The newly released BOMA BEST Green Building Report, tracking building performance for the 15-month period from Jan. 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, highlights 1,749 new certifications to end out the Version 2 era of the assessment and benchmarking program for sustainable buildings operations. In step with the philosophy of continuous improvement, BOMA BEST 3.0 is now fully in place.
“The past year presented us with some rewarding moments as well as some interesting challenges,” Benjamin Shinewald, president and CEO of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada, observed in his introduction to the new report. “It was a year of transition, replacing BOMA BEST Version 2 with the much more robust and comprehensive BOMA BEST 3.0, and a year of opportunities which we were thrilled to embrace.”
Looking back to Version 2, he commends the 108 per cent increase in certifications over the previous reporting period and a jump of eight basis points in the average score. “This was the highest year-or-year change in performance and fantastic culmination of BOMA BEST v2 achievement,” the report reiterates.
Participating buildings are scored in six categories: energy; water; waste reduction/enhancement; emissions and effluents; indoor environment; and environmental management systems. From Jan. 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, slightly more than 52 per cent of participating buildings achieved a score of a least 70 per cent for a silver or higher certification. An average score of 78.9 per cent across these 917 buildings was the best result since 2010.
Office buildings account for the largest proportion of higher scores, as 597 or nearly three quarters of properties in that sector attained at least a silver certification. Fifty-six office buildings received BOMA’s highest rating of platinum via scores of 90 per cent or higher — collectively reducing their carbon footprint by 69,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) equivalent. Another 253 office buildings gained gold standing with scores between 80 and 89 per cent.
In general, office buildings matched the best energy use intensity (EUI) yet recorded with an average of 27.1 equivalent kilowatt-hours per square foot (ekWh/sq2) for those achieving at least silver certification. Average water use intensity of 0.69 cubic metres per square metre (m3/m2) was up from a best ever average of 0.65 m3/m2 in 2012, but down slightly from the 2015 tally. The same group of buildings achieved an average waste diversion rate of 63 per cent.
Light industrial buildings represent the next largest group with 561 certifications, of which 30 per cent were silver or higher. A similar portion of the 249 open-air retail properties registered scores of 70 per cent or higher, whereas 94 enclosed shopping malls collectively boasted the best performance among the sectors with fully half achieving gold or platinum certification.
In contrast, multi-residential participation lagged behind the other sectors. Just 25 buildings were certified and just four achieved scores of 70 per cent or higher, translating into one silver and three gold certifications.