Did you know that annual energy
costs for Canada's commercial buildings amount to $17.6 billion? Did you also know that lighting, air
conditioning and heating represents between 50 and 60 per cent of all annual
greenhouse gas emissions in Canada? With these numbers in mind, it is no shock
that there is an incredible opportunity to improve on our performance. The
Canada Green Building Council, (CaGBC), is the Canadian leader in advocating
for green building and implements the LEED green building rating system in Canada.
Building owners, operators and
managers with an interest in green building need to know that their buildings
are running as efficiently as possible. They also need to know the best ways to
measure, track and manage their building performance.
New buildings, existing
buildings, renovated buildings, homes, office towers, schools and hospitals all
contribute to the impact of the built environment. Thankfully, in Canada there
are several ways to mitigate the negative impact that buildings can have
through measuring, managing and improving the energy efficiency and performance
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® is a rating
system that is recognized as the international mark of excellence for green
buildings in over 130 countries.
Since 2005, LEED Canada has led to:
- Energy savings of 2,630,652 eMWh which is enough to power 89,271 homes in Canada for a full year.
- A 512,672 CO2e tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which equates to taking 96,913 cars off the road for a year.
- Water savings totaling over 5.6 billion litres, the equivalent of 2,252 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
- Recycling over 2.7 million tonnes of construction/demolition waste which represents 841,126 garbage trucks.
- Installing 121,309 sq metres of green roofs, or an area the size of 80 NHL hockey rinks, to reduce the urban heat island effect and mitigate storm water flows in urban areas
LEED has taken a giant step forward with LEED version 4, the next exciting
phase in the continuous improvement of the LEED rating systems. These new
standards bring with them the potential to drive the reduction of carbon
emissions caused by buildings, and take a stronger stand on human health, more
so than any other previous version of LEED.
- 21 different market sector adaptations
- Improved user experience
- Better environmental outcomes
- More holistic evaluations
- Emphasis on Life Cycle Assessment and
Environmental Product Declarations
- Greater emphasis on performance
- Alternative Compliance Paths encouraged for
adaptation by individual countries or regions
There are a number of further
improvements coming with LEED v4, including web-based reference guides and
simplification of the documentation and submittal requirements. Reach out to
the CaGBC for the most current and relevant information.