Green building benefits

Better buildings are possible

Green buildings are just better, and that’s a fact. Research shows that green buildings are healthier for people and better for the environment. As building practices evolve, the ways that green buildings benefit people and communities grow. Today, green buildings reduce carbon emissions, energy use, and water consumption, making them a smart long-term investment. Zero-carbon buildings and retrofits are also crucial to Canada reaching its climate goals and will require more green building jobs to maximize potential reductions in building-related carbon emissions.  

Green building benefits include:

Human health

Green buildings offer occupants better air quality with lower concentrations of CO2 and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). With higher ventilation rates, green building occupants breathe better air, and enjoy higher productivity and better learning outcomes. Since studies show people spend 90% of their time indoors, air quality is critical to better health. People living and working in green buildings actually experience fewer sick days and lower asthma rates. They also sleep better thanks to better access to outdoor views and daylight. And who doesn’t want a better night’s sleep? 

Did You Know?

Workers in green, well-ventilated offices record a 101% increase in cognitive scores. (Syracuse University, 2015)


Green buildings use less water, energy, and natural resources. They also decrease impacts on the environment. Zero-carbon buildings reduce harmful emissions by avoiding embodied carbon from materials and building processes and operational carbon emitted by running the building’s mechanical systems. Green building standards exist to help building owners and operators pursue their sustainability goals and verify that their decisions are achieving the building’s environmental and energy-savings goals.

Did You Know?

LEED-certified buildings consume 25% less energy and 11% less water than traditional buildings. (USGBC)


Green buildings make good business sense. While they may cost slightly more to construct, they are more efficient to operate, which saves money in the long-term. Commercial owners find green buildings demand premium rents and maintain better occupancy rates. Tenants also benefit from lower utility costs that make green buildings more affordable to live in. 

As Canada works toward its climate targets, demand for green buildings will grow, creating new jobs. Already, green building jobs outnumber Canada’s forestry, oil and gas extraction, and mining sectors combined. With investment in green building and progressive policies, green building could account for 1.5 million direct jobs and $150 billion in GDP by 2030. 

Did You Know?

Over 460,000 people worked in the green building sector in 2018, a 55% increase over 2014.  (CAGBC)


Green buildings can play a role in shaping more equitable communities. Everyone benefits when community members have access to healthy, affordable housing or when communities are climate-resilient and can withstand extreme weather events. Since climate-related impacts tend to impact vulnerable communities the most, it’s important that green building be part of Canada’s approach to social justice. 

A social justice lens should also be applied to new green building jobs. As the shift to low-carbon buildings and retrofits increases, growing the workforce to meet demand should include strategies to prioritize underrepresented groups.

Did You Know?

With investment in green building and proactive policies, green building jobs could number 1.5 million by 2030. (CAGBC)

LEED covers 9 factors impacting
environmental and human health.

Research and Reports

Full Disclosure: Real Estate’s Climate Leadership in action

In the absence of consistent requirements and support for building performance data disclosure…
October 26, 2022

Green Retrofit Economy Study

CAGBC and the Delphi Group‘s new study, Green Retrofit Economy Study profiles key…
June 2, 2022

Embodied Carbon: A primer for buildings in Canada

This document provides the building sector with the information needed to understand embodied…
March 23, 2022

Canada’s Green Building Engine

Market Impact and Opportunities in a Critical Decade CAGBC’s report, Canada’s Green Building Engine captures…
March 8, 2022


Co-operators New Headquarters

The new Co-operators headquarters building located at 101 Cooper Drive, Guelph, aims to…
June 16, 2023

Vancouver Convention Centre – West

Maintains double LEED Platinum certification Nestled in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, the…
September 16, 2022

Édifice Jacques-Parizeau

ZCB-Performance certification to guide future Ivanhoé Cambridge projects Located in Montreal’s International District,…
April 28, 2022

Scotia Plaza’s 40 King Street West

Zero carbon building reaches new heights with first ZCB-Performance v2 certification Scotia Plaza’s…
April 28, 2022


Award Showcase: New Construction

December 6, 2023 – December 6, 2023

Award Showcase: Deep Carbon Retrofit

December 14, 2023 – December 14, 2023

Atelier Sur Les Normes Du Bâtiment À Carbone Zéro

January 22, 2024 – January 23, 2024

Zero Carbon Building Standards Workshops

January 24, 2024 – January 25, 2024

LEED Green Associate Exam Kickstarter

February 20, 2024 – February 29, 2024

Zero Carbon Building Standards Workshops

April 23, 2024 – April 25, 2024

LEED Green Associate Exam Kickstarter

May 7, 2024 – May 16, 2024

Atelier Sur Les Normes Du Bâtiment À Carbone Zéro

May 14, 2024 – May 15, 2024

LEED Green Associate Exam Kickstarter

July 30, 2024 – August 8, 2024

Atelier Sur Les Normes Du Bâtiment À Carbone Zéro

September 16, 2024 – September 18, 2024

Zero Carbon Building Standards Workshops

September 17, 2024 – September 19, 2024

Zero Carbon Building Standards Workshops

November 25, 2024 – November 27, 2024

Atelier Sur Les Normes Du Bâtiment À Carbone Zéro

November 26, 2024 – November 28, 2024