As anyone who’s attended a strata meeting can attest to, there’s a big difference between buying a house and buying a condo. The same could be said, of course, for building them. So why is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) – the most prominent third-party certification program for green builders – designed primarily for single-family homes?
This was the quandary Norm Couttie, president of Adera Development Corporation – a Vancouver-based company attempting to pioneer a green wave in B.C.’s explosive multi-family development sector – found himself in. That’s when he discovered Calgary’s Built Green.
“LEED gives you points for being near a bus stop,” Couttie explains. “Built Green gives you points for what you can control.” Instead of focusing solely on single-family dwellings as LEED does, Built Green is another green-builder certification program that serves multi-family developments as well. “We said this is what we have to hitch our horse to,” Couttie tells Granville.
This year, Adera announced it would become one of Built Green’s platinum sponsors, donating somewhere between $10,000 and $30,000 over the next three years. Couttie sees Built Green as beneficial to the everyday condo-buyer while helping his company as well. Many buyers suspect condo developers of greenwashing, and it’s a difficult stigma to shake. “Anyone can say they’ve built a green project,” Couttie insists. “This is a way to prove we’re walking the walk.”