Built Green Canada is focused on the residential building sector and has programs for Single Family, High Density, and Renovations, with a Communities program under development. The Single Family and Renovations programs have a dual-label process; theAi??EnerGuide labelAi??throughAi??Natural Resources CanadaAi??forms the first, and the BUILT GREENAi?? Checklist forms the second. This second measurement is determined once the builder has met compliance requirements in each of the program’s seven checklist sections.
The BUILT GREEN program categories include energy and envelope; materials and methods; indoor air quality; ventilation; waste management; water conservation; and business practices. These are represented in a checklist, which guides builders on how to build more sustainably and is used to calculate points towards certification in the program. There are four levels of achievement: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The Program Guides complement the checklists and expand on the variety of Checklist action items to include their associated benefits, and provides a list of relevant resources.
Prior to a home certification, Single Family and Renovation projects receive an EnerGuide label and undergo quality assurance checks. A selection of homes go through an onsite verification check, and any of those that are rejected go through a full audit. All High Density projects have a BUILT GREENAi?? High Density Verifier who works alongside the builder to collect documentation required for auditing purposes. This includes onsite visits to ensure compliance. Once the project is submitted, a third-party auditor reviews the project.
Sustainable building, orAi??green building, has become increasingly popular,Ai??both for the environmentally conscious builder and for those responding to consumer demand. Various programs have developed to encourage and guide builders through the sustainable construction of their homes.Ai??These range from energy-focused programs, such asAi??ENERGY STAR, to programs that include green features exceeding energy requirements, such asAi??Built Green Canada,Ai??R-2000,Ai??Net Zero,Ai??LEED, andAi??Passive House. Canadian Mortgage and Housing CorporationAi??and Genworth Financial CanadaAi??recognize energy efficient homes with rebates for homeowners.
Building homes has an impact on the environmentAi??from natural resource use to landfill waste to production of greenhouse gases. Housing also accounts for a substantial amount of energy use in Canadian homes: 17%.Ai??With these green building programs focused on reducing builders’ and homeowners’ environmental footprint, cumulatively, they have the potential to reduce wide-scale energy use and foster sustainable building practices.
For the homeowner, these programs help them qualify for incentive programs, partial mortgage loan insurance premium refundAi??and insurance premiums,Ai??and lower utility billsAi??through reduced energy and water use. Affordability, relating to home ownership, continues to be a serious concern for industry and homeowners, because “[n]ew home prices are being driven higher by government actions, particularly at the municipal and provincial levels,” according to the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.
All levels of government are working on strategies to mitigate climate change. National Building Code for the first time addresses energy efficiency, with 9.36 being adopted across the country. The federal government’s Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate ChangeAi??is in favor of home labeling as part of their work to address the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Many municipalities have strategies focused on climate mitigation, some of which include the endorsementAi??of sustainable building programs for the built environment.
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Built Green Certification