Life in the Green Lane

Environmental journalist Candice Batista shares video clips and eco-savvy advice from her TV show, A Greener Toronto.

Now we can all build and buy greener homes thanks to the “New LEED® Canada for Homes program.” Launched this morning simultaneously in Ontario, BC and Quebec, this new program fills a niche at the very top of the green home scale. LEED®, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is well known in building circles. In the past, LEED® certification has only been available for commercial buildings. That’s about to change and it’s a good thing. Home owners can now look beyond simple utility consumption to include water, indoor air quality, site location, building practices and even the sources for home building materials and products. LEED® for Homes is a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. A green home uses less energy, water and natural resources; creates less waste; and is healthier and more comfortable for the occupants. “This is a better way to build as home buyers can look to LEED®’s third party certification which ensures that their home is truly green and meets the most comprehensive environmental criteria.” This according to Lyle Shipley, Executive Director of the Greater Toronto Chapter of the Canada GReen Building Council (CaGBC). The LEED® Canada for Homes Rating System measures the overall performance of a home in eight categories: Innovation & Design Process (ID). Special design methods, unique regional credits, measures not currently addressed in the Rating System, and exemplary performance levels. Location & Linkages (LL). The placement of homes in socially and environmentally responsible ways in relation to the larger community. Sustainable Sites (SS). The use of the entire property so as to minimize the project's impact on the site. Water Efficiency (WE). Water-efficient practices, both indoor and outdoor. Energy & Atmosphere (EA). Energy efficiency, particularly in the building envelope and heating and cooling design. Materials & Resources (MR). Efficient utilization of materials, selection of environmentally preferable materials, and minimization of waste during construction. Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ). Improvement of indoor air quality by reducing the creation of and exposure to pollutants. Awareness & Education (AE). The education of the homeowner, tenant, and/or building manager about the operation and maintenance of the green features of a LEED® home. This is a wonderful new initiative which will hopefully push home buyers into a more sustainable frame of mind. EcoCandy.