With more than 1600 LEED-certified projects to date, Canada is the top country outside the U.S. for both the number and area of LEED-certified projects, according to a new report by the US Green Building Council. Canada has certified 1633 projects totalling over 22.3 million gross square meters.

“As the first country to adopt LEED outside of the United States, the Canadian building industry embraced the LEED system early on to create what is now a strong base of over 1,600 certified green building projects across the country,” said Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). “I am very pleased about our 10-year collaboration with USGBC to transform the building industry in North America.”

In 2013, Canada registered 587 projects, with 32 earning LEED Platinum status and 173 earning LEED Gold certification.

“Private sector investment has also grown significantly to make up over 40 percent of LEED-registered and certified projects in Canada,” Mueller noted.

The vast majority of Canada’s projects have been built in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. By province/territory, the number of Canada’s LEED-certified projects are:

● Alberta: 17
● British Columbia: 299
● Manitoba: 52
● Nunavut: 0
● New Brunswick: 17
● Newfoundland: 6
● Northwest Territories: 1
● Nova Scotia: 57
● Ontario: 667
● Prince Edward Island: 5
● Quebec: 306
● Saskatchewan: 52
● Yukon: 3

Since 2004, CaGBC has been expanding LEED’s reach with a beefed-up number of targeted tools. LEED Canada 1.0 led the way in 2004, spurred by CaGBC’s recognition of the unique cultural, climatic, and geographic conditions in Canada.

LEED Canada for Commercial Interiors followed in 2006, and LEED Canada for Homes was released in 2009. LEED Canada was also updated for the first time in 2009, including the addition of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance.

According to the report, since 2005, the implementation of LEED standards has:

● Reduced energy use by 2,630,652 megawatt-hours, enough to power 89,271 Canadian homes for one year.
● Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 512,672 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to parking 96,913 cars for a year.
● Saved over 5.6 billion litres of water, which could fill 2,252 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
● Recycled over 2.7 million tons of construction and demolition waste, equivalent to 841,126 garbage trucks.
● Spurred the installation of 121,309 square metres of green roofs, an area the size of 80 NHL hockey rinks.

Canada’s first certified project was the National Works Yard in Vancouver, which earned LEED Gold certification in 2004. Following that project, the B.C. Cancer Agency Research Centre, Vancouver Convention Center, and Vancouver Aquarium achieved LEED certification. Leading up the the 2010 Winter Olympic games, Vancouver required all new construction for the games to be LEED Gold or LEED Silver.

Rounding out the top 10 for LEED certifications are: China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Brazil, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Finland. In 2013, the top 10 countries increased their collected certified space by 41 per cent, to 61 million gross square metres. Canada, China, and India certified a combined total of 13 million gross square metres in 2013.