Rapid ADU: Pre-Approved Designs
The Town of Collingwood is developing a process to pre-approve plans for detached ADUs. We hope that seeing these designs will help homeowners find designs that work for their properties while accelerating approval and construction processes.
Are you an ADU designer, architect, or manufacturer?
The Town of Collingwood is calling for submissions of detached accessory dwelling unit designs as part of our Rapid Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Program pilot project. Submitted plans will be reviewed and up to six designs selected for this program will be pre-approved and displayed in an online gallery.
Submissions opened on Monday, May 29, 2023, and designs are being reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis until the first six qualifying designs are selected for pre-approval.
- Designs for this pilot project will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis until the first six qualifying designs are selected for pre-approval.
- Submissions opened on Monday, May 29, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. Submissions received prior will not be considered and you will be asked to re-submit.
- All designs must meet Ontario Building Code requirements in order to be pre-approved for this program.
- The Town of Collingwood will review up to two designs per manufacturer/designer for this initial intake. Only one design is permitted per size category. The program will be evaluated at the end of the pilot period, with additional design intakes possible in the future.
We are seeking designs in two size categories:
- Small Footprint (up to 450 sq. ft.): We seek designs that have a smaller footprint to provide options for small or narrow lots, treed lots, and lots with limited available yard space or lot coverage.
- Family Friendly (451 sq. ft. – 807 sq. ft): We seek designs that are up to 807 sq. ft (the maximum size allowed for a detached ADU in Collingwood). Large lots with ample yard space may be able to accommodate larger ADUs.
We encourage submissions that promote the following:
Privacy: We seek designs that consider the potential relationships of the ADU to the main house and neighbouring lots through design, configuration, profile, and window placement.
Context: We seek submissions that consider the design’s potential compatibility with common architectural contexts in low-density residential neighbourhoods.
Green Building and Design: We encourage submissions that meet a recognized green building rating system (LEED, net-zero emissions, etc.) and/or incorporate green building and design features, like low-impact stormwater management, passive heating and cooling, electrical heating/cooling systems (heat pumps), reduction or elimination of natural gas equipment or sustainable building materials.
Accessibility: We also encourage plans that ideally are fully accessible, but even if not fully accessible, include universal design features that are visitable.
We encourage innovative construction methods like pre-fabricated and modular homes, as a way to lower cost and construction time and offer more options to homeowners.
- Only CSA A277-certified Pre-Fabricated and/or Modular units will be considered for pre-approval during this pilot project, as they are deemed to comply with the Ontario Building Code. Designs must meet Ontario Building Code requirements.
- Plans must be completed by a qualified designer as required by the Ontario Building Code.
Pre-approved conventional construction designs are intended to offer a simplified opportunity to create a detached ADU. To use a pre-approved plan, a landowner pays a royalty of up to $1,000 - set by and paid to the designer.
- Designs must meet Ontario Building Code requirements.
- Plans must be completed by a qualified designer as required by the Ontario Building Code.
Send your submissions to ADU@collingwood.ca.
To be eligible for review, plans must be:
- Completed by a qualified designer as required by the Ontario Building Code
- Detailed construction drawings
Submissions must include:
1. Contact information
- Name and full address of firm/designer
- Name, phone number and email address of the firm/individual submitting the design
2. Design Overview
- Design description (150 words maximum) responding to the considerations listed above
- Identify if and how your design includes any of the following encouraged (but not required) features:
- Green Building & Design
3. Estimate of construction costs
(i.e. approximate total cost or cost per square foot)
4. Photograph or rendering of the completed ADU
5. Building Permit details:
- Floor Plan (one per floor)
- Floor and Roof Framing Plans
- Building Elevations (4)
- Building Section (min. 1)
- Mechanical Ventilation Form
- Heat Loss/Heat Gain Calculations and Furnace make/model
- Energy Efficiency Design Summary (EEDS) – Prescriptive or Performance Method
- Optional: To provide homeowners with some opportunity to customize the design for their preferences and site, submissions are welcome to include options with variations in elements like roof type, exterior materials, window packages, etc.
