Sustainable Biz Canada

GBCI Canada to be one-stop green building shop


Canadian building owners and property managers are about to get much wider access to leading-edge green building and performance management tools and services.

Thomas Mueller will head up the new GBCI Canada joint venture.

Thomas Mueller will head up the new GBCI Canada joint venture. (Photo courtesy CaGBC)

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc., (GBCI) based in the U.S., will become partners in Green Business Certification Inc. Canada. The joint venture, announced Wednesday during CaGBC’s Building Lasting Change conference in Vancouver, will be known as GBCI Canada.

Once up and running, it will deliver enhanced services, credentialing, certification and verification for green business programs and tools such as LEED v4, WELL, SITES, PEER, Parksmart, Zero Waste and GRESB in Canada.

“It’s about scaling up and accelerating our market impact and our growth,” said CaGBC president and CEO Thomas Mueller in an interview with RENX.

Mueller will have a similar role with GBCI Canada.

“There needs to be a new business model to bring this into Canada,” said Mueller. “One-by-one licensing, one-by-one adoptation to bring products to market is not a very effective way of doing it. We are wasting too much time, and the market has no patience for it.”

Technology key to venture

GBCI, founded in 2008, has the technology required to allow a rapid ramp-up for these products, which are in increasing demand as business adopts more green practices.

“With the technical platforms that GBCI brings to the table, particularly LEED online and the Arc performance management (software) platform, these are really important to deliver products to the marketplace,” Mueller said. “These technology platforms require significant investments, millions of dollars in investments actually, to make them work. This is the new way of doing business.”

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Having access to the technology will allow the programs to be implemented and maintained for less cost to clients, he said.

“It will reduce the time it takes to get certification verification, and it will reduce the transactional costs for project managers and owners,” Mueller said.

During the transition, CaGBC will continue to provide certification reviews and market support for LEED Canada customers to avoid any “disruption” to the market. CaGBC will also continue to certify all LEED Canada projects.

GBCI Canada is expected to begin delivering LEED v4 and all other GBCI rating systems via LEED Online and Arc during early 2018. It will use Canadian staff for support.

The CaGBC is a not-for-profit organization which supports Canadian green building industry initiatives. It is involved in education and training, advocacy and research, business events and other activities.

Revenue will support CaGBC’s mission

Revenue from GBCI Canada will be used to support CaGBC’s mission, the council said.

Integrating all the programs into one single access point will not only expand the number and type of programs available in Canada, it will also streamline many of the processes involved.

“There will be a single gateway to get to all of these programs and they will be integrated and harmonized,” Mueller said. “There is not going to be this kind of repetitive, side-by-side, ineffective way to deliver them into the marketplace.”

This is the third such partnership for GBCI – on the heels of GBCI Europe and GBCI India. However, it is the first partnership with an established green building council.

This is the second significant announcement this week by the CaGBC at its Building Lasting Change conference.

On Monday, it announced the Zero Carbon Building Standard for Canada. CaGBC will continue to deliver and support this program, which aims to both eliminate carbon from buildings and promote the creation of more renewable energy in these structures.

It features a pilot program involving 16 buildings across Canada, and will begin accepting program registrations in September.

 

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About the Author ()

Don Wilcox is an Ottawa-based editor, writer, multimedia journalist and a former prof in epublishing and digital media programs at Algonquin College.

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