e-Dialogue: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Neighbourhood Development

Discussion and Insight: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design  - Neighbourhood Development



A leading contributor to climate change can be found in the development and function of the built environment making up the cities and communities we live in worldwide. Through the implementation and adoption of sustainable land-use planning and green building practices, key changes can be made to reduce our consumption of energy, water, prime agricultural land, materials and resources. This will result in more efficiently designed communities that reconnect the social, ecological and economic imperatives that are fundamental to sustainable community development (Dale, 2001).

In 2007, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Neighbourhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system that attempts to transform the built environment and expand on concepts and design features outlined in the preceding LEED rating systems geared towards single buildings. LEED-ND was developed for a neighbourhood scale, through its application of concepts from smart growth, new urbanism and green building design. This synthesis aims to foster sustainability and the development of neighbourhoods that provide a vibrant, healthy, livable lifestyle for area residents (USGBC, n.d.).

The purpose of this e-Dialogue (www.e-dialogues.ca) is to expand upon data collected during the first phase of my research, which aimed at identifying the barriers to implementing the LEED-ND rating system. In this first phase, I conducted a case study review of three stage two certified LEED-ND communities registered under the USGBC Pilot Version--- Dockside Green, South East False Creek and Garrison Crossing, all located in British Columbia. In addition to the case study review, I interviewed key building professionals who have worked with the LEED-ND.

Moderated by Professor Ann Dale, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development at Royal Roads University, we will be asking three main questions and discuss what types of policies and programs have been or would be the most effective in minimizing barriers in order to encourage greater uptake of the LEED-ND rating system.

Strategic Questions

  1. What top three characteristics would you use to describe a sustainable community?
  2. How do you think LEED-ND can be strengthened to address the social imperatives of sustainable community development?
  3. How can you satisfy a rigorous standards rating system that still allows for flexibility in meeting local conditions and at the same time, optimizes innovation?


Discussion Participants

Ann Dale (Facilitator)is a professor with the School of Environment and Sustainability, Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences at Royal Roads University. She chairs the Canadian Consortium for Sustainable Development Research (CCSDR), a consortium of all the heads of research institutes across Canada, and is active in the Canadian environmental movement. Dr. Dale chairs an organization she created, the National Environmental Treasure (the NET) and is the Executive Co-ordinator, Research and Public Policy for the Canadian Biodiversity Institute. From 1998-2000, she led an energy efficiency program on behalf of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.


Katherine Constantine is a Master of Arts candidate in the Environment and Management program at Royal Roads University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Carleton University in 2006 and obtained her LEED accreditation from the CaGBC in 2008. Her previous work endeavors include working as an Environmental Planner at Conestoga-Rovers & Associates and prior to that she worked for several years in the real estate industry as a Realtor, a career that first peaked her strong desire to focus on issues surrounding sustainability as they relate to the built environment.


Roger Bayley’s experience spans 40 years of senior-level project design and management. As a founding principal of Merrick Architecture (which grew from four to seventy employees during his tenure), he was responsible for project design, engineering, quality control and project management. From 2006 to 2010 he was the design manager for the Millennium Water Olympic Village in Vancouver, Canada’s first LEED™ certified Platinum neighbourhood and the largest sustainable community in North America.


Odete Pinhoholds 13 years experience in community planning and managing development applications. Odete was project coordinator for the City of Vancouver’s submission for the certification of Southeast False Creek under US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Developments (LEED ND). Her attention to detail, and project management skills, were an asset in securing the highest LEED ND certification score to date for Southeast False Creek.


Andrea Pelland graduated from the University of Alberta with an Honours Degree in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture. Andrea's main areas of study were the history and theory of sustainable design, architectural rating systems, and sustainable communities. Andrea is currently a partner at EcoAmmo Sustainable Consutling Inc., an Edmonton-based consulting firm dedicated to helping businesses transition into the green marketplace. For more information, please visit us at www.ecoammo.com.


Adam Stoker has been involved in the field of sustainable buildings as a site assessor, energy engineer, and LEED project manager from 2002 to present. During this time, he has performed environmental assessments of over 100 properties and been involved in the design and construction of over twenty LEED building projects in Western Canada. With a background of energy audits; mechanical, electrical and environmental assessments; Adam is skilled in evaluating and recommending appropriate courses of action for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional projects. Over 6 years experience with 4 LEED certified projects including LEED ND, CS and CI.

Transcript of e-Dialogue

The transcript for the e-Dialogue can be downloaded here:

LEED-ND e-Dialogue: June 29, 2011

Resources and References

Dale, A, 2001, At the edge: sustainable development in the 21st Century, Vancouver: UBC Press

United States Green Building Council (USGBC) (2009) LEED 2009 For Neighborhood Development. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=148