Accelerating the Market for Green Urban Housing

Like most Canadian municipalities, the City of Ottawa is struggling to reign in urban sprawl and encourage sustainable residential development. According to my doctoral research, few residential developers in Ottawa are heeding the call to build green. Profits and markets are larger for single detached houses in the suburbs, and housing consumers choose green construction only if it does not “cost more” than standard construction. Further, consumers are now skeptical about the terms “green” and “sustainable”. Domicile Developments is one of very few developers in Ottawa with a commitment to green infill building. The proposed research is designed to answer two questions for Domicile: (1) what are projections for green building in Ottawa in terms of environmental change, government regulation and the market? In other words, what is the future of green building in Ottawa?; and (2) how can responsible builders sell green building, where the payback for consumers must be calculated over longer timespans and where the ultimate benefits accrue to humanity rather than individuals? The research will use multiple sources to compile projections for the building environment in Ottawa, and will explore creative marketing solutions. The research is intended to aid the company’s planning and marketing efforts.

Gary Martin
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Patricia Ballamingie