LEED Canada for Homes launched in Ontario, Quebec
Vaughan, ON – The new LEED Canada for Homes program was launched simultaneously in Ontario and Quebec on March 3rd, to fill a niche at the very top of the green home scale. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is already well known in building circles having labeled green commercial and high-rise buildings not only in Canada but throughout the world. With the introduction of this new program, the public will be hearing a great deal more about this label. The LEED Canada for Homes label looks beyond simple utility consumption to include water, indoor air quality, site location, building practices and even the sources for home building materials and products.
“LEED Canada for Homes is simply a better way to build.” says Lyle Shipley, Executive Director of the Greater Toronto Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), the group that manages the LEED programs in Canada. “Home buyers should look to LEED’s third party certification, which ensures that their home is truly green and meets the most comprehensive environmental criteria."
Over the last year a group of green builders, technical experts, and other industry stakeholders worked to adapt the US Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program to fit with Canadian building codes and climates. “The LEED for Homes Committee was an industry lead initiative with strong builder representation,” explained Andrew Pride, VP of Minto’s Green Team and the Chair of the LEED Homes Committee. “Builders see the need for a green rating system to demonstrate to customers that there is more value in building with less impact on the environment,” he added.
The committee used a Case Study program to gain concrete examples on how to best adapt the US version for Canada, enrolling over 400 homes from 50 participating builders across the country. Of these, more than 75 percent were in Ontario, where some production builders like Minto not only participated but were founding sponsors.
“The enthusiastic builder involvement in this program shows that there is a growing need to rate and certify very green homes in the GTA and across Canada,” said Shipley. “We have seen that despite the downturn in the US housing market, green homes have kept their value and actually increased in terms of new home starts.”