LEED Buildings and Homes – A Global Phenomenon

The topic of home construction is much more intricate today than ever before, but not necessarily because we need bigger or flashier homes, but because people want smarter buildings. Whereas "environmentally-friendly” and "sustainable building” were once terms reserved for intellectuals to sit around and debate, these have no become a part of society's collective conscious, and the consumer is looking for results in their desire to help improve the planet. This does not mean that there now needs to be an additional cost to the builder, but in fact opens the doors not only to potential savings, but also in an easier, faster way of construction.
What is LEED® Certification?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a third party accreditation and certification program which sets standards for green building in many countries around the world and also adapts those standards to different environments. For example the standards which are implemented in Australia would differ greatly than those which would be utilized in Canada based on our vastly different climates. The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) holds the sole license for LEED in Canada.
Receiving your certification in LEED recognizes your company as a leader in green building and stands as your silent pledge to the environment and sound construction practices. Being part of this global initiative is a symbol of your desire to leave a healthier future to the generations of tomorrow and holds a company accountable for continuing to implement these important practices.
Why Are Green Homes in Canada Important?
The answer is the same in much of the world – to minimize our impact on the environment. However in Canada we are incredibly lucky to have not used up as much of our supplies or done harm to the natural beauty of our country as many other developed nations. As well as being a measure to reduce pollution, enabling these practices now and having them become habit will ensure we don't have as much work ahead of us in cleaning up as many other countries do.
Sustainable building refers to the creation of a structure though environmentally friendly methods which, of course, can be sustained. Building out of certified wood would be one example as it is plentiful, natural, does not require much for processing, and can be easily replaced for future projects. Utilizing building materials from former construction projects is also another way of sustainable building as no new emissions need to be created for the material to be repurposed.
What Role does the CaGBC Play in All This?
The Canada Green Building Council is guide and keeper of these standards in Canada, as well as for all green building methods and practices throughout the country. The highly valuable membership provides not only information to companies which wish to implement more environmentally conscious efforts, but also hands on training and multiple workshops to see it in practical application.
There are three ways to connect with the CaGBC. National memberships are for companies or organizations, large or small, in the green building industry. Benefits are extended to all employees. Chapter memberships are for individuals who want to engage with the green building industry on a local level in one of the eight CaGBC chapter regions across Canada. Emerging Green Builder (EGB) memberships are available for those new to the industry and under 30 years of age to help nurture their professional networks and education.
The council and its Chapters provide a forum for expressing new ideas and for discussing between peers what works in real life as opposed to just on paper. The future is important, and with the world rapidly evolving changes that used to take hundreds of years are now happening in a few short decades. Going green is not just a choice which will effect tomorrow, but which will also determine the course of today.
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