April 6, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government has introduced a new Green Building Policy intended to reduce significantly the energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of government buildings.
The first phase of the policy went into effect last Thursday, April 1. It applies to all new construction and major renovation projects for Parts I through IV of the public service. The second phase will become effective Jan. 1, 2011, for organizations that receive funding from the provincial government.
"Our government is committed to leading by example when it comes to designing and building green buildings in New Brunswick," said Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty. "This new policy will ensure that all new and renovated buildings funded by the provincial government will incorporate sustainable building practices into their planning, design, construction and operation."
The announcement was made at the University of New Brunswick, adjacent to the Fredericton campus of New Brunswick Community College currently under construction. The campus is one of the structures being built to conform to the new policy and to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.
"Through this policy, we are taking a significant step forward to increase energy conservation and environmental sustainability in the operations of government," said Environment Minister Rick Miles. "These efforts will result in savings to the government when our buildings operate more efficiently, and they represent important progress toward building a greener and self-sufficient New Brunswick."
Miles said that the policy will deliver cost savings and help the government achieve the targets set out in the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan 2007-2012, which aims to reduce provincial GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2012.
Under the first phase of the policy, larger buildings, defined as those greater than 2,000 sq. m, will be required to achieve a minimum certification of LEED Silver or Green Globes 3 Globes (considered a LEED silver equivalent under the policy).
Smaller buildings, those between 500 and 2,000 sq. m, will be required to follow Efficiency NB's Core Performance Guide for energy efficiency as well as fulfil a list of green building requirements.
"Despite what some might suggest, building green does not cost much more than traditional construction," said Elizabeth Weir, president and chief executive officer, Efficiency NB. "The additional costs are modest and more than offset by reduced energy costs as well as the improved health, comfort, and productivity of a green building's occupants over the life of the building."
Under the policy, exceptions will be permitted for special circumstances - heritage and temporary/seasonal buildings, for example - and work has begun to expand the policy to apply to existing government buildings as well as leased space used by the provincial government.
In partnership with the Department of Social Development, the Department of Supply and Services will apply the policy to social housing.
"In extending the Green Building Policy to social housing, we are leading by example in ensuring low-income households are able to reap the benefits of energy-efficient housing," said Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock.
More information about the Green Building Policy is online.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Sheri Strickland, communications, Department of Supply and Services, 506-457-7903; Jennifer Graham, communications, Department of Environment, 506-457-7206; Tracey Somers, communications, Efficiency NB, 506-648-8833.