Green Building Challenge

A challenge to Metro Vancouver residents to green their homes and workplaces in time for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Funded by EcoAction.


Metro Vancouver, BC

Project Completion Date


Project Type

Education and Renovation

Light House Services

Education and Facilitation, Technical Advisory, Training


Environment Canada




Design Team

Project Summary

In 2008, Light House Sustainable Building Centre received EcoAction funding from Environment Canada to challenge Metro Vancouver residents to green their homes and workplaces in time for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The goal of the program was to facilitate and accelerate green building construction and renovations across the residential, commercial and retail sectors in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet other social and ecological objectives. Ten projects were randomly selected to receive free technical assistance to achieve these targets. Support was provided by experienced green building professionals from Light House and City Green, supported by a team of trained volunteer interns. Assistance to homeowners included energy/water audits and construction/renovation waste management plans. The interns were emerging professionals in the building industry who wanted to gain practical experience related to green building. Volunteers received training in building energy and sustainability assessments as well as one-on-one mentoring from Light House staff. Ten other projects were invited to participate in the program and report their savings, but did not receive free assistance. The reductions achieved, challenges encountered, and lessons learned by the owners of each project were reported in a series of case studies displayed at the Light House resource centre and on the program website. Environment Canada required regular and accurate quarterly reports and a final audit of the program. Light House also kept Metro Vancouver apprised of project progress, forwarding lessons learnt, issues and challenges related to small project construction waste diversion. Through this project, Light House established a number of relationships with builders, haulers and recycling depots. For example, Light House discussed future collaboration with Urban Wood Waste whose alliance with Waste Management is targeting small renovation projects with their Bagster collection system: