brandon & Area Planning District Fringe Area Growth Strategy, and in response to the City's infrastructure deficit identified in the Financing Future Growth whitepaper, in September 2014, City Council adopted a resolution to retain a five-year license with Infracycle Fiscal Solutions for their InfraCycle software to conduct Fiscal Impact Analysis (FIE) on land used development applications and lifecycle costing of municipal capital projects. The purpose of the policy is to provide direction on the type and scale of project or development which warrens the completion of FIA. FIA involves assessing the public costs and revenues associated with the development.

The process includes the following functions:

  1. A description of the land uses by type and density
  2. Identifying the City of Brandon infrastructure that will be needed to service the development. These may include systems such as; water, wastewater, storm and transportation.
  3. Identify the City of Brandon community services that will be needed to support the proposed development. These may include operation of services such as; the city administration, airport, recreation programing, police and fire services, planning and building safety, fleet services, sanitary and street maintenance, community development, economic development.
  4. Complete Lifecycle Costing for municipal assets for 2 and 3 above.
  5. Calculate the Revenues from property taxes and non-tax sources such as; user fees, levies, grants, investment income, licenses and permits, fines and utilities.

Below is a screen shot of the main menu that is used to produce the FIA.

FIA Screen Shot

The outcome is an indication of the ability of a proposed land use or development to generate sufficient revenue to support costs. The difference between costs and revenues is either a net revenue gain or a net revenue loss. An indicator of the financial sustainability of land use is the "Efficiency Factor", which is the relationship between lifecycle cost and net revenue. Below is an example of the "Financial Efficiency" of a project that compares the Net Revenue Gain to the Total Lifecycle Cost.

Efficiency Pie Chart 

The information produced by the FIA is used to improve the fiscal performance of land use plans. If the proposed land use or development produces a negative value, then the City can determine what needs to be changed to produce either a net revenue gain or to reduce a net loss.

Not all developments will produce a net revenue gain. Where possible, land uses and developments can be modified to produce a more financially sustainable City. It is important to note that the FIA is only one of many factors that are taken into consideration when reviewing land use plans. Land use decisions must still be based on compliance with all relevant Provincial land use legislations and municipal official development plans, master plans, regulations and policies.

Please see our Department's Fiscal Impact Analysis Policy for details.

 

Other Existing Efforts

Brandon Environment Committee

Outside the Planning, Property and Buildings Department, the City currently has numerous Green efforts under the Brandon Environment Committee which include initiatives such as the recycling and Green Cart Organics programs, and various educational programs. For more information, please visit the Committee’s website at Brandonenvironment.ca.

Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation (BNRC)

The Brandon Energy Efficient Program (BEEP) is administered through the non-profit organization Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation (BNRC). BEEP seeks to improve energy and water efficiency of existing homes and also builds energy and water efficient affordable housing in Brandon and surrounding communities.

 

Incentive Programs

MANITOBA HYDRO

Commercial/Industrial

Commercial Lighting Program. These are incentives to convert old inefficient lighting technology to newer energy efficient technology

Residential

Manitoba Hydro offers a variety of loan and financing programs to help you make energy efficiency upgrades to your home. Each loan applies to different upgrades and has specific eligibility requirements. Use the assessment to determine the best financing options(s) for your needs.

Power Smart for New Homes

Build smart from the start - Building Power Smart means taking steps to design and create a home that can be more comfortable, valuable, durable and at least 20 per cent more energy efficient than a typical home. Power Smart for New Homes gives builders flexibility to choose the approach that best fits their preferences and processes when building the next generation of energy efficient homes.

PROVINCIAL INCENTIVES

Manitoba Geothermal Energy Incentive Program

 

Design Guidelines

PDF Icon Sustainable Subdivision Design (535 KB)

PDF Icon Sustainable Site Design (298 KB)

PDF Icon Green Building Design (339 KB)

  

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