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Ontario Construction News staff writer
Celebrating National Environment Week, Built Green Canada has continued its tradition of issuing a challenge to municipalities across the country. The challenge, now in its sixth year, recognizes industry leaders in sustainable building practices, and reinforces the need for municipalities to encourage this type of development in their regions.
June 5 has been named Built Green Day by a number of municipalities in Ontario, including Markham, Greater Sudbury, and Burlington. Many other municipalities have thrown their support behind the initiative.
Built Green’s programs go beyond concern for energy efficiency in new homes, to consider additional building practices that help to reduce the load on civic infrastructure including water, power, and waste.
This year, water conservation is a factor considered in a new build’s sustainability rating, representing the first water-based rating in the country. Partnering with the Green Builder Coalition in using the water conservation section of builder programs, the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS) scores on a scale of 0-100 for water use and reuse via rain and greywater catchment calculations.
Participation in the program’s levels of certification offer companies a strategy to ratchet up standards a bit at a time, to be ready for net-zero regulations expected to come into effect in 2030.
While energy and water conservation are key components to homebuilding within municipalities, affordability is also a large concern. Built Green Canada hopes to work with industry and governments to find a balance between the two initiatives. “We want to see municipalities encourage programs that are economical: for the builder and for the homebuyer,” says Jenifer Christenson, chief executive officer at Built Green Canada.
Built Green Canada is an industry-driven, national, non-profit organization offering programs for residential building. Builders have worked with Built Green to complete over 32,000 certified homes in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.
Canada’s National Environment Week includes celebrations of Canada Clear Air Day and UN World Environment day on June 5, and World Oceans Day on June 8.