Green Buildings are defined or described by a variety of metrics. Green buildings are constructed and maintained with lower environmental costs, while at the same time providing a higher quality indoor environment.
There is widespread perception that sustainable or green development is expensive. On the contrary, it has been found that the capital cost premium to be paid is often less than 5%. The resulting energy and resource savings amount to 40-60% over the conventional. The savings in long term operation of the building payback the additional investment many times over and ultimately contribute to the owner's bottom line.
Furthermore, these buildings result in an improved indoor environment; a better place to live and work. Superior building envelope, more natural lighting, and improved indoor air quality are all hallmarks of a green or sustainable building. These have the potential to improve productivity in the work environment and sustain property values.
Recognition of Green Buildings
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)
The LEED™ Rating System recognizes high performance buildings that incorporate design, construction and operational practices that combine healthy, high-quality and high-performance advantages with reduced environmental impacts. They provide a voluntary, consensus-based, market-responsive set of criteria that evaluate project performance from a whole-building, whole-life perspective, providing a common understanding for what constitutes a “green building” in the Canadian context.
The LEED Canada green building rating system includes the following:
- LEED-NC: New Construction and Major Renovations
- LEED-CI: Commercial Interiors
- LEED-EB:OM: Existing buildings: Operations & Maintenance
- LEED-H: Homes
To keep up to date on the development of these and future systems, please consult the Canada Green Building Council www.cagbc.org
Green Globes is an on-line auditing tool that lets designers, property owners and managers assess and rate existing buildings against best practices and standards, or integrate principles of green architecture at every stage of project delivery for retrofits and the design of new buildings.
Achieving a green building certification for an existing building is a very different process than those required for new buildings or major renovations. The good news is the LEED Canada EB:OM focuses on operations and maintenance. While there are minimum performance standards for energy, water, waste management, cleaning and purchasing, the majority of the credits target operational and environmental best practices that deliver savings and high indoor air quality within an existing building.
Arborus & Green Buildings
Arborus is an engineering consulting engineering firm with a unique portfolio in eco-efficiencies and renewable energy. “Green Building” or high performance design is not a special case at Arborus. Our design philosophy is to provide the most effective energy efficient solution in all of our projects.
Arborus provides sustainability consulting for the assessment, design and construction of “Green Buildings”, such as LEED-NC, LEED-CI, LEED-EB:OM, LEED for Homes, Living Building Challenge, BOMA Go Green programs as well as a number of non-program related green building strategies. Our experience with energy and buildings has resulted in a number of standing offers with the Canada Green Building Council to deliver workshops and energy performance auditing for the Green Building Performance Initiative (Green-Up).
Arborus’ experience in this field dates back to 2005 with the development of the Queens Centre (Queens University, Kingston), a five building complex for sport and student activities. Since then, our green building portfolio has grown to over $500 million in projects. Our management and document system provides an efficient delivery mechanism to enable the design and construction teams to integrate green building strategies and environmental best practices. Arborus provides a suite of facilitation, consulting, design & construction documentation, energy modeling and commissioning to compliment your team.
Arborus has been involved with LEED-EB:OM since its pilot phase started in 2008. We have delivered numerous action plan workshops to commercial building owners & managers, government and school boards. Arborus has developed a management program, System Alignment & Green Energy (SAGE) to effectively deliver certification for existing buildings. SAGE was designed to align the ownership/management of the organization, operations and deliver enhancements for on-going monitoring, verification, reporting, green energy deployment and greenhouse gas accounting.
LEED for Homes
Arborus is one of the Providers for the LEED Canada for Homes program. We have partnered with Homesol Building Solutions to create “Arborus-Homesol”, the LEED-H Provider serving our region. Arborus is the LEED consultant for the first LEED for Homes project in the City of Ottawa and is offering LEED-H consulting services for a number of homes projects. Contact the Manager of LEED for Homes, Clément Guénard at email@example.com