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Improving the environmental performance of buildings

Goal 8: Greening government operations– Minimize the environmental footprint of government operations.

Target 8.1: As of April 1, 2012, and pursuant to departmental strategic frameworks, new construction and build-to-lease projects and major renovation projects will achieve an industry-recognized level of high environmental performance.

Target 8.2: As of April 1, 2012, and pursuant to departmental strategic frameworks, existing Crown buildings over 1,000 m2 will be assessed for environmental performance using an industry-recognized assessment tool.

Target 8.3: As of April 1, 2012, and pursuant to departmental strategic frameworks, new lease or lease renewal projects over 1,000 m2, where the Crown is the major lessee, will be assessed for environmental performance using an industry-recognized assessment tool.

Target 8.4: As of April 1, 2012, and pursuant to departmental strategic frameworks, fit-up and refit projects will achieve an industry-recognized level of high environmental performance.

Eighty percent (80%) of existing buildings will be assessed to identify environmental opportunities.

As one of the largest landlords in the country, the federal government is reducing the environmental footprint of its real property operations. Targets 8.1 to 8.4 of the FSDS underpin the government's efforts to manage federal real property more sustainably, including the improved management of energy, waste and water.

Twelve of 15 custodial departments have developed strategic frameworks to implement green construction and build-to-lease projects and major renovation projects, while 13 have also done the same for management of existing Crown-owned buildings, new lease or lease renewal projects, and for fit-up and refit projects. Of the 3 remaining departments, 1 will develop a Strategic Framework during fiscal year 2012–2013, 1 custodian is a lessee only and does not own any buildings, and the third intends to divest the only building in its portfolio located in Canada.

For 2012–2013, all 27 new construction and build-to-lease projects and major renovation projects will achieve a high level of environmental performance. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver, Green Globe Design 3 Globes, and Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) were the most common (10 departments) minimum level of environmental performance departments are seeking to achieve. All newly constructed federal office buildings are required to meet the LEED Canada New Construction Gold level of environmental performance.

In 13 departments, 1,908 existing Crown-owned buildings have been identified for environmental performance assessment, accounting for 80% of fully occupied buildings greater than 1,000 m2. Most departments have chosen the BOMA Building Environment Standards (BOMA BESt) tool to assess the environmental performance of their Crown-owned buildings. Similarly, 13 departments have chosen to use the BOMA BESt tool to assess the environmental performance of federal building leases, with 50 new lease or lease renewal projects identified for assessment. Although the target is aimed at buildings over 1,000 m2, some smaller buildings were also included for BOMA BESt assessment.

Twenty-two fit-up and refit projects are planned by 12 departments, with Public Works and Government Services Canada planning the majority of these projects (15 projects). Over 90% of these projects are aiming to achieve either 3 Green Globes or LEED Silver as the minimum level of environmental performance.


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