Why Building Green Matters to Your Health 

By: Lana Selbee 

Article courtesy of Reap Calgary


When you hear the term ‘Green Buildings’ the first thought that comes to mind most likely pertains to the environment. And while green buildings are absolutely concerned with the preservation and health of the environment, there’s more to it. One of the most important reasons for building green is actually your health. 

 

Did you know that the average North American spends 90% of their life indoors? 

 

Most days, the majority of us go from home to work and back home again. Our meetings are in buildings, as are our yoga classes. With so much time spent indoors, it’s crucial to consider how a building impacts our health, our wellness, and our sense of community and connection. 


Buildings have the single largest impact on our lives of any one sector. First and foremost, they impact the quality of the air we breathe, which has a direct impact on our health. 


Buildings and the built environment are also responsible for about half of all the energy we consume and a large proportion of our water use, materials and waste. The International Panel on Climate Change has repeatedly reported the construction industry as the sector that contributes most to climate change. Luckily, it also happens to have the most widespread and cost effective opportunities for improvement. 


In Calgary, our buildings are made to work particularly hard. We have tough winters, warm summers, all forms of precipitation – sometimes all in the same day – and huge temperature swings. 


It is for these reasons (the health and environmental impacts of buildings, and the particular challenges of Calgary), that Matt Grace founded Mission Green Buildings in 2012. 


Mission Green Buildings is a locally tailored, collaborative consulting company, with over 20 years of international engineering experience. They work to bring sustainability, community and health into the design and construction of a building, assessing the most impactful ways to create a more efficient project. They cover everything from green building ratings such as LEED, Living Building Challenge, Built Green, energy modeling, commissioning and sustainable master planning. 


Focusing almost exclusively on the Calgary market, and on projects ranging in size from a single house to an entire neighbourhood, Mission Green Buildings offers specialized engineering services based on our local resources and environmental conditions. For Matt, business is about collaboration, not competition, as the building industry is constantly changing and evolving. His company is always on the lookout for new innovations.