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Green Construction Products in Canada

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Canada is recognized as a world leader in green building and design. Canadian companies have earned a reputation in the green building industry and have made such an impact that Canada ranks second in the world for the number registered and certified LEED® projects.

 

Green construction products help minimize risk to people’s health and the environment. They are traditionally used in green buildings that are known for their minimal environmental impacts and occupant health benefits. A building is made of different products, and the more green products that can be incorporated into the building, the healthier and more energy efficient it will be.

 

Energy efficient green construction products contribute to reducing the building’s GHG emissions. New and existing buildings can use high performance HVAC systems, windows and building envelope to reduce the energy requirements of a green building.

 

Striving to meet GHG reduction targets involves many strategies, and green building has been identified as one of these methods. Using the LEED® green building rating system provides a pathway to a successful high performance green building, and reaching a significant reduction in GHG emissions from the building sector.

 

The products that make up the walls, flooring and furniture are also important to consider when specifying green construction products. Humans spend 90% of their time indoors, and for those of us who do not work and live in green office spaces and homes, means the air we breathe is comingled with volatile organic compounds that off-gas from paint, furniture and even our computers! Using products with safer ingredients and eliminating harmful toxins like formaldehyde, benzene and other carcinogens from these products significantly reduces risks to occupants.

 

Fortunately there is an increasing awareness and demand for safer products, and the market has responded. Manufacturers across Canada are now taking their products through rigorous life-cycle assessments and testing to assure their impact on the environment and human health is minimal. These life cycle assessments cover all phases of the products life, from raw material sourcing to end-of-life disposal, ingredient disclosure and their hazard level. LEED® rewards manufacturers who undergo this transparency process, encouraging project teams to select qualified and preferred products.

 

To support manufacturers in this changing environment, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has developed a manufacturer specific page with resources and tools available through CaGBC membership to promote sustainable products to the Canadian green building industry. CaGBC education provides a solid understanding of what project teams require and how product can contribute to LEED v4 projects.

 

CaGBC members may also access LEED v4 Product Profiles that feature green products that have contributed to a LEED v4 certified project, including products from the CaGBC Vancouver office project.  Profiles include a product snapshot, so project teams can easily see which credits the product is eligible for.

 

The Green Business Showcase is another way green building professionals and green product manufacturers can connect. A valued component of the CaGBC national conference, Building Lasting Change, this showcase hosts innovative products available in Canada, and encourages valuable B2B connections.

 

To find out more about the benefits of green buildings, please visits www.cagbc.org/advocacy.

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