OTTAWA — The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has announced a significant green building milestone, reporting Jan. 18 that its LEED building program had reached the one-billion-square-foot mark.
The total represents nearly 7,000 LEED buildings, homes and communities certified by the program since 2004.
Referring to the federal government's Paris climate change commitments and its Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the CaGBC, said in a media statement that the LEED program will be crucial to Canada meeting its targets.
"We have just 13 years to reach aggressive national and international commitments to climate change," says Mueller. "Our members, stakeholders and the green building industry have proven that we are ready to take on this challenge. With over one-billion-square-feet of LEED projects across the country, a new more rigorous version of LEED and the release of a net zero carbon standard for Canada coming mid-year, it is evident that we are ready to hit the ground running and do our part in the countdown to 2030."
In the past year the CaGBC introduced a new standard, LEED v4. The new designation reflects a broader life cycle assessment with a materials focus and a greater emphasis on performance, integrative design, envelope commissioning and acoustics among other criteria assessed, explains the council's website.
A project at 270 Albert St. in Ottawa became the first commercial project in Canada to earn a LEED v4 Gold certification in the Existing Buildings category, in November 2016. The project was managed by Blackwood Partners.
In other milestones, the TD Bank Group office in Toronto earned the first WELL v1 certification in the world with its renovation of 25,000 square feet of office space.
The CaGBC is also moving ahead with Canada's first guideline and third-party verification system for zero carbon buildings, notes the release.
Statistics for 2016 show that there was a total of 406 LEED projects certified in the calendar year. In all, the total of certified projects in Canada is now 2,990.
Final totals by LEED certification level for 2016 were 70 Certified, 154 Silver, 152 Gold and 30 Platinum.
Calculated by province, the top five provinces for LEED certification in 2016 were Ontario, 147; Quebec, 103; British Columbia, 62; Alberta, 61; and Manitoba, 10.
In the first quarter of 2016, Canadian LEED certified projects reached a cumulative reduction of over one-million tonnes of CO2e in greenhouse gas emissions.