The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) grew by leaps and bounds Wednesday with the announcement it is adding The WELL Building Standard and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) for assessing building portfolios to its program offering.
The WELL Building Standard is the world’s first standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness, CaGBC executive director Thomas Mueller told Building Lasting Change attendees and a panel of commercial real estate executives at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
It provides best building practice based on medical and scientific research, Mueller added while speaking at the opening session of the council’s annual conference.
It measures best practices for property owners for achieving wellness including health of occupants and employees and taking into account air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
The WELL Building Standard was developed by The Wellness Institute, an internationally recognized organization and a Delos undertaking located in Issaquah, Wash. The standard was the individual initiative of its founder and CEO Paul Scialla.
“Delivery of ‘The WELL Standard’ sets the stage for its alignment with LEED in Canada,” said Mueller.
CRE support for WELL
Executive VP Andrew McCallum, who was re-elected for a second two-year term to the CaGBC’s Board of Directors at its annual meeting on Tuesday, said Oxford Properties expects to introduce the WELL Standard into the MNP office tower in Vancouver.
TD Bank management readily agreed to proceed with introducing the WELL Standard into its operations based on what it deemed to be valuable benefits to its employees, senior vice-president Roger Johnson said.
The remainder of the panel was comprised of Gord Hicks, president and CEO, Americas, Brookfield global Integrated Solutions and Rodney Mcdonald, senior vice-president of consulting and Advisory Services, Avison Young.
There are 68,000 commercial buildings in Canada with fewer than 10,000 currently engaged in CaGBC programs, so there is considerable room to expand, Mueller said.
The CaGBC will deliver the WELL Standard in collaboration with what was formerly the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) and is now known as the Green Business Certification Inc. The newly branded organization has broadened its mandate to include certification of green building standards as well as other global standards.
GRESB and the CaGBC
In 2014, the GBCI acquired the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), an industry-driven organization committed to assessing the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios around the globe.
The CaGBC plans to dovetail GRESB with its LEED certification program for portfolios as an additional way to evaluate buildings portfolios, according to Mueller.
On hand in support of the CaGBC’s announcements was Mahesh Ramanujam, chief operating officer of the US Green Building Council. Ramanulam said Green Building Councils are “certifying one green building every eight hours outside the United States” a testament to its growing popularity and success.
The three-day CaGBC conference, which wraps up today, provides attendees with green building tours, educational sessions, presentations, an expo floor, awards and gala event.