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Green Building Certifications: LEED and BOMA Best

The phrase “going green” can be defined as making more environmentally conscious decisions in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. Initially used in regard to the personal habits of individuals, the term has been adopted by many and can now be found even within corporate industries. Companies around the world are taking steps to ensure they reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts. In an effort to achieve their goals, business spaces and buildings have gone green in their design, construction and operation. Some examples of these characteristics include:

  • Use of renewable energy sources
  • Optimized use of water and electricity
  • Non-toxic, raw materials for construction
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle

While implementing these practices is certainly a step in the right direction, companies can take even further measures through certification bodies and programs. LEED and BOMA Best are the two most popular and widely used building rating systems in Canada and can designate your building as ‘green’. We will explore what is required to reach certification, how their ranking systems work, the benefits of “going green” and how EnerSavings can help you get there.

LEED Certification

An internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green buildings, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is the most widely recognized certification system in Canada. Their rating system, split into six categories, as well as their professional credentials represent the highest standard in the eco-friendly building industry.

  1. Sustainable Site Development
  2. Water Savings
  3. Materials Selection
  4. Energy Efficiency
  5. Indoor Environment Quality
  6. Location & Transportation

To achieve certification, which indicates high performance amongst the mentioned categories in human and environmental health, you must qualify for points within each category. The more points awarded will indicate the level of certification from four possibilities: LEED Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

BOMA Best Certification

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA) launched a national green building certification program in 2005, BOMA Best, and since its inception have certified over 7,000 buildings. By setting realistic standards for existing buildings’ energy and environmental standards through precise and authentic data, BOMA Best quickly became the country’s largest certification program. To encourage the continuous improvement of building operations and maintenance, the certification process assesses ten areas of environmental performance and management.

  1. Energy
  2. Water
  3. Air
  4. Comfort
  5. Health & Wellness
  6. Custodial
  7. Purchasing
  8. Waste
  9. Site
  10. Stakeholder Engagement

Valid for only 3 years, the questionnaire-based assessment ensures constant improvement of building maintenance and is followed by onsite verification before the final score and subsequent certification is issued. They offer 5 levels of certification based on their scoring system: BOMA Best Certified, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Applying for this certification is as easy as contacting your designated local BOMA association.

Outside of “going green”, there are many advantages building owners and managers can benefit from by obtaining certification.

Benefits of LEED & BOMA Best Certifications

A symbol of leadership towards a more environmentally friendly future, buildings certified by LEED and BOMA Best not only ensure a sustainable property but also aid in economic and health benefits. With hundreds of buildings across Canada proudly displaying these certifications, it’s not hard to understand why.

Financial Advantages

  1. Loyal Tenants

Not only can green buildings earn higher rent than non-certified buildings, but the lease period is also roughly 10% above average with lower vacancy rates, making this the ideal situation for property owners.

  • Manage and Optimize Performance

Due to the set framework of LEED and BOMA Best certification, focused on building design, construction and operation, energy management solutions help reduce operating expenses by up to 18%.

  • Achieve Environment, Social, and Government (ESG) Goals

Along with increasing your buildings value, a globally recognized structure to managing performance will be provided along with the certifications. This will aid in boosting efficiency, reducing costs, and provide optimal comfort to occupants while maximizing productivity.

Advantages to Wellbeing

  1. Higher Productivity

Lighting and ventilation are major contributing factors to employee productivity and retention rates as they create a more enjoyable work environment. Additionally, as more people become environmentally aware, they hope to opt for companies with the same values which results in increased recruitment rates.

  • Minimal Pollutants

Since green buildings are energy efficient and constructed with non-toxic materials, pollution is minimized. This is further driven by the use of recycled materials as they do not adversely affect the environment.

  • Health Benefits

Lower quality materials may contain volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions that can cause allergies. However, green buildings use superior, clean materials for elevated indoor air and water quality, keeping employees and residents in good health.

Environmental Impact

  1. Reduced Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Through the use of energy management solutions, green buildings consume less energy by over 21%, resulting in lower CO2 emissions by up to 33%. As most products are Energy Star certified, these structures are truly eco-friendly.

  • Waste Management

With 28% higher water efficiency and use of fewer resources, less waste is generated overall and diversion of waste from landfills is through recycling materials is a contributing factor to certification.

Although obtaining LEED or BOMA Best certification would be a major asset to your business, you may be uncertain on how to move forward within an existing property. EnerSavings is here to help.

Certification Through Energy Management Solutions

Adopting the latest, most innovative energy management solutions available is the first step to achieving certification from LEED or BOMA Best. The following solutions will ensure your property is energy efficient, effectively lowering environmental impact, while also bringing a wide variety of benefits.

  1. LED Lighting Solutions

A highly ranked score, LED lighting can play a large role in obtaining certification through the improvement of energy and hydro efficiency.

  • Reduced lighting bills of up to 75%
  • Boost employee productivity and morale
  • Decreased carbon footprint
  • Non-toxicity minimizes pollutants

2. HVAC System Solutions

Covering multiple categories within LEED and BOMA Best certifications, including indoor environment, air, comfort, and health & wellbeing, HVAC system solutions are critical for a building.

  • Reduce energy bills by up to 50%
  • Improve employee health and minimize allergens
  • Lower CO2 emissions
  • Reduce waste with upgrades such as boilers, chillers, BAS, and VFD

3. EV Charging Stations

Electric vehicles are proving to be the way of the future, and with state-of-the-art designs, they are helping to ensure a clean atmosphere. You can gain certification points by allocating 5% of building parking to EVs or offering them a 20% discounted rate.

  • Reduce petroleum use and, by extension, GHG emissions
  • Attract new tenants and retain existing ones
  • Future-proof your building and,
  • Assist Canada in its goal of zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035

Even further to the above-mentioned advantages of taking these steps, you will also receive support from the Government through incentive programs when implementing energy management solutions. Your first step towards a greener future is contacting EnerSavings today.

EnerSavings – Your Trusted Energy Advisor

Originally established as an LED lighting service provider in Ontario over 10 years ago, EnerSavings quickly evolved to become the full-fledged energy management specialist it is today, providing complete solutions for projects related to LED Lighting, HVAC System Solutions and EV Charging Stations. We start by assessing your property in a free audit, then build a custom proposal tailored to your needs, as there is no ‘one size fits all’. We’ve also partnered with local utility companies, meaning you can fully benefit from government rebates. Visit us at www.enersavings.com and step towards the future by contacting us today at 1-800-874-3470 or info@enersavings.com. Together, we can create a greener tomorrow.

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