Thinking of greening your building? Here are our top 5 certifications from our repository!
Reaching the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires integrating environment and climate change considerations into our everyday operations. Particularly, green buildings and office retrofits can provide an opportunity for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to move beyond social and economic dimensions of sustainable development. Green buildings and offices contribute drastically towards achieving over half of the SDGs, making this an area of significant importance. Not only do green buildings and offices benefit the planet by improving health and well-being of workers, lowering emissions, and creating climate resilient infrastructure, they also enable property owners and employers to remain competitive in the labour market by increasing property value. Furthermore, while COVID-19 has forced organizations to work primarily from home, a unique opportunity arises for CSOs to become green building certified while less people occupy workplaces.
With retrofitting and green buildings in mind, we have highlighted 5 certifications that could meet your organizational needs!
Effort Level: 2 out of 5
The BOMA BEST Sustainable Workplaces Program promotes sustainability within an organization, while facilitating monitoring and reporting on environmental performance. This certification is obtained through a four-step process – develop policies, create goals and objectives, develop and implement programs, and lastly apply for certification. This is a great option for Cooperation Canada members with smaller budgets.
Cost and timeline: Prices are based on the number of employees in your organizations and range from $500 to $1,900 CAD annually. Certification process typically takes 6 months.
Effort Level: 2 out of 5
The Green Globes system is a green rating assessment, guidance and certification program that can be completed online through a questionnaire-based system. This approach is specifically designed for tenant improvement projects, fit-outs and remodels. Unlike other certifications, this system allows building owners and individual tenants of commercial and institutional spaces to improve their workspace through interior design. For Cooperation Canada members that do not own their buildings, this can be a great option.
Cost and timeline: Prices are based on gross floor area and range from $8,000 to $20,000+ CAD over 100,000 ft2. The certification process typically takes between 4 to 6 months.
*see website for additional pathways for certification
Effort Level: 3 out of 5
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is the most well-known and recognized rating certification system created primarily for the tenant improvement market. This system allows tenants and designers to make sustainable choices in situations where they may not have whole building operations. This option is great for Cooperation Canada members who have larger budgets and want more guidance.
Cost and timeline: Prices are based on the gross floor area and range from $1,500 to $34,000 CAD. Certification typically takes between 2 to 4 months.
Effort Level: 3 out of 5
Unlike other green building certifications, the WELL Building Standard primarily focuses on the impact of the built environment on human health and well-being. This performance-based system measures, certifies and monitors building attributes that affect health, including air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. This option is ideal for CC members that want to focus on health of their employees by integrating wellness into their greening efforts.
Cost and timeline: Prices are based on the gross floor area and start at $8,000 USD. A recertification is required every 3 years to maintain certification status. Certification typically takes approximately 8 months.
Effort level: 5 out of 5
The goal of the Living Building Challenge is to move beyond “being better,” towards a regenerative built environment. Instead of a points-based system, this certification system evaluates buildings according to performances areas, which are further divided into Imperatives. Buildings must meet several required Imperatives to achieve certification. This certification is ideal for CC members that are constructing new buildings and want to commit to regenerative infrastructure.
Cost and timeline: Prices are based on gross floor area and range from $4,900 to $20,000 USD for large buildings. Certification requires a minimum of 12 months in operation in order to evaluate actual building performance.
Green buildings and retrofitting certifications have become increasingly accessible for all types of organizations, including CSOs. Our sector could now benefit from such opportunities while doing their part in achieving the SDGs and more importantly in greening their workplaces, operations and programming. We hope the above list provides clarity for you and your organization for future green building certification endeavors.