When the United States Green Building Council first devised LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in 1993, it was meant to serve as a single standard in green construction.
Now, nearly 25 years later, it has grown to a broad system of interconnected standards covering everything from design to construction to a building’s maintenance and operation and is globally recognized. Outside of the US, Canada has the largest amount of LEED certified and LEED registered buildings in the world and has the highest number of LEED buildings per capita – worldwide.
The high quantity of LEED buildings in Canada is partly due to our proximity to the US and partly due to our interest in moving toward a more sustainable construction industry.
A Smart Investment
A 2014 study by the Canada Green Building Council, the Canadian arm of the United States Green Building Council, found there were several factors significantly contributing to an increase in companies and individuals investing in green architecture and construction.
Not only are green buildings sound investments due to their reduced environmental impacts, they also recoup either part or all of the additional expense for green features via lower operational and maintenance costs. As the study found, it takes an average of eight years to recover the investment on a new green building, but the benefits are immediate and far-reaching.
Doing the Right Thing
It isn’t just about saving a buck or two. It’s about making real change for the sake of ourselves and our planet. In the Canada Green Building Council’s study, 42 percent of respondents noted that client demand and “doing the right thing” played an integral role in pursuing green building practices. Furthermore, 60 percent of respondents believe the occupants of green buildings experience increased levels of health and well-being.
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Good for the Economy
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the increasing green building trend is its influence on the economy. The green building industry employed nearly 300,000 individuals in 2014, and with more government initiatives on the way, the number will only continue to grow. Already, job creation in the green building sector exceeds the combined total of Canada’s oil and gas extraction, mining and forestry industries.
As Canada Green Building Council President and CEO Thomas Mueller said, “By quantifying the significant economic value and growth of green building and LEED certification in Canada, we are demonstrating that green building is not just good for the environment, but it is also good for the economy.”
It's All in the Details
Green building is all about attention to detail. Designers and builders both need to – and choose to – select sustainable materials and practices. From the handling of on-site waste materials, to the finish on the building’s facade – every step is another opportunity to be more conscious of our environmental footprint.
Powder coating fits into this mindful approach seamlessly. Solvent and VOC-free, highly durable and long lasting, powder coating is even environmentally friendly during the application process as any overspray can be collected and reused. Now, that’s green!