June 19, 2006

Advisory group named to CEC study on green building

MONTREAL, QUE-The Commission for Environmental Co-operation (CEC) secretariat has created a 20-member advisory group whose task will be to advise the secretariat on the design and development of its investigation into the challenges and opportunities for green building in North America. The CEC study, Green Building in North America: Opportunities and Challenges, will seek to encourage the growth of this important practice by updating the current status and prospects for green building, highlighting factors behind notable successes or difficulties, and evaluating the potential for environmental benefits. The secretariat is expected to present its final report to the CEC Council in the fall of 2007. The advisory group, headed by Jonathan Westeinde of the Canadian firm Windmill Development Group, is a multidisciplinary body whose Canadian, U.S. and Mexican members are experts drawn from developers and architects of green buildings, green building trade associations, financial institutions, and real estate appraisers and brokers. Other Canadian members include: Anne Auger, from Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency; Peter Busby, of Busby Perkins + Will; Benoit Labonté, from Montreal's Borough of Ville-Marie; Susan MacLaurin, of GWL Realty Advisors; and Marlo Raynolds, of the Pembina Institute. "Green" design principles and practices can contribute significantly to reducing the consumption of energy and resources and generation of waste in commercial and residential buildings. In the U.S. alone, buildings consume an estimated 65% of all electricity generated and 40% of raw materials; they also generate about 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions. And yet, says the CEC, green building represents only a small fraction of new construction in North America. More information is available from Tim Whitehouse at the CEC, 514/350-4334 or on the CEC Web site, www.cec.org/greenbuilding.

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