White Papers

Vancouver Public Library’s Garden in the Sky

Two decades after the completion of the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) Central Branch in downtown Vancouver, the joint venture architectural team of Moshe Safdie and DA Architects along with landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander (1921-2021) reunited to fulfill the original design intent: a publicly accessible rooftop garden.

Released: July 2021 Download here.


BC Building Performance Study: Hotel Sector

Light House’s Building Performance study reviewed energy, water and waste data for 281 buildings from across the Province, including 147 BOMA BESt certified buildings and 134 non-certified buildings which included retail, office, multi-unit residential, warehouses, and hotels.  In cooperation with Tourism Vancouver the study was able to attain data from 19 hotels in the lower mainland.  This white paper reviews the results and key findings for the hotel sector.

Released: April 2014 Download Here.


Life Cycle Analysis and Environmental Product Declarations: North American Market Analysis

With the official launch of USGBC’s LEED version 4 at Greenbuild Nation in November 2013, Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are becoming hot new topics of discussion. What are LCAs and EPDs? This white paper answers this question,  identifying LCA/EPD impact on building design, and discussing the current North American market uptake for LCAs completed as per the ISO 14040  guidelines and Type III EPDs completed according to the ISO 14025  guidelines. Released: December 2013 Download Here.

Winning Green Building Policies

Building a Winning Green Building Strategy: Successful Policies for Government, Industry and the Environment

Buildings are estimated to account for 40% of all energy consumed and 25% of all GHG emissions. Green building policies represent a range of instruments from incentive programs through to regulation aimed at improving the performance of buildings. This white paper presents select findings, including examples of policy successes and lessons learned, from a review of more than 200 green building related policies from across Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Released: September 2013 Download here.

This white paper was also available in the January 2014 issue of Municipal World.

Sustainable Approaches to Industrial Lands

Sustainable Approaches to Employment and Industrial Lands Planning

Over the past few decades there has been an economic restructuring of many Canadian cities and a general decline of manufacturing and associated heavy industrial jobs.  What are the key considerations for municipalities planning for their future employment lands? Using Alberta’s TaigaNova Eco-Industrial Park as a case study, this white paper looks at the challenges facing municipal governments and how sustainable planning for industrial lands can attract investment and jobs and increase competitiveness.

Coming Soon.


Construction in Reverse

Lessons from a Residential Renovation Pilot. This paper summarizes a residential renovation in Vancouver that used deconstruction methods to achieve an 85% diversion rate. It outlines the challenges for developers and makes recommendations for  governments working to meeting Metro Vancouver’s target of an 80% diversion rate for all demolition, land clearing and construction waste in the region by 2015.

Released: July 2013 Download here.

What is a Carbon Neutral Building?

The term ‘carbon neutral’ has become increasingly used in recent years; however, there is often a lack of transparency regarding what is meant by different organizations’ usage of the term. This paper discusses some of the key international definitions of carbon neutrality worldwide and what you should consider when referring to carbon neutral buildings.

Released: June 2013   Download here

Does Building Green Create Value?

The market for certified buildings in Canada has continued to grow since 2000, but are those buildings really worth more when it comes time to sell or lease? This Light House white paper examines whether building green translates into tangible value for property owners and developers and introduces a Green Building Valuation Report for the Canadian market that is starting this year.

Released: May 2013   Download Here.

Energy Labeling for Commercial Buildings in Canada

Building energy labeling and benchmarking, similar to measuring fuel use in a vehicle, is a useful tool to help owners, operators and managers understand how much energy their facility is using and how that compares locally and nationally to other similar buildings. This White Paper provides a summary of energy labeling programs, labeling procedures, available resources, and tools to help building owners start labeling their buildings.

Released: April 2013  Download Here