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What is Green Construction – Increase Operating Efficiency and Occupant Satisfaction

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What is LEED® Certification?
 
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a globally recognized rating system for green buildings. It encompasses all phases of construction from the design and construction to the operation of the building. The reputation of LEED certification has continued to grow and it is now commonly regarded as the international mark of green and sustainable building excellence. The LEED standard is responsible for transforming the way many buildings and communities are designed, built and maintained.
 
LEED Canada is a specific set of LEED certification criteria that is adapted for the unique characteristics of Canada. This includes the different climates and building practices (including domestic building regulations and codes).
 
The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) is an organization that advocates green building and sustainability program practices in Canada. This organization is dedicated to being an invaluable resource for education and training for all of its members across Canada. The CaGBC is the sole license holder of LEED in Canada, and is recognized for continuously adapting and improving the ratings system to specific Canadian standards using feedback from its members, stakeholders as well as industry experts.
 
A Holistic Approach to Green Building
 
In order to receive the best possible LEED rating, a holistic approach to sustainability must be used. This means planning for a building by viewing the entire structure and all its facets, and how all of these different aspects work together. High performance buildings designed using this holistic approach will incorporate eco-friendly, energy efficient and sustainable materials and systems wherever possible. These aspects will work together to promote a higher overall performance for the building.
 
The holistic LEED approach pays special attention to each of these characteristics of the building:
  • The overall sustainability of the site development.
  • Water and energy efficiency.
  • The materials chosen for construction.
  • Indoor air quality.
It is important to notice that LEED incorporates both human and environmental factors. This means that the green building is both environmentally friendly and healthy for the people who use it. Green buildings built to LEED certification specifics have been proven to have the following benefits:
  • Higher market value.
  • Increased occupancy and occupant satisfaction.
  • Decreased operation and maintenance costs.
Green Building on a Budget
 
Green projects are typically slightly higher when comparing initial project costs. The LEED approach ensures that these extra initial costs are recovered by the long-term energy savings and increased occupancy rates.
 
Buildings can be considered green without receiving LEED certification, but the certification absolutely increases the building's public profile and provides a valuable benchmark when comparing to other similar buildings across Canada.
 
Becoming a member of the CaGBC provides valuable benefits. One of the major benefits includes discounts in the fees associated with gaining LEED certification. Projects registered with the CaGBC also received increased recognition by being listed in their national database. Members have access to a valuable educational resources and a wide network of professionals knowledgeable of the latest cost-effective green building practices. The newest member benefit is a free company listing in the new online directory, Canada Builds Green which provides organizations with exposure to potential customers, clients, partners, and distributors around the world.
 
Find out what green construction is and how it can benefit your building and its tenants. Contact the CaGBC to discover the benefits of pursuing LEED certification today.
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