Information for New Construction

A new building will stand for years to come, so getting things right from the start is essential. As energy efficiency becomes a key priority, many owners are choosing to build to a higher standard when considering the construction of a new building.

Setting an energy efficiency goal during the design phase is the most cost-effective way to ensure that you’ll end up owning a building that uses less energy, costs less to operate, and causes fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a “typical” new building. Two organizations that can help in the process of constructing a new energy efficient building are the Canadian Green Building Council and ENERGY STAR®.

The Canadian Green Building Council offers the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program or LEED® as it is commonly known. It is one of the most widely-used green building rating systems in the world, available for virtually all building, community, and home-project types.

In Canada and globally, LEED has become a popular path for those wishing to create buildings that are more resource-efficient, healthy and resilient. Continuous improvement is a hallmark of LEED, as it constantly improves ahead of evolving government policy and helps to ensure that certified buildings remain efficient for several years.

Since 2005 LEED Canada has led to:
  • Energy savings: Energy savings of 16.7 million equivalent MWh which is enough to power 570,000 homes in Canada for a full year.
  • Water savings: Water savings totalling over 30 billion litres, as much as flows over the Canadian Horseshoe of Niagara Falls in four hours.
  • Recycling: Recycling over 3.6 million tonnes of construction/ demolition waste, which is one year’s total waste disposal in British Columbia.
  • GHG reduction: A 3.24 million CO2 equivalent tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which equates to taking 690,000 cars off the roads for a year.

For more information on LEED buildings check out the Canadian Green Building Council.

ENERGY STAR is another organization with great information to help you in making the best decisions when considering construction of a new commercial building. Working together with ENERGY STAR will help ensure you end up with a more efficient building.

The ENERGY STAR program gives ratings based on building performance standards and eligible buildings can obtain an ENERGY STAR certification. Some reasons to consider building to ENERGY STAR certification include:

  • Lower operating costs: Once in operation, ENERGY STAR certified buildings use, on average, 35 percent less energy than similar buildings resulting in substantial cost savings.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: Because ENERGY STAR certified buildings are verified to use less energy, on average, than similar buildings, they can also be verified to contribute fewer greenhouse gas emissions to our atmosphere. By earning the ENERGY STAR, you’re joining the front lines in the fight against climate change.
  • Increased occupancy rates: ENERGY STAR certified buildings have higher occupancy rates when compared to similar buildings. More efficient buildings result in lower electricity costs and are therefore more attractive to potential occupants.

You can find more information on ENERGY STAR certification and other programs here!