The Canada Green Building Council Announces Affordable Green Housing Program

Canada's premier sustainable building organization offers free green building registration and certification to charitable building projects.

Habitat workers raise a wall at the the Red River Ex June 2011
© John Woods via Winnipeg Free Press

Working with charitable housing groups like Habitat for Humanity, the CaGBC will administer free registrations and certifications under the internationally-recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program, which addresses homes as well as a broad range of other building types.

The first project to take advantage of the Affordable Green Housing Program is the Sir Sam Steele project, a group of 32 homes that have been built by Habitat for Humanity Manitoba with the assistance of local LEED Canada for Homes Provider prairieHOUSE Performance, Inc.

The homes feature innovative environmental aspects, including an exceptional building envelope designed for maximum insulation and air tightness, drain water heat recovery, and high performance heating and ventilation systems – saving up to 30 per cent a year in energy and water costs. The homes were completed in three phases over three years, and have now been awarded LEED Gold Certification from the CaGBC. They are now all occupied by very happy families.

“Through the generosity and foresight of the Canada Green Building Council, we were able to take the LEED process through to completion,” says Sandy Hopkins, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Manitoba. “The energy and water efficiency of all these homes not only makes them environmentally friendly, but also more affordable by reducing the daily living costs for our low-income working families.”

These green homes represent a great opportunity to reduce energy and resource consumption for owners, funding agencies and residents alike, leading to lower utility costs and the potential for significant financial savings. Green developments are also designed to offer superior indoor air quality to protect residents’ health and reduce health-care costs, and often provide better access to public transit and local amenities, decreasing the financial burden of transportation.

“Safe and affordable housing is a fundamental right for all Canadians, but we believe that this should be taken a step further, ” says Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the CaGBC. “By offering these free certifications, it is our small way of helping to ensure that all Canadians have access to housing that is  affordable and sustainable.”

The CaGBC will have 100 spots available to charitable building organizations in the first year, with that number reviewed annually. Charitable organizations or projects that are interested in applying for free certification with LEED Canada for Homes are encouraged to contact the CaGBC to learn more and to confirm their eligibility: or 1-866-941-1184.