The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has announced four new major commitments to help fight the battle against climate change in Canada, as leaders around the world prepare for the start of the COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris this week. As Canada’s voice for green building, CaGBC is committing to:
- Supporting the industry to move toward the wide adoption of net zero building in Canada. This will include the CaGBC working toward bringing a net zero rating verification to Canada;
- Launching major actions to increase investment in green buildings across Canada;
- Working with Canada’s federal, provincial and municipal leaders and government officials to support the development and implementation of green building and sustainability policies across Canada; and
- Working with CaGBC members and stakeholders to set and report against ambitious targets and action plans that will contribute to COP 21 goals.
These commitments, along with those from Green Building Councils around the globe, are being brought to the Paris Summit by representatives of the World Green Building Council, and will become a part of the larger conversation on Dec. 3, known as Buildings Day. Taking place for the first time as a part of the COP agenda, this day will bring together infrastructure leaders worldwide with the goal of addressing how countries can work together to reduce the carbon footprint of their buildings and impact overall carbon reduction goals.
“With the certification of thousands of LEED projects across the country, CaGBC and its members have been affecting tangible environmental change in this country for the last decade,” says Thomas Mueller, CaGBC’s president and CEO. “By greening the building stock across the country, we have reduced an estimated 822,731 C02E tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to taking over 155,000 cars off the road for a year; and saved 4,230,206 eMWh of energy, which is enough to power over 143,000 home in Canada for a full year.
“Building on these achievements, CaGBC will continue to work with industry and government to accelerate change in building practice and policy toward low carbon buildings and communities leading to an even larger impact on greenhouse gas emissions,” he said in a news release.
Canada is a leader on the global green building stage, with the second highest number of LEED certified buildings in the world and the highest number per capita. The positive impacts of green building in Canada are continuing to be felt with two more major milestones this month: the 1,000th LEED certified project in Ontario, and the 175th LEED Platinum certified project in Canada. Both achievements demonstrate Canada’s building industry is adopting green building practices across their portfolios, and pushing their environmental performance beyond the status quo.
LEED certified projects are represented in all corners of Canada, and among all building types. Some of the key projects that have certified recently include:
- The TD Centre, in Toronto’s financial district, which has now earned LEED Platinum certification for all six of its towers, making it one of the largest LEED Platinum certified properties in North America. Built in 1967, the 4.5 million-square-foot centre achieved this feat through a number of initiatives, including its Occupant Engagement Program that encourages its 21,000 tenants to help meet progressive consumption targets.
- The West Don Lands at 585 King St E., 40 Lower River St. and 45 St. Lawrence St. in Toronto, which certified LEED Gold. Located on a 0.7 hectare brownfield site, this project of 243 affordable housing units, includes four fully accessible and barrier-free units, large multipurpose rooms and green roofs.
- The Sun Life Financial Tower at 150 King St. W. in Toronto, which earned a LEED Gold Existing Building Recertification, making it one of the first office towers to do so. Additions to the project that contributed to this achievement include conducting ongoing air quality audits and implementing a green cleaning policy. The project was also recognized for its efforts with a Building Performance Award for Greatest Energy Reduction (2011-2014) from CivicAction’s 2015 Race to Reduce Awards.
- The new STGM Architects Head Office, in Quebec City, which certified LEED Platinum. This building achieved LEED’s highest rating while keeping creativity at its heart. Sustainability measures included ample access to fresh air, with the longitudinal shape of the building capable of opening laterally, creating a natural and effective form of cross ventilation. In addition, mechanical systems were designed to cool and heat effectively at the same time, and in different areas of the building.
To see a full list of LEED Platinum certified projects and highlights, visit www.cagbc.org/PlatinumClub. Additionally, a searchable LEED project database with further detail on all LEED registered and certified projects in Ontario and across Canada, including project scorecards and photos, can be viewed on the CaGBC LEED Project Profiles webpage. For more information on the #BetterBuildGreen campaign in support of COP 21 Buildings Day, visit: http://www.betterbuildgreen.org/.