Rethinking infrastructure with green building

Green building supplement from Canada’s National Post newspaper, originally published on March 27th, 2015.

Lead Article:

Green Building Is Good For The Planet, For Business And For People

By Thomas Mueller, President & CEO Canada Green Building Council

With Canada currently undergoing a massive building boom, there is no better time than now to focus our attention and efforts towards green building.   With many major cities across the country already adopting innovative building practices towards new and existing buildings, there is reason to believe that Canada will be amongst the leaders moving towards low energy/low carbon buildings.

The objective

Even as Canada’s green building  market has evolved considerably over the past decade, the goal behind green building has remained the same: to transform buildings, neighbourhoods and cities toward low-impact solutions; to create business opportunities for professionals, developers and manufacturers; to increase operational savings for owners; and to build healthier places in which to work, live, learn and play.

“Green office space is in demand across Canada, leading to higher lease and occupancy rates…”

The progress on our mission to transform buildings and communities is unfolding successfully thanks to an extensive national network of practitioners, stakeholders and supporters. Collectively, our ideas, innovations and actions have led to many significant improvements in the way buildings are planned, designed, built and operated in Canada today.

Performance matters 

From design, to construction, all the way to operations and maintenance, the right expertise and accountability must be applied at each stage in order to optimize the performance of a building. Only then can the full benefits be realized for the building owners, occupants and the environment.

Green real estate

Building owners and business leaders from across Canada have invested in greener practices over the past decade, with a focus on realizing financial, environmental and health benefits. Certified green buildings provide a strong return on investment, from operational savings to a healthier, happier, and overall more productive workforce.

Green office space is in demand across Canada, leading to higher lease and occupancy rates, as well as better tenant attraction and retention. The workforce is changing, and healthy, environmentally responsible workplaces are high on the list for prospective employees.

The future looks green

As we move forward, it is important to draw on past success and to continuously strive for higher levels of building performance, innovation, and wider market acceptance. As understanding of the benefits from green building increases, so should the adoption of these practices.

Canada-UK Sustainable Building Network gets down to business

The Canada-UK Sustainable Building Network is getting down to business with the launch of its new website aimed at providing an online platform for the sharing of news and best practices.

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www.cuksbn.org

The Network will also co-host its first joint event next year when the 5th Building Forum comes to the UK for the first time.  This Forum will bring to London experts from across Canada, the UK and Europe to discuss the major theme for 2015 ‘Sustainability in the urban built environment’.

The Network – first announced at Ecobuild 2014 in London – was created to both build on existing relationships and to foster new partnerships in industry, academia and government centred on sustainability in the built environment. The dedicated website will be a vehicle for sharing best practices while helping to develop and strengthen trade and investment links between Canada and the UK.

The Network is supported by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and High Commission of Canada in London, working alongside UK Trade & Investment and the British Consulate in Toronto. When the Network was launched in Toronto, Canada in June 2014, then British Consul General Jonathan Dart noted:

“Canada and the UK strive to construct sustainable buildings and communities, both to reduce Co2 emissions and to improve the quality of life for those whom inhabit them. Innovation is central to these efforts, and sharing innovation through this Network can only be a good thing.”

Canadian High Commissioner to the UK Gordon Campbell said of the new Network and the upcoming event in London:

“In the build environment, in our efforts to create sustainable, liveable communities – as in so many other areas – Canada and UK share common goals. The creation of this Network will not only strengthen existing relationships, but will also help forge new ones.”

Save the Date:

Monday, March 2nd
Canada House on Trafalgar Square

The first project hosted by the Network will be the Canada-EU Green Building Forum which has become a much anticipated event on the European sustainability calendar. On the eve of Ecobuild 2015, this meeting will draw together experts from across Canada, the UK and the EU at the newly-revitalised Canada House to discuss sustainability in the urban built environment.

Presenters and panellists will seek common ground on topics such as high-rise living, renovating the urban environment, tall wood and policy making. The first keynote speaker to be announced is Canada’s High Commissioner in the UK Gordon Campbell who is also the former Premier of British Columbia and Mayor of Vancouver, both which are global leaders in sustainable development.

The Network is now inviting interest from individuals and organisations who would like to take part in the forum. Further information is available at www.cuksbn.org where visitors can also join the Network.