Environmental issues are huge in the last few years, and for good reason, will not be going away when it comes to building and renovations. There are many terms thrown out there and the average home owner many find it confusing of just what products are environmentally conscious. In Edmonton there are a few key acronyms you should know when look at green building and renovations.
The first is FSC or Forest Stewardship Council – “a forest certification and labelling system for paper and wood products that come from responsibly managed forests, and verified recycled sources.” For example, I just completed a kitchen in which all the cabinets are made out of solid bamboo doors and FSC certified material in which 10 bamboo trees are planted for every one that is removed to make the sheet goods.
www.fsccanada.org for more details
Another term used for larger and commercial projects is LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System. It is a whole-building look at sustainability and Edmonton has adopted its strategies for all new buildings and renovations of city owned projects. Homeowners can take the principles from LEED to incorporate in scale to their projects.
There are a number of certification standards available and the government of Canada does not subscribe to only one but if you are looking at ways to build green do a little reading from the websites above for a start. There is an overload of information out there but a little research to educate yourself will go a long way. Use the expertise of your suppliers and trades to help you make the decisions as they are the ones installing the products and know firsthand how will they work in our environment.