First-ever summit brings the benefits of green building to wide Canadian audience

After exceeding attendance projections and helping to educate a diverse audience about the benefits of green building, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has declared their Shifting Into the Mainstream summit a success.

The national green building summit, held in Toronto on June 11-12, 2008, was host to more than 1,200 delegates, 150 exhibitors, 65 journalists, and 40 speakers and panelists experts who are shaping the direction of green building in Canada.

“People came from across the country to attend, and they represented not just the building sector, but were from every level of government, from financial services, utilities, education and industry,” said Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the CaGBC. “The interest and participation we had in the summit are very positive signs that people want to do what they can to ensure Canada’s buildings are more energy efficient, use less water and emit fewer greenhouse gases. This is leadership in action, and a great stride to our goal of a 50 megatonne reduction in GHGs from buildings by 2015.”

The summit included sessions that informed attendees about the LEED Canada Initiative, the CaGBC’s program to develop LEED Canada 2009, which is the next generation of the LEED rating system. Along with updates on the LCI, the CaGBC also introduced Summit attendees to case study programs for LEED for Homes and LEED for Neighbourhood Development, both expected to be available in Canada next year.

The CaGBC also announced the Green Building Performance Initiative (GBPI), which includes setting baselines for energy and water performance with hundreds of commercial office buildings, schools, and government and utility company buildings. Pilots with other building types will roll out over the next three years, and once complete, the energy and water performance benchmarks will be included in the Green Building Performance System (GBPS). The GBPS will provide building owners and managers with a set of integrated energy and environmental management tools and resources, allowing them to compare energy and water use and GHG emissions against national and regional performance standards. By establishing performance and benchmarking against other buildings in their category, owners and managers will be better able to adopt performance improvements and reduce GHG emissions.

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