Site Development

Every building has a footprint. Every structure has an impact on the earth. In recent years, this has often been called an ‘ecological footprint.’ Rampant construction in the  modern world — especially urban and suburban development— has largely  proceeded without reference to the  negative costs to the  earth: the  energy and resources taken first to build and then to run new buildings; the  intense extraction and refining process for the  raw materials; the  complex hazardous chemical materials that go into making  buildings  taller or stronger or more attractive; the  waste produced, the  land used  and natural habitats destroyed. The list could go on. Sustainable development is a way of thinking about how resources are used and how construction impacts both natural systems and human communities. There are different standards and certifications that have been developed to recognize environmentally conscious and sustainable building projects. These include LEED and Green Globes as well as others. We suggest that you consult with the Property Department and consider these the next time you renovate or build.

THE STEPS INVOLVED…
Familiarize yourself with the basic concepts and standards of green certification programs.
Consult an expert. When hiring an architect or contractor, look for certification qualifications and interests.
Consider the development’s cost to the earth at every step of the process.

SUCCESS STORY
The Salvation Army has taken seriously the call to consider more sustainable building practices, recognizing the ongoing challenge of stewarding physical, environmental and financial resources.  Some recent building and renovation projects that are worth checking out are:
Gateway of Hope, Langley, BC
Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre, Winnipeg, MB
The Homestead, Toronto, ON

LINKS AND RESOURCES
Canada Green Building Council
The Green Building Alliance
Office of Energy Efficiency
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC Canada)

Return to Going Green Matrix

Click here to download a PDF of this matrix.