Built Green Canada launches fourth annual challenge
June 8, 2017 By Built Green Canada
June 8, 2017 – Concurrent with National Environment Week, Built Green Canada issued its fourth annual challenge to municipalities across the country to encourage sustainable building policies. The challenge is marked by a growing number of municipalities who have proclaimed June 7 as Built Green Canada Day. This includes over 20: Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Kelowna, Langford, Moose Jaw, Nanaimo, North Vancouver, Penticton, Port Coquitlam, Prince Albert, Regina, Saanich, Saskatoon, Strathcona County, St. Albert, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, and Collingwood. Yorkton acknowledged the day; Okotoks is in support of the day, Lethbridge will mark the day by lighting up City Hall through green LEDs on June 9 and June 10, while others are endorsing third-party certified programs, including Built Green Canada’s.
Built Green Canada recognizes municipalities may not be able to favour one program over another and therefore encourages municipalities to include its programs, alongside other sustainability programs, as an option to endorse. Municipalities that incent builders to build more sustainably reduce the load on civic infrastructure including water, power, and waste.
This marks the growing concern faced by public and private industry on climate change and the heightened expectations of their role in addressing this social problem. In the residential building industry, homebuyers increasingly are looking for sustainably built, certified homes—the 2017 Canadian Home Buyer Preference National Study shows that 63 per cent of homeowners say a high performance home is a ‘must have.’ ”
Progressing climate mitigation strategies will continue with the leadership and work of all orders of government and private industry, while the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change lays out the possibility for collaborative actions between government and industry that include mandatory labelling by as early as 2019 in the built environment. Realizing sustainability targets requires the support of private industry. “This underscores one of our key advantages,” says Jenifer Christenson, Built Green Canada Chief Executive Officer. “We’re an industry-driven, non-profit offering third-party certification programs for those interested in sustainable building—and, we’re affordable.”
Affordability is high on the organization’s agenda and has increasingly become a concern across the country. “We want municipalities to encourage certification programs that are affordable: for the builder and for the homebuyer.” Adds Christenson, “Most of the builders certifying through our programs are choosing to do so as they recognize the competitive advantages it offers, including rebates on mortgage loan insurance premiums. By recognizing programs already embraced by builders and developers, we believe municipalities are better able to work with the residential building industry to collectively progress sustainability.”
“We have the privilege of working with progressively-minded municipalities, builders, and other key stakeholders for a more sustainable future,” says Christenson. “We’d like to do a call out to Built Green Canada’s founding company, Jayman BUILT alongside Landmark Homes, Excel Homes, and all those since who have shown tremendous leadership by committing their builds be certified through our programs.”
This year’s Built Green Canada Day coincides with Clean Air Day, focused on raising awareness and encouraging action on clean air and climate change issues to contribute to cleaner air, healthier communities, and a better quality of life. Likewise, Built Green Canada takes a holistic approach to residential building that integrates Natural Resources Canada’s EnerGuide label with its Single Family for New Homes and Renovations programs, and goes beyond to include e natural resource preservation, pollution reduction, enhanced air quality and ventilation, and improved home durability. To support these programs, the organization is encouraging others to follow this challenge on Twitter: #BuiltGreenCanadaDay.
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