More Energyefficient Buildings in Nova Scotia
Organizations constructing new buildings will need to incorporate water- and energy-efficiency measures to qualify for provincial funding. The new energy-efficiency building standards became effective November 1. “Ensuring new buildings are more energy efficient makes sense for the health of our environment, our citizens and our economy,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Environment. “It will help Nova Scotia cut harmful air emissions and combat climate change.” Incorporating energy-efficient measures in a building’s design is one of the most effective ways to minimize the amount of energy the building will use. The costs of meeting the new energy-efficient standards will be recovered through energy savings. Provincial contributions to construction costs of any non-governmental building that uses energy and water will depend on meeting the standards. It is already government practice that buildings constructed by government, such as schools, hospitals, court and corrections facilities, and office buildings, meet a high energy-efficient standard called a LEED rating. LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a widely accepted rating system that provides certification of green buildings. The LEED rating system awards points for meeting specific performance criteria in six categories: sustainable sites; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; material and resources; indoor environmental quality; and innovation and design process. Nova Scotia’s government buildings must at least meet a LEED silver rating as determined by the Canada Green Building Council. The province’s commitment to energy efficiency in buildings is stated in the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, which aims to make Nova Scotia one of the cleanest, most sustainable environments in the world by 2020.