Builders helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Innovative builders incorporate a range of products and programs to create homes that are healthier and more energy efficient


The buildings where we live, learn, work and play contribute more than 30 per cent of our national GHG emissions

If you are looking for a new home that is exceptionally comfortable, healthy to live in, more energy efficient and better for the environment, take a look at the EnviroHome Initiative.

The EnviroHome Initiative was established in 1994 by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) and TD Canada Trust to recognize and support innovative new home builders who were committed to offering consumers homes that are “better for you, better for your community and better for the environment”.

Every EnviroHome project also incorporates many healthy housing features, reflecting the research and development efforts of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Today, Canadians are aware of the link between their home their health and the health of the environment. That’s why Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) launched the Healthy Housing initiative. CMHC’s publications, videos and seminars educate consumers and people in the housing industry about the link between housing and health, and provide a range of practical, viable options that can be incorporated into homes. To learn more about CMHC’s Healthy Housing Initiative, as well as the many other housing information products and services available from CMHC, visit housing at

The EnviroHome Initiative is also supported by the R-2000 Program. R-2000 is the made-in-Canada home building technology that has earned a worldwide reputation for quality, comfort and environmental responsibility.

Every R-2000 home must meet the quality and performance requirements set out in the R-2000 Technical Standard. This involves special measures in three main areas of construction: energy performance, indoor air quality and use of environmentally preferred materials. The result is a home that is both well-built and extremely comfortable to live in.

Every R-2000 home incorporates a range of cost-effective, energy-efficient building practices and technologies, regardless of its design or size. And only R-2000 homes are independently certified to meet a high level of energy efficiency, beyond what building codes require.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association works with Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan’s) Office of Energy Efficiency which manages R-2000 on behalf of the federal government. For more information on the EnviroHome Initiative or R-2000 technology click on the featured sites at

“Canadians recognize climate change is a serious concern that requires immediate action,” says Thomas Mueller, president of the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC).

“What most people don’t know is that the buildings where we live, learn, work and play contribute more than 30 per cent of our national GHG emissions. Improving the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings is crucial to helping the environment and it will save everyone a lot of money.”

Last month at the World Green Building Council Congress, the CaGBC announced its first national green building event will be held in Toronto, June 11th and 12th, 2008.

The CaGBC national event, “Shifting Into the Mainstream”, will showcase the best of Canadian solutions for achieving high performance buildings, including measurable reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Scalable and sector-specific programs will demonstrate the role of buildings in meeting the objectives of local and national climate change strategies.

The event will attract all sectors of Canada‘s building industry with a program focused on moving leading green building practices into the mainstream.

Increasing access to proven solutions will help jump start the coast-to-coast effort required to make measurable progress towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing buildings.

In Canada, buildings represent the single most important opportunity to achieve significant GHG reductions. By 2015, the CaGBC aims to certify 100,000 commercial and 1,000,000 homes with documented GHG reductions that will help Canada meet its Kyoto commitment.

CaGBC is the leading national industry organization advancing green building practices for livable communities. The Council implements the LEED® Green Building Rating System in Canada. For more information visit

© The Vancouver Sun 2007


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