Green building: shifting from innovators to early adopters

June 7, 2017


Many systems must change in the transition to a low carbon economy.  The way we plan and make decisions will look different.  There will be new people at the table.  Especially people we had never thought to include before.

Already in the home building business, a transition is underway.  The Canada Green Building Council recently launched Canada’s first zero carbon building standard for commercial, institutional and multi-residential buildings.

The new standard makes carbon reduction a measure of building performance.  That changes things.

This new standard would not have been possible without the clever work of industry innovators.  They probably lost a few years off their lives dealing with a system that did not know what to do with them.

Their work as industry leaders won’t be in vain.  The new standard will help early adopters move more quickly. Yet, these early adopters won’t be off the hook either.  They too will be trail blazers as government rules scramble to keep up with the pace of innovation.

Unfortunately, our government systems have not been built to respond easily to change. They are designed to advance the interests of the system not find solutions.  I know many within government who are working to change this.  However, they face incredible resistance – as innovators in their own right – from both within and outside government.  Yet, while it may be hard to see at times, their challenging work will pave the way for the next wave of early adopters as the building industry and government begin to align around a new way of doing business.

If you thought zero carbon buildings were hard, wait until we really start to tackle zero carbon communities.