LEED buildings foster productivity and health – helping employees reach their full potential

Imagine working in a space that was specifically designed to provide fresh air and more access to natural daylight, all while helping to sustain the environment. That’s what it’s like to work in a LEED building.

As a tenant, you can:

  • Create a healthier, cleaner environment which in turn means more satisfied occupants and employees.
  • Enhance your profile as a company that cares about the environment and our future.
  • Lower your operating costs.
  • Experience immediate and measurable results by saving energy, water and other resources ultimately reducing your carbon footprint.

But don’t just take it from us.

In 2011, Manitoba Hydro place became the most energy efficient large office tower in North America. The LEED Platinum building includes traditional sustainable features, and many that were specifically implemented to positively impact the day to day working lives of their employees.

Things like:

  • Walls that allow the maximum amount of daylight to flood the interior, reducing reliance on artificial lighting and increasing solar thermal energy.
  • Office space floor plates that are almost four metres high to ensure that sunlight can reach the interior spaces.
  • Three, six-storey winter gardens (the first in North America) which act as the building's lungs and precondition the air passively with solar thermal energy, and waterfalls for humidity control before it enters the workspace. These spaces provide Manitoba Hydro staff with comfortable meeting and rest spaces.
  • Prime transit location, which has reduced employees’ need to drive to work and encouraged carpooling and the use of public transportation.

The positive feedback they have received has been overwhelming. Manitoba Hydro's 2000 employees who work in the building continually comment on the natural light, excellent air quality and overall better health.

There has been a significant drop in absenteeism, and employees have even bid on jobs to be located there. Sound like a place you’d like to work?

How can you encourage your building or office to go green?

Did you know?

A 2013 study from the National Research Council of Canada made a clear connection between working in a green building and happier employees. The study concluded that those employees experience fewer sick days, better sleep quality, and fewer physical and mental symptoms associated with office work.

Talk to your facilities manager

Ask them about what green initiatives have been implemented, or encourage them to consider greening some of their practices.

Form a building ‘green team’

Collaborate with tenants and facility management to encourage greener practices.

Look into education strategies

As a tenant or employee, help your fellow staff understand their critical role in the performance of the building.

Review building schedules

Work with facilities management to determine:

  • When can the heating and lights be turned off?
  • Have building assessments and capital planning been done?
  • What is the state of recycling and composting services?
  • What are the building’s green purchasing policies, if any?
  • Are there currently green cleaning practices? How could this change?

Ask about pursuing certification of the building's performance

Certification provides a great framework for identifying and implementing measures to improve your building’s performance. LEED ensures transparency and accountability for owners and tenants alike through rigorous, independent review.

We're here to help

The CaGBC is also here, offering valuable resources to help you or your employer get started. Contact us at any time with your questions.

Want to know more? Learn about the Certification Process and the different Rating Systems. Want to see LEED in action? Visit our LEED Project Profile database - Fully searchable showcase of all LEED registered and certified projects in Canada.

2. Meng Y, Babey SH, Wolstein J. Asthma-Related School Absenteeism and School Concentration of Low-Income Students in California. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110312.
3. World Green Building Council Business Case for Green Building (2013).