1. How does Manitoba’s energy target of 33% better than the 1997 Model National Energy Code for Buildings in Canada (MNECB) translate to the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) which comes into effect Dec. 1, 2014?

The equivalent target is at minimum 10% better than NECB (2011).

2. How is floor area calculated for commercial and institutional buildings?

Floor area is the total of each horizontal floor area where each floor above grade is measured to the outside face of the exterior wall.  Where a floor is partially below grade (e.g. “walk out basement”) and area is to be occupied, occupied floor area is to be included in the total.  Where the exterior envelope is complete but interior is left unfinished for future occupancy, the unfinished area is to be included in total. (See Green Building Program (GBP) manual section 4.1).

3. Why is green building important?

Building’s have a significant impact on natural resource use, energy, landfills, pollution and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Canadians spend approximately 90% of their life in a building.  Buildings and the building process: consumes 50% of the extracted natural resources, accounts for 33% of Canada’s energy use, contributes to 25% of the waste arriving at landfills, generates 10% of airborne particulates and contributes approximately 35% of GHG emissions. According to Industry Canada, pollution, inefficiencies and waste streams will continue to grow unless there is a greater commitment to using resources wisely and accepting the processes such as green building, that result in less harm to our environment.

4. How do you determine if the cost of the renovation is at least 50% of the cost of constructing an equivalent new building?

Step 1: Determine the total floor area of the new building.
Step 2: Estimate the total gross cost per square meter to build a new building of similar primary type or function (use Hanscomb’s Yardsticks for Costing or an equivalent guide).
Step 3: Multiply the total floor area in Step 1 by the gross cost per square meter determined in Step 2. (Ensure the cost of land /property and soft costs are excluded from the calculation in this step)
Step 4: Divide the total gross estimated cost of the renovation project by the total cost determined in Step 3.  If the resulting ratio is 50% or more the Green Building Program standards and practices for new construction projects apply to the building renovation project.

5. What do I do if the floor area of a new construction project is less than 600 m2?

The GBP criteria will improve any building’s performance from an environmental, energy and economic perspective. Smaller buildings should attempt to implement as many of the green building program criteria listed on GBP Form 1 that are cost effective and practical.  Smaller projects are not required to complete the forms or report but may do so.

6. Do I lose my funding if I don’t LEED® certify?

While LEED® certification is very achievable it is independent and cannot be guaranteed.  The Manitoba GBP recognizes even when certification is not achieved, the attempt will embed the benefits of building green.

7. Is there an alternative to LEED® certification?

Manitoba recognizes that LEED® may not be appropriate for all projects and will review variance proposals when GBP Form 1 is submitted. The variance proposal must be submitted in early stages of schematic design. If the variance proposal is approved by the Director of the Green Building Co‑ordination Team (GBCT) the alternative can be pursued.  Instructions explaining how to apply for a variance are provided in GBP Form 1, Section C.

8. Where do I find information about commissioning, integrated design process and life cycle cost analysis?

Various resources are identified in GBP manual Section 3 and Section 4.

9. Does LEED® cost more?

Yes, but you get more. LEED® is not just a plaque on the wall.  It is a program and framework that identifies the best practices and measures for a healthier and more environmentally friendly building. LEED® certification is a reliable way to prove a new building is green and was built to specific criteria. LEED® certification is a report card for the building owner. It communicates the impact the building project had on health and the environment.

LEED is not easy.  The bar is set high.  Some projects may not be able to achieve the high standards but by attempting them in good faith, Manitobans will reap the benefits of healthier and more environmentally friendly buildings that should cost less to operate over their useful life.

10. Why are funding recipients required to complete the GBP forms and return them to the government organization that provided funding?

In 2007, government organizations (departments, Crown corporations and government agencies) were directed by The Green Building Policy to promote sustainable building practices and integrate government approved criteria into building project contracts and agreements.  The GBP forms have two functions: communicate the green building criteria that apply to funded building projects, and confirm the government organization’s compliance to policy and their effort to promote sustainable building practices to achieve government’s green building goals.

11. How does the Climate Change Emissions Reductions Act impact building projects?

The Climate Change and Emissions Reductions Act (C.C.S.M. c. C135) s. 7, establishes requirements for building construction projects owned or operated by government or a government agency and construction projects for which the government provides capital funding.  At present there is a requirement that new construction projects (including built-to-suit leases)  be designed to be at least 33% more energy efficient than the building would be if it were designed to meet the minimum requirements of the Model National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (1997).  The requirement is described in Green Building Regulation 38/2013.  The Green Building Program contains the requirements of the regulation and the green building criteria that were approved by Treasury Board.

12. Are there any GBP criteria for leases?

The Green Building Regulation 37/2013 establishes lease requirements where a new building, under an agreement with the government or a government agency is built to suit the needs of the government or government agency.  The new building must be designed to be at least 33% more energy efficient than the building would be if it were designed to meet the minimum requirements of the Model National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (1997).  Because leases are included in the Green Building Regulation the requirement is included in Section 5 of the GBP manual.

13. Is there a funding threshold?

The GBP criteria apply to building projects of specific size and occupancy that receive funding (in whole or in part) from a government organization; the amount of funding is not a consideration.

14. Are loan guarantees or tax incentives considered funding?

Loan guarantees and tax incentives are not considered funding by either the Climate Change Emissions Reductions Act or the government policy directive.