Canada’s commercial building sector spends $17.6 billion and generates 65.3 million tonnes of GHG emissions annually. Studies also indicate that there is much room for improvement with deep efficiency measures capable of reducing commercial building greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 60 per cent. This is why the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has released GREEN UP, a building performance program for building owners and operators to measure, compare, and improve their real estate portfolios. Unveiled at the CaGBC National Conference & Expo, GREEN UP enables the benchmarking of energy and water use, goal-setting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and helps identify ways to improve the operational and environmental performance of projects across building portfolios.
Responding to a clear industry need for a performance-based approach to energy and environmental improvements, the program will offer access to a national repository that includes building performance data for office, multi-family, long-term healthcare, hotel, retail, K-12 school, and government buildings. The national database is combined with powerful data visualization tools that allow users to consolidate, analyze, and benchmark building performance against other ENERGY STAR buildings in their portfolio and beyond. By doing so, they are able to identify when and where they are spending energy and money, and take the necessary steps to change it.
“Energy costs make up a significant percentage of overall operating expenses and should be a major concern for any building owner. Measuring and benchmarking energy use is a first step in improving current practices,” says Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the CaGBC. “By giving those involved in managing buildings this comprehensive and accessible tool we are helping them identify where they can improve building performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Also included in the GREEN UP program:
- The ability to normalize utility data and generate ENERGY STAR Scores (for eligible buildings);
- Interactive dashboard views organized by building types and sub-types;
- Quick and easy access to flexible and interactive reports;
- Decision guides that help support sustainable capital and operational investment spending.
In 2008 the CaGBC began a GREEN UP pilot project, which initially tracked the energy use of three building types: commercial office buildings; administrative buildings; and K-12 schools.
“GREEN UP gives us an industry-wide perspective that we just couldn’t get on our own,” says Sandy Thomaes, LEED AP, Senior Consultant, Corporate Services, CIBC, a GREEN UP pilot user. “Being able to benchmark against other buildings shows us where we need to concentrate efforts for improvement which helps us to set new targets and develop a strategy to get there.”
Those interested in the GREEN UP program and what it has to offer can contact the CaGBC to arrange a private demonstration, or find out about informational webinars that will be taking beginning this summer. Call toll-free 1-866-941-1184 or email email@example.com.
For more detailed information on GREEN UP, visit www.cagbc.org/greenup