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LEED Canada Certification – Building a Greener Future

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LEED® Canada certification assures that your building meets the criteria set out in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Once your project or building is certified, you can confidently market it as a greener building solution. The Canada Green Building Council holds the sole license for LEED Canada and assures that your projects and buildings are green and sustainable through LEED certification. There are several levels of certification. Let's take a look at each level, its qualifications, and what it means to your green building.
 
Certified
 
This is the first level of LEED certification. In order to achieve this certification level your building must score 40-49 of a possible 100 points on the rating scale. Rating of your building is done in five categories; sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. Each category has outcomes that must be rated and given a numerical value.
 
Silver
 
The second level of certification requires you to obtain s score of 50-59 on the rating scale. Each of the five areas on the rating system is broken down in to outcomes that must be met, and each one of these is assigned a point value. Sustainable sites, for instance, will rate on such things as site selection, alternative transportation, reduced site disturbance and storm water management, to name a few.
 
Gold
 
The gold level is achieved when you score between 60-79 points. Another one of the areas on the rating scale is water efficiency. In this rating, the LEED accredited professionals will rate on such things as water efficient landscaping, innovative wastewater technologies and water use reduction. Since this particular category only has a few items that are rated, it is beneficial to get the allotted points for each item in this classification.
 
Platinum
 
The platinum level is the highest level your building can achieve. This is a highly sought after rating in the greener building initiative as this shows your potential building occupants that you really care about their health and comfort as well as the environment in which we live. Energy and atmosphere are rated on the LEED scale, and some of the items that are taken in to consideration are: optimized energy performance, renewable energy, ozone protection and green power to name a few.
 
Final Ratings Considerations
 
The final ratings considerations not listed above are Materials and Resource, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Materials and resource looks as such items as; construction waste management which rates the percentage of waste diverted from the landfill, resource reuse which would look at building materials that have been repurposed, recycled content, and also regional materials which takes a look at the use of materials that have been manufactured locally or in very close proximity to the building site. Indoor environmental quality may seem to be one of the most important considerations to the final occupants of the building. People are becoming more aware of the effect good air quality can have on your overall health, and development in children. This could be why this particular rating category has several outcomes that are rated. A few of those are: environmental tobacco smoke control, carbon dioxide monitoring, ventilation effectiveness, and low emitting materials such as paint and adhesives, to name a few.
 
As you can see, the LEED rating system is very thorough, and sets out to maintain a standard of excellence that is maintained across the board. This system leaves nothing to guess work as it is set up in easy to understand language. With a system this easy to follow, and green living becoming so popular, achieving a platinum LEED rating should be your ultimate building goal.
 
Contact the Canada Green Building Council to find out more about how you can help make every building greener!
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