Canada Green Building Council strengthens its ties to commercial real estate

Changes to the membership of the Board of Directors of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) are strengthening ties between the CaGBC and the Commercial real estate sector.

At one of its three-times a year meetings in April the CaGBC elected four new members to its 18 member Board of Directors all with significant commercial real estate connections including:

Michael Brooks, Executive Director of The Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac) – REALpac is recognized as Canada’s most influential voice in the real property investment industry. Brooks was elected after serving a one-year term as an appointee to the CaGBC Board.

Lisa Bate, Partner, Bregman + Hamann Architects – Bregman + Hamann Architects is the Architect of Record for RBC Centre under construction in Toronto that is targeting a Leadership in Enegy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certificate and several other sustainably designed commercial and institutional buildings that are listed on their website.

Jaimie James with Windmill Developments – Windmill Developments is an Ottawa multi-unit residential and commercial property development company best known for its Dockside Green Project in Victoria, B.C.

Renee L. Gratton Principal of RG Integration – RG Integration assists architectural product manufacturers with research and development of environmentally friendlier solutions.

See photo of CaGBC Board of Directors below. There are up to five CaGBC Board appointments that have not been finalized and will be announced in May. 

Election of Michael Brooks, CEO of REALpac to the Board of the CaGBC is particularly noteworthy. Members of the Real Property Association of Canada include publicly traded real estate companies, real estate investment trusts (REITs), private companies, pension funds, banks and life insurance companies with investment real estate assets each in excess of $100 million.

Commenting on his involvement with the CaGBC, Brooks said that his election for a three-year term “signifies Canada Green Building Council member acceptance for the need for direct and broad "industry" involvement in the LEED product suite development and the advocacy for green buildings in Canada.”

Brooks added, “For REALpac members, this gives us a "seat at the table" and the two way communication we need with the CaGBC. I can update REALpac members on CaGBC direction and get feedback from members to inform CaGBC decision making.”

Don McLean, Senior Vice President, Sun Life Portfolio Manager, Bentall Capital and Chair of National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Ontario Chapter Sustainability Committee is another senior commercial real estate executive who has just completed a one-year appointment to the CaGBC Board.

McLean explained that the NAIOP Sustainability Committee has been active in recruiting participants for the CaGBC pilot program for Commercial real estate and for the development of LEED for Existing Buildings in Canada.  The NAIOP Committee is evolving from being an Ontario based organization into a National NAIOP Sustainability Committee.

Commenting on changes to the CaGBC Board of Directors McLean said “the CaGBC understands it needs strong links with the commercial real estate to meet its targets and reached out to REALpac and NAIOP for assistance.” The CaGBC has set a target of 100,000 green commercial buildings and 1,000,000 green homes by 2015.

According to Nancy Grenier, Communications Director at the CaGBC, “the organization has its roots in building design and engineering but as a result of the accelerated greening of the commercial sector it is getting pulled in that direction.”

She added, “Composition of the Board of Directors reflects where there is market traction for green buildings.  It is in the Commercial sector where there are people who want to see the green building movement move forward, clarity in the rating system and they also recognize the business opportunity that it offers.”

BOMA Canada is not represented as an organization on the CaGBC Board. BOMA’s absence can be attributed to several factors: it offers the competing BOMA Go Green Plus Certification, it is in the midst of an organizational change and hiring a National Executive Director.

To learn more about the CaGBC and the LEED Canada Initiative attend the up and coming CaGBC National Summit, Shifting into the Mainstream to be held at the Toronto Convention Centre on June 11-12, 2008.  Visit the Shifting into the Mainstream and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) website for details and to register.

Front Row: Nancy Searchfield, Kevin Hydes, Peter Bushby, Thomas Mueller, Ian Jarvis, Lisa Bate

Second Row: Alex Zimmerman, Michael Brooks, Renee Gratton, Vivian Manasc, Gail McBride, Dr. Mark Gorgolewski, Gordon Hicks

Top Row: Norm Sellars, Andrew Pride, Jaime James, Mark Lucuik, James Bush, Catherine Nickerson, Bruce Lorimer, Doug Webber

The current Board of Directors consists of 18 members drawn from a wide range of industries and geographic regions. For other details visit the CaGBC Website.

Lisa Bate
Bregman + Hamann Architects
Seat: Professional Firms

Michael Brooks
Real Property Association of Canada
Seat: Non-profit Organizations and Industry Associations

Peter Busby (chair)
Busby, Perkins + Will
Seat: Professional Firms

James Bush
Lafarge North America
Seat: Retail, Construction and Products

Dr. Mark Gorgolewski
Ryerson University, School of Architecture
Seat: Academia, Research and Policy

Renée L. Gratton
RG Integration
Seat: Retail, Construction and Products

Gordon Hicks
Brookfield Lepage Johnson Controls
Seat: Building owners, Realtors, Managers and Tenants

Kevin Hydes
Stantec Consulting Ltd.
Seat: Professional Firms

Jamie James
Windmill Developments
Seat: Building, Owners, Realtors, Managers and Tenants

Mark Lucuik
Morrison Hershfield
Seat: Professional Firms

Tom MacDonald
Ledcor Construction Group
Seat: Retail, Construction and Products

Vivian Manasc
Manasc Isaac Architect Ltd.
Seat: Professional Firms

Gail McBride
BC Hydro
Seat: Utilities

Catherine Nickerson
Government of BC – Accommodation & Real Estate Services
Seat: Academia, Research and Policy

Andrew Pride
Minto Urban Communities Inc.
Seat: Building Owners, Realtors, Managers and Tenants

Nancy Searchfield
Colliers International
Seat: Building Owners, Realtors, Managers and Tenants

Norman Sellars
Citizens Bank of Canada
Seat: Financial and Support Services

Alex Zimmerman
Applied Green Consulting Ltd.
Seat: Professional Firms


Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

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Ann launched RENX in 2001 as a part-time venture and has grown the publication to become a primary source of online news for the Canadian real estate industry. Prior to…

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