The 10-year-old group offers an industry-driven, voluntary program promoting green building practices.
The group said the expansion addresses the growing demand for responsible sustainability practices from builders, developers, government and homeowners.
Since its inception, the organization has enrolled and completed more than 20,500 certified Built Green homes. Another 3,000 units in multi-storey buildings have also been certified Built Green.
Costs expected to rise
According to Built Green Canada, new building code changes coming this year are expected to escalate building costs.
“Builders can invest the dollars required to reach the new industry standards taking a prescriptive route, or they can spend the equivalent to comply with the new code and participate on our program,” Built Green Canada’s executive director Jenifer Christenson said in a statement.
Built Green says homes built under its program are third-party verified, energy-efficient and environmentally responsible. The group says a Built Green home should save a minimum 10 per cent in annual utility bills compared to a code-built home.
The program offers a checklist of options to builders with participating houses receiving a bronze, silver, gold or platinum performance level.
The menu of options addresses a range of green items, including materials and methods, indoor air quality, ventilation, waste management, water conservation and business practices.
The program provides green training for builders in single-family homes or high-density projects, which includes multi-storey and residential tower developments.
To obtain the performance level in any given standard, the builder picks out their materials, which come from pre-approved Built Green suppliers. The EnerGuide rating system is included as part of the certification process.
A number of benefits
The group says utilizing their program provides a number of benefits. Water efficiency ranges from the installation of low-flow showers and faucets to xeriscaping. LED lighting, timers and motion sensors are some of the options for energy efficiency.
According to the group, the homes will be more comfortable because they are airtight, thereby reducing temperature variations from room to room.
Built Green homes use low- or zero-volatile organic compound paints, low or formaldehyde-free building materials and third-party certified floor coverings.
The group launched its high-density program in the spring. Certification for multi-family and towers includes meeting benchmarks in many of the same areas of single-family homes.
The program was based on builders’ input, emerging building practices, energy-efficiency advancements and market demand, according to the organization.