British Columbia Study Shows Old Buildings Can Learn New Tricks, by Light House

File Type: Free Content, Article
Release Date: March 2014
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The “BC Building Performance Study” demonstrates that green building certification systems are helping existing buildings reduce their energy use by up to 25 percent in just three years. The report, which was released on February 19, is the most comprehensive of its kind in Canada. It looked at energy, water and waste performance for hundreds of certified green buildings and non-certified buildings across British Columbia.

According to the report, “British Columbia’s existing buildings account for two-thirds of all energy consumed in British Columbia and 41 percent of the Province’s total GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions.” The study, which was conducted by Light House (a nonprofit advisory group) in partnership with BOMA Canada, Metro Vancouver and the city of Vancouver, evaluated the performance of BOMA BESt-certified buildings and found that “adopting certification systems appears to set buildings on a path for continuous improvement and operational savings, regardless of building age or current performance.” It also found that bringing the bottom quarter of buildings up to the median energy use intensity would reduce total energy consumption in British Columbia by as much as five percent.