Spotlighting Sustainable Development with Green Building Day
The annual municipality challenge gets an update
Complementing National Environment Week, today, Built Green Canada issues its seventh annual challenge to municipalities, to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable building practices, to challenge municipalities to encourage green building, and to highlight those leading the way.
In years previous, the organization encouraged municipalities to proclaim the first Wednesday of June BUILT GREEN® Day—named after its sustainable building programs, which take a holistic approach, including energy, indoor air quality and ventilation, waste, water, and more. However, the organization has formally extended the nod, in recognition of all those building more sustainably and verifying their work through third-party certification.
Updating to Green Building Day further acknowledges all those builders, and supporting industry, who are making innovative, responsible choices to build on sustainability. Collectively, their excellent work moves the entire industry forward, to its benefit, and that of Canadian homebuyers, as well as our environment and natural resources.
Year over year, participation in this initiative has grown, with municipal support from British Columbia through to Ontario. This reflects public and private industry’s growing concern around climate change and the heightened expectations of the municipality’s role in addressing this social problem. In response to meeting environmental targets, all orders of government are developing climate mitigation strategies, while, for those working in the residential building industry, increased energy performance and other regulations continue to increase for builders.
There is room for further collaborative actions between government and industry—collaboration that considers the environment, costs, and the pace of change—given realizing sustainability targets requires the support of private industry.
“The collision of these factors shines a light on how we can help both builders and municipalities reach environmental targets,” says Jenifer Christenson, Built Green Canada chief executive officer. “We work with builders on their third-party certification to ensure they’re successful and reach required standards—and, we’re affordable. We want to see municipalities encourage programs that are economical: for the builder and for the homebuyer. And, we want to see acknowledgement for those builders who contribute to climate mitigation, implementing advanced building technologies and verifying their work through our program—and any program that helps them become better builders.”
Green Building Day falls on Environment Week’s Clean Air Day, an initiative to acknowledge how important air quality is to our health, our environment, and the economy—and that poor air quality is one of the most avoidable causes of disease. And, with COVID posing a greater threat to those with compromised lungs, this message is timely.
This theme fits into sustainable building, and notably the BUILT GREEN® programs, which include Air Quality as one of the seven pillars of its green building programs. Moreover, any program that helps builders move towards greener practices is working to encourage construction with a smaller environmental footprint.
Now more than ever, healthy homes have become a priority, and there is growing awareness that a sustainably built home is a healthier home. Meanwhile, many people are spending more time inside their house as they’ve adjusted to working from home. Momentum around sustainable building has been growing and will remain long after COVID.
To support green building, Built Green Canada encourages others to follow and contribute to this challenge on social media, using #GreenBuildingDay. And, if you’re a homebuyer / homeowner, you can contribute to climate mitigation by asking your builder / renovator to certify through a sustainable, third-party program.
Built Green Canada is a national, industry-driven organization offering third-party certification programs for the residential building sector: programs for Single Family, Single Family Renovations, High Density (including multi-storey, residential tower, and mixed-use), High Density Renovations, and Communities. Since its inception, builders have completed over 41,522 BUILT GREEN® certified homes represented in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario (as at December 31, 2020).
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For more information:
Built Green Canada
Karen Podolski, Communications Manager