Sustainable Biz Canada

GBCI Canada launched to advance green buildings


The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) have formed GBCI Canada to accelerate the pace of green building initiatives across the country.

Green Building Certification Institute

Screenshot from the GBCI Canada website showing a selection of green building programs.

“It’s a Canadian for-profit company and is led by Canadians,” said Thomas Mueller, the CaGBC president and chief executive officer who also assumes the same roles with GBCI Canada.

“It’s really focused on supporting the Canadian market in its certification and credentialing efforts for LEED and a host of other products that we’re bringing in, or already exist here.”

LEED is a rating system that’s recognized as the international mark of excellence for green building in more than 160 countries. Canada is the second largest LEED market, behind the United States.

Washington, D.C.-based GBCI was established in 2008. It also has offices in India, China, Brazil and Mexico.

GBCI Canada will enable the building industry to leverage new opportunities to validate enhanced building performance and increase emissions reductions, operational savings and human health benefits.

GBCI Canada certifications, platforms

GBCI Canada will be the exclusive manager of LEED project certifications as well as: the WELL Building Standard, which focuses on the health and wellness of people in buildings; the PEER standard for power systems; the Sustainable SITES Initiative for land use; Parksmart for parking structures; the TRUE Zero Waste standard; the Investor Confidence Project for energy efficiency retrofits; and the GRESB benchmark, used by institutional investors to improve sustainability performance within the global property sector.

This will be made easier through the ARC online platform, which helps owners and operators collect, integrate, manage and benchmark their building data in order to improve sustainability performance.

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“It’s moving away from the first generation of green building standards to something that’s more limber, flexible, delivery focused, cheaper and better,” said Mueller.

GBCI Canada staffing

Nellie Cheng — who has three decades of experience with GBCI, the World Green Building Council and the Vancouver Economic Development Commission — is working with Mueller as GBCI Canada’s managing director in the CaGBC Vancouver office.

The two organizations will share some resources, but GBCI Canada will have three dedicated staff in its first year and plans are to add two new employees annually, working out of the CaGBC’s Vancouver and Ottawa offices.

“Once GBCI Canada has a sufficiently large certification volume, we’re going to start transitioning CaGBC staff into GBCI Canada,” said Mueller. “We have a very strong and experienced certification team.”

Revenues from GBCI Canada will support the CaGBC’s programs in education and training, advocacy and research, business events and other activities. CaGBC also provides certification reviews and market support for LEED Canada and delivers and supports its new Zero Carbon Building Standard.

CaGBC chapters will also play a role in supporting GBCI Canada’s education, training, new products and service delivery.

Mueller said GBCI Canada’s board of directors will be announced shortly.

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Steve McLean

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot Canadian Bands and has taught reporting to college students. He is based in Toronto.

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