Sustainability Action Plan

Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) for the One Planet Reno
One Planet Communities is a network of earth’s greenest neighbourhoods, where people can live a healthier, high-quality lifestyle within a fair share of our planet’s resource.

For our renovation to be considered for endorsement as a pilot project under the One Planet Communities program we need to create a Sustainability Action Plan (SAP). This SAP outlines a high level strategy for the project related to each of the 10 Principles.

The One Planet Framework A holistic approach for true sustainability

The One Planet framework was devised by BioRegional to help developers think holistically about sustainability and create places where living and working within a fair share of our planet’s resources is easy, attractive and affordable. For more information on the framework and the principles visit (we'll be posting more information on the program on the blog shortly).
BioRegional uses 10 One Planet principles to help developers create places where living and working within a fair share of our planet’s resources is easy, attractive and affordable. The One Planet approach is flexible and recognizes the importance of understanding the local context, and the unique sustainability challenges faced, when developing solutions.

The One Planet Reno is applying the 10 principles at the scale of one family and one house, with the aim of reducing the consumption patterns of a Canadian family to global sustainable levels.

Zero Carbon - big time reduction of energy consumption and Al Gore approved photvoltaics on the roof
♣    Reduce the heating demand through passive solar design, super-insulation, and superior windows.  The target is to lower the heating demand to less than 25ekwh/m2, achieving the Passive House Standard for retrofit projects. 
♣    Eliminate space cooling.
♣    Eliminate a conventional furnace and disconnect the house from the Natural Gas infrastructure
♣    Use a super efficient Heat Recovery Ventilator for ventilation, coupled with a small heating coil to provide space heating.
♣    In the cooling season, the house will be designed for effective natural ventilation
♣    Half of the domestic hot water load (DHW), and a portion of the space heating needs will be met through an evacuated tube solar thermal system
♣    A wood-burning appliance will be employed for additional heating capacity, and wellbeing during the peak-heating season.  Wood will be sourced from local sustainable sources.
♣    A grid tied photovoltaic array (PV) will generate sufficient energy on a net annual basis to offset the equivalent amount of grid energy require for fans, pumps, DHW, lights, and space heating. 
♣    The grid tied PV array will be expanded over time to offset the equivalent amount of grid energy required for all plug loads by 2020.

Zero Waste - reusing and recycling building waste, composting, less packaging
♣    Approximately70% of the existing building (by area) will be retained and renovated in the project.  This represents more than 95% of the building’s mass. 
♣    Salvaged wood and bricks from the demolition will be re-used in the construction project.
♣    Demolition waste will be sorted and separated for re-use and re-cycling with the goal of a 75% diversion rate.
♣    Construction waste will be sorted and separated for re-use and re-cycling with the goal of a 95% diversion rate.
♣    Post construction the reduction efforts will include purchasing decisions that reduce packaging and waste; swapping, sharing, and giving/receiving used items; recycling in the municipal program; backyard composting; and composting within the municipal program.  A baseline will be established in the first year that has 80% diversion by weight, and then a plan for future improvement will be established for 95% by 2020.

Sustainable Transport - biking and walking and car sharing when needed
♣    The location has been chosen in large part to reduce the need for a car.  Most amenities are located within a 5-minute walk of the house.
♣    Walking, cycling, transit, are prioritized over vehicle trips. 
♣    Carpooling, use of a car-sharing program, inter-city travel by train will also reduce single occupant vehicle trips.
♣    The average Ontario resident has 570kg CO2e emissions related to transportation, our target will be below 114kg by 2020.

Local and Sustainable Materials - FSC, local, salvaged materials and no nasties
♣    Re-use as much of the existing building as possible.
♣    Source salvaged materials for elements that have high-embodied energy – example extruded polystyrene insulation.
♣    Use salvaged and FSC lumber where available, where not available use local managed woodlots.
♣    Use high- recycle content materials following LEED guidelines, including SCM’s in concrete, drywall, steel, insulation, and flooring.
♣    Source locally following LEED guidelines.
♣    Avoid items on the “red-materials list” published by the Living Building Challenge
♣    Non-toxic finishes, no added UF

Local and Sustainable Food - growing our own, buying organic and local, laying off the bacon
♣    Design the house with some growing space available
♣    Design the house with a cold cellar
♣    Design the house with a large and efficient freezer
♣    Continue with the community garden
♣    Continue with the CSA
♣    Continue a vegetarian diet
♣    Continue to buy organic products when a regional option exists  (i.e. – don’t buy organic red peppers from Israel when non-organic ones are available from Niagara)

Sustainable Water - a kick-ass cistern in the basement, and water efficient appliances
♣    No potable water for sewage conveyance – cistern for harvesting enough rain water to carry through the winter
♣    No potable water for irrigation or exterior maintenance
♣    Low flow fixtures and dual flush toilets
♣    Water efficient appliances – dishwasher and clothes washer
♣    Re-use or infiltrate all rain water that falls on the site, with the exception of overflow situations to storm sewer.
♣    Reduce the impermeable surfaces on the site by 30%

Natural Habitats and Wildlife
- gravel to habitat, love the big tree in the yard
♣    Restore the backyard from asphalt and gravel to a living surface
♣    Cull invasive species and plant native species
♣    Plant food bearing vegetation
♣    Devote some roof space for vegetation
♣    Respect the large front tree by designing a system of storm retention that allows time for infiltration.  Enhance the yard around the tree and respect the root zone in the development.

Culture and Heritage - appropriate design and educate others on sustainability
♣    Retain elements of the existing house  - example red brick façade, porch and open balcony concepts etc in the architectural expression.
♣    Further a cultural shift toward sustainable urbanism.  Invite local schools to view the house and the efforts to achieve the 10 principles
♣    Publicize the project widely and accept tours organized through local grass-roots organizations.

Equity and Fair Trade - no kids on the job site, considering where things come from
♣    Use a social justice screen for material choices – example  - no PVC
♣    FSC and salvaged wood
♣    Contractor safety record, and a culture of safety for the project leading to no accidents.
♣    Local demolition labour instead of  machines.

Health and Happiness - healthy materials and a comfortable design
♣    The design of the house revolves around access to the sun and the needs of the family.  It balances the need for gathering and social spaces with some dedicated specific spaces for each family member.  These spaces will improve happiness:
♣    Reading nook
♣    Home office
♣    Kid’s combined room
♣    Open concept living space in the middle of the house open to outdoors and street balcony
♣    Rooftop patio/garden
♣    Private back yard
♣    Health has been considered for the occupants of the house and the surrounding community, features include
♣    Whole house water filtration
♣    LOW VOC materials – good for workers, occupants, and will not contribute to urban smog
♣   Reduced heat island effect - Green roof on shed and  part of roof, highly reflective roof.
♣    Managing storm waster on site reduces the capacity issues with Ottawa’s combined sewer overflow.
♣    Beautifying the neighborhood- the current house is tired and dilapidated.
♣    Greening the small backyard that neighbours look upon will be a small natural element oasis in a sea of asphalt.