Everything you need to know about Sustainable Green Building Design Materials

By David Leonhardt and Corey Rozon Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Developed in United Sates by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and adopted by many other countries, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a system for defining what elements make a building green. Green buildings are new or renovated buildings that efficiently use resources such as water, land, materials and energy.

"LEED certification will provide challenges to the industry including the need to ensure an understanding of a new generation of materials properties and developing the practices and processes needed to ensure specifications and finished products meet the standards of green building. I am especially exited to be part of this process and in making a contribution towards shaping new building technologies." Ken Moscrip, President of Paramount Roll and Forming - one of Southern California's most prominent metal rolling companies. Consisting of a clear set of environmental performance criteria organized into six categories, the Canadian version of LEED, which is very similar to the USGBC version, is listed below:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials & Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation in Design
"Building Green is not a new thing it is the right thing, and we always strive to use the most environmentally neutral building practices and materials.

However, construction debris is always an issue, by ordering what we need and using it when we need it, it has helped us to divert as much as possible from the local landfill. There are tradeoffs which we all must take, however protection of our future and wise stewardship of our planet must be one of our utmost priorities." Justin Linden, President of ServiceBlocks Inc - a home renovations company in Ottawa, Canada. Benefits of Building Green Sustainable buildings considerably lower operating and maintenance costs, and these financial benefits are realized over the life of the building:

  • Reduced energy costs
  • Reduced water usage
  • Reduction in resource consumption
  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
For the construction industry, building green will continue to grow in importance, whether it is because of consumer demand, regulatory requirements, or the cost of energy.

"The LEED process guides designers and builders to make technically superior decisions in a manner that is environmentally responsible. By embracing this process, they are showing commitment to their clients, their profession and the world community at large. It allows them to provide the best design solution for both the owner and the environment." Vipul Acharya, Durisol Building Systems Inc., a leader in ICF green building materials. For further information on LEED certification contact:

  • In Canada - Canada Green Building Council www.

  • In United States - U.S. Green Building Council www.usgbc.


LEED has also become a great marketing tool to encourage sustainable environmental design and the incorporation of environmental elements into the design of buildings, from residential and commercial industry right down to industrial practices. The best way to demonstrate that a building is "green" is by achieving LEED certification.

David Leonhardt and Corey Rozon are freelance ghostwriters in Canada.
Special thanks goes to: Paramount-Roll a metal tube bending company, Service Blocks, general contractors in Aylmer, Nepean and Kanata, and finally Durisol Build, who make LEED green building with ICF possible, for donating their time and allowing me to interview them for this article.

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