Nicholson and Cates promotes environmental responsibility and is proud to offer products that contribute to the health of our planet.

Nicholson and Cates believes that healthy and well-managed forests are essential to a sustainable future. Forests are renewable resources, and in addition to the environmental benefits they provide, forests play an important role in our economy and yield beautiful, functional and recyclable building materials. As a forest products and building materials company, Nicholson and Cates supports sustainable forestry that perpetuates the benefits of forests now and for generations to come.

Our inventory and vendor selection process reflects Nicholson and Cates’ commitment to the environment and to dealing with vendors that manage forest products, and other natural resources, responsibly. N&C was an early adopter of FSC® certification, and we are proud to offer FSC® certified materials plus a variety of other products that contribute to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits and meet LEED certification criteria.

What is LEED?

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system was originally developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide a recognized standard for the construction industry to assess the environmental sustainability of building designs. Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) has since adapted the USGBC LEED rating system to the specific concerns and requirements of buildings in Canada.

LEED is a point-based rating system; points are earned for building attributes considered environmentally beneficial. LEED differs from other rating systems in that it has quantified most of the “green credits.” For example, 10% of the building materials must contain recycled content to achieve the recycled content credit.

LEED has 110 points covering seven topic areas. Each topic area has a statement of associated goals.

  • Site Development: minimize storm water run-off, encourage car pooling and bicycling, increase urban density and green space
  • Water Efficiency: eliminate site irrigation, reduce water consumption, minimize or treat wastewater
  • Energy Efficiency: reduce building energy consumption, use renewable energy, eliminate ozone-depleting chemicals, commission building systems
  • Material Selection: minimize construction waste, re-use existing building façade, use locally recycled and salvaged materials, use renewable construction materials
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: incorporate daylighting, use low off-emitting materials, provide operable windows and occupant control of work space, improve delivery of ventilation air
  • Innovation in Design: use a LEED Accredited Professional, greatly exceed the requirements of a credit, incorporate innovative environmental features not covered in other areas, develop a green education plan (such as installing an Enermodal Signature Green Building Kiosk).
  • Regional Priority: target issues of environmental importance based on geographical locations as well as designing and constructing more durable buildings

Nicholson and Cates offers an extensive inventory of FSC and NAUF or ULEF certified green products which can potentially contribute to achieving Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED). For each relevant credit, a description of the LEED requirement is listed below.

MR 4.
Materials & Resources
Recycled Content
Increase the use of building products that contain recycled content material Sum of post-consumer recycled content plus 1/2 of the pre-consumer recycled content constitutes at least 10% (1 point) or 20% (2 points) of materials in the project, based on cost.
MR 5.
Regional Materials
Increase the use of building products that are extracted and manufactured within the project region Use building materials or products that have been extracted, harvested or recovered, as well as manufactured, within a specified distance (see Options 1 and 2, below) of the project site for a minimum of 10% (1 point) or 20% (2 points), based on cost, of the total materials value.
Option 1:
Within a 500 mile (800 kilometer) radius of the project site.
Option 2:
Within a 500 mile (800 kilometer) total travel distance of the project site using a weighted average determined through the following formula: (Distance by rail/3) + (Distance by inland waterway/2) + (Distance by sea/15) + (Distance by all other means) <= 500 miles (800 kilometers)
MR 7.
Materials & Resources:
Certified Wood
Encourage environmentally responsible forest management A minimum of 50% of wood-based products certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for wood building components. (1 Point)
IEQ 4.4
Indoor Environmental Quality
Low Emitting Materials
Improve indoor air quality (1 Point)
Pathway 1: Composite panels manufactured with no added urea-formaldehyde resins
Pathway 2: Composite panels manufactured with CARB ULEF or NAF resins