Canada continues to demonstrate its progress in fighting climate change with 204 registered and 211 certified LEED projects in Canada between May and September 2015. This brings the current total number of LEED certified projects in Canada to 2,466 – second highest in the world. Buildings play a critical role in the battle against climate change, representing 30 per cent of greenhouse gases generated overall. This role is being acknowledged internationally at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 meetings in Paris on December 3, when leaders will, for the first time, dedicate an entire day to addressing how countries can work to reduce the carbon footprint of their buildings.
“This has been a strong year so far and the CaGBC is very proud to see green building and LEED continuing to grow across the country and globally,” says Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the CaGBC. “Our national efforts are timely, and tie-in well to the Buildings Day that will be held at COP 21, supported by the World Green Building Council. This signals the key role buildings play in reducing carbon emissions around the globe and is consistent with our efforts in pushing for higher levels of performance for Canadian projects through the LEED v4 rating system. The next version of LEED will drive the market toward higher efficiency and renewable energy targets, but also engage manufacturers to reduce the environmental footprint of building materials and products.“
Among the most notable projects in this period, the first 12 Canadian projects have now registered under the LEED v4 version of the rating system, and Ecohome’s Edelweiss project has become the first LEED v4 certified project in Canada – earning Platinum in late September. LEED v4 projects are held to a higher standard, with an even more rigorous approach to sustainability throughout their life-cycle and an increased focus on the health and wellness of building occupants.
Year-to-date-totals (up to September 30, 2015) by LEED certification level are as follows.
- 79 LEED Certified
- 141 LEED Silver
- 171 LEED Gold
- 26 LEED Platinum
Projects that earned LEED certification in the summer months include:
- The Richardson International Airport Terminal in Winnipeg, MB, which certified LEED Silver. Travel contributes to approximately 27 per cent of the world greenhouse gas production and the aviation industry is responsible for approximately 9 per cent of the total travel GHG production. The Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) took their commitment to sustainability seriously in constructing this new energy efficient terminal, which has lowered overall airport emissions and operating costs, while providing healthier interior spaces for employees and travelers alike.
- Centennial Place in Calgary, AB, which certified LEED Platinum. This project, which certified in the Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance category, is a 1.3 million sq.ft, two-tower office complex located in the Eau Claire district of downtown Calgary. The project team had a goal of re-commissioning the building to perform at or better than its original design, and expects to see $39,530 lowered annual operating costs as a result. Sustainability features include an ENERGY STAR score of 97, active engagement of tenants to understand and contribute to green building initiatives, and diverting 494 tonnes of waste from landfill annually.
- The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal, QC, which certified LEED Platinum. Designers for this project had the goal of creating something that reflected their vision of “the human being at the heart of the Universe”. Thanks to the cooperation of the City of Montréal and its partners in the project, the implementation and realization of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium enlisted the most established as well as the most innovative talents in the fields of architecture and engineering, along with leading experts in the field of sustainable development to earn LEED’s highest level.
- The iNova Credit Union in Halifax, NS, which certified LEED Silver. The goal of this project was to develop a space for the better serves employees and reduces environmental impact. Sustainability features that improve the indoor experience for both staff and customers include: 90 per cent of staff have access to natural daylight, furniture is mix of GreenGuard certified and recycled from old location, carpets are made from recycled materials, and the Credit Union is committed to promoting sustainability in all promotional items.