The “Green Bar” Continues to Rise for Building Developers

Canada Green Building Council Logo. Image Credit: Canada Green Building Council.

A recent article from the Winnipeg Free Press suggests that building developers who wish to achieve a much-coveted LEED certification on their latest building have a steep hill to climb.

That’s because the qualifications necessary to achieve the prestigious status are extremely rigid and demanding:

“Out of hundreds of Manitoba buildings trying obtain a LEED plaque … only 10 have succeeded so far.

Since 2007, when the former Doer government declared new provincial building projects should strive for LEED certification, the number of successful applicants is zero, according to provincial records obtained through freedom-of-information legislation.”

Supporters of the LEED program say the low approval rate is a direct result of the “popularity of the green-building brand name.”  Critics have argues that the certification process is too slow, demanding and wrought with red tape.  Some have argued that seeking LEED certification is far too expensive – the process can cost $30,000 – $100,000, depending on the size of the structure:

“The process begins with an “integrated design process,” which requires architects and contractors to collaborate on almost every aspect of the tendering and construction.

Once the new building or renovation project is complete, the designers exchange paperwork with the Canada Green Building Council, which has offices in Ottawa and Vancouver and appoints adjudication teams in other cities.

Rather than simply measuring energy efficiency, the council awards points toward LEED certification by using a checklist that also takes into account a multitude of factors, including building materials and the commuting habits of green-building occupants.”

LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000 and spread to other jurisdictions including Canada.  It is an internationally-recognized, environmentally-friendly building certification system that scores buildings out of a possible score of 100, in addition to 6 additional points for design innovation.

Steel is a popular building material found in many LEED-certified buildings, due to its flexibility, heating and cooling properties, and its ability to be recycled.


1 Response to “The “Green Bar” Continues to Rise for Building Developers”

  1. 1 Jaqlene Klum July 11, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Most of the building’s today are known for their high consumption of natural resources during their construction which results in deforestation , An idea for green building. in very much needful to preserve our resources . And now we have plenty of options for the construction of green buildings than some years back.

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