Please note that this is a pilot project and other items may be requested as identified.
- Designs will be reviewed in the order they are received.
- Planning Services will review your submission for general compliance with the Town of Collingwood’s Zoning By-Law. (i.e. maximum height, size, etc.). Although full zoning compliance is related to individual lots, this step aims to eliminate designs that are not compatible for use within the Town of Collingwood.
- Upon endorsement from Planning Services, Building Services will review your submission for compliance with the Ontario Building Code. If the submitted designs do not meet the standards as noted in the submission requirements, you will be asked to submit a new application.
- Design intake will be closed after six designs have been pre-approved. Any submissions over and above the six pre-approved pilot program designs will be kept on file and reviewed in priority sequence for any future intakes that may be identified through the Rapid ADU Deployment Program evaluation.
If your design is selected, you will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding outlining responsibilities related to copyright protection, liability, insurance required of participants and royalties for traditional construction designs.
You will need to provide a copy of manufacturer and/or permit drawings and a completed Schedule 1: Designer Information form, in order for property owners to use your design.
Once the Memorandum of Understanding is signed, your design will be added to the Town’s website.
Design pre-approvals are intended to simplify the decision process for the property owner and expedite building permit approval timelines. Pre-approved designs do not imply compliance with the Town’s Zoning By-Law as compliance is property-specific. Property owners will be required to go through the regular permitting process for the construction or placement of the ADU.
While the Town will help make connections between property owners and the firm/designer, any agreements and/or financial transactions will take place directly between the property owner and the firm/designer.
If your design is pre-approved and you would like to erect a temporary demo unit within Collingwood, staff will work with your team to try to support this effort. Please note the following conditions:
- One demo unit per manufacturer or designer.
- The manufacturer/designer is responsible for finding a suitable location for the demo unit and for following the Town’s zoning certificate/building permit process.
- Manufacturer/designer is responsible for all associated costs to erect, maintain, and remove the demo unit.
- Manufacturer/designer is responsible for all upkeep related to the demo unit.
- The demo unit will be permitted for a limited time only.
- The demo unit will be available for tours and the location will be published on the Town’s website.
To participate in this program, each manufacturer or designer whose designs have been pre-approved for the program will be required to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Town that establishes terms for issues like copyright protection, liability, indemnification and insurance. Among other terms, the MOU will stipulate that:
- The Town will undertake a review process to pre-approve plans. Once approved, the Town will post images of the pre-approved designs online, and then act as a facilitator, connecting independent manufacturers, architects, designers, and builders with independent Collingwood residents and property owners.
- The Town reserves the right to remove pre-approved designs from the online gallery for any reason (e.g. if the designer violates the terms of the MOU).
- Should there be any changes to the Ontario Building Code and/or Town requirements, pre-approval status will be placed on hold. The Town will re-review previously qualified designs that are updated to meet new standards. If new standards cannot be met, pre-approval will cease.
- Pre-approval status will be held for the duration of the Rapid ADU Deployment pilot program. Upon program evaluation, items such as length of pre-approval status will be considered and participants will be informed of any future requirements to re-qualify.
- The manufacturer/designer indemnifies the Town and holds the Town harmless of liability.
- Property owners may be required to sign a disclaimer or release in favour of the Town as part of the building permitting process if using a pre-approved plan.
- The pre-approval process considers the Town’s Zoning By-Law but pre-approval does not indicate full compliance as compliance is property specific.
- The designer retains ownership of their intellectual property, and continues to hold the copyright for their pre-approved plan, but gives the Town the right and license to use and copy the plan as necessary to carry out this program.
- For conventional construction only: the designer will not charge more than $1,000 to homeowners in exchange for a license to use the pre-approved plan, provided that the designer may charge additional fees to prepare a site plan, undertake the permitting process, and/or construct or deliver the ADU.