As I was browsing the Homes section of the Times Colonist from Saturday, September 15, 2007, I came across a full page ad for Sooke‘s Sun River Estates development. The homes are now being advertised as conforming to the Built Green™ standard of construction.
The Built Green™ Web site describes the standard as “… an industry driven voluntary program that promotes “green” building practices to reduce the impact that building has on the environment. It benefits the homebuyer, the community and the environment and is an opportunity for everyone to choose a “green” future.”
So what exactly are ‘green’ building practices? The Built Green™ Web site says that homes certified to their standard are made to have increased energy efficiency, comfort, water efficiency, healthier indoor air, durability and less maintenance, and global benefits (referring to easing pressure on the environment by sourcing building materials locally, thereby reducing transportation impacts). Most of the above benefits coming from using more efficient construction materials, better draft-proofing of the house, and higher-efficiency plumbing, heating, and lighting fixtures.
The house is tested prior to occupancy to make sure it conforms to the acceptable standards for gold, silver, or bronze Built Green™ levels. Upon a successful test, the home is assigned a Canada EnerGuide rating and the appropriate bronze, silver, or gold Built Green™ label is affixed to the furnace or other permanent fixture for proof to future home owners.