The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) launched the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) for Commercial interiors (LEED®_CI) at IIDEX in support of interior designers efforts’ to meet the growing demand for green spaces in Canada.
“We’ve adapted the USGBC green building rating system to our market and building code,” says Jackie Evans, chair of the CaGBC's LEED® Canada-CI committee. “The demand for this rating system is strong because it creates exciting opportunities for interior designers to play an important role in the greening of where we work.”
“LEED® Canada-CI is a meaningful way to engage the Canadian design community because it promotes learning and industry recognition of what defines a healthy interior,” says Thomas Mueller, President of the CaGBC.
At the launch of LEED® Canada-CI Mueller highlighted two key benefits of the greening of interior space. Improvements in the productivity and well-being of green building occupants and the conservation of building materials. According to Mueller there are researchers who anticipate that with a doubling of the Worlds population by 2050 “we will run out of materials before we will run out of energy.”
When USGBC introduced LEED®-CI in 2004 designers quickly embraced it. The Hughes Condon Marler Architects (hcma.ca) office renovation in Vancouver B.C. was the first LEED®-CI project in Canada certified by the USGBC in June 2005. By September 2006, eight more commercial interior projects in Canada were certified by the USGBC.
According to Mueller there are about 20 prospective registrants waiting for the opening of Project registration for LEED® Canada-CI on October 16th.
The LEED® Canada-CI rating system is applicable to tenant improvements of new or existing office space. It applies to both tenants’ and base building owner’s work associated with a commercial interior improvements project.
The Canadian version of LEED®-CI includes clarifications considered useful for Canadian projects during creation and review of the USGBC’s LEED®-CI version 2.0 reference guide. Prerequisites and credit intents and requirements were not changed from the USGBC version; but submittals for initial certification review and audit submittals are explicitly listed in the Canadian version.
LEED® certified buildings meet the highest environmental performance standards in Canada. The point-based system covers six areas: site development, water and energy efficiency, material selection, indoor air quality and innovation of design. There are 50 LEED® certified projects in Canada with nearly 300 registered projects considered “certification candidates” – and these numbers are growing rapidly.