Content By Standards Council of Canada

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By: Standards Council of Canada

Abiding by strict environmental rules can at times seem as much like a religion as a lifestyle. It’s often difficult and even conflicting to balance the intention to live “green” with the attractions of modern convenience. Moving into igloos or pit houses made of mud, is sustainable, yes, but not realistic for most people.

Buildings aren’t only a symbol of modern convenience, they are often hubs of economic activity, and model comfortable living. They’re also environmental enemy No. 1. From consuming natural resources, to polluting the air during their construction, to draining energy supplies during their life cycles, buildings (commercial and residential) top transportation in the total amount of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, U.S. buildings are responsible for approximately 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions and 60 percent of the country’s electricity use.

In Canada, buildings are responsible for 37 percent of that nation’s primary energy use and account for almost 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Canada Green Building Council.