Scent-free buildings earn
Green LEED Credits
UPdate Fall 2008
New buildings with effective scent-free programs are now eligible
for an innovation credit under the Green Building Council’s Leadership
in Energy and Design (LEED) program.
This is a major breakthrough -- to have Canada’s leading organization
in Green Building recognize the value of scent-free policies,” said Karen
Robinson, President and CEO of Canadians for a Safe Learning Environment (CASLE).
CASLE was instrumental in convincing Halifax schools to adopt scent-free programs,
making Halifax a leader in Canada for the last decade.
Building on past success, Robinson worked with the LEED team designing two
new schools in NS to apply for LEED points for scent free policies. LEED points
were allowed for the new Citadel High School in Halifax, and the Green Building
Council credit ruling followed.
Scent free programs fall under the LEED category of Indoor Environmental Quality.
In granting credit for scent-free policies, the Council cited the following
information from the Canadian Lung Association.
“Ninety-five percent of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds
derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many
other known toxics and sensitizers - just one perfume can contain more than
500 chemicals. Another common ingredient in scents is toluene. Toluene triggers
attacks and is known to cause asthma in previously healthy people.”
The LEED ruling makes it clear that there has to be more than just a paper
policy for a building to be awarded an Innovation credit. The policy must to
implemented, for example by posting comprehensive signage and implementing
Additional information is available by referring to the Canada Green Building
Council’s Credit Interpretation Request (CIR) #139, ruling date June
UPdate, Fall 2008, Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia