Located just north of Toronto, the Earth Rangers Centre (ERC) is a smart, green building that continues to adopt new technologies and strategies to meet its financial and sustainability goals. It was designed 15 years ago with advanced and progressive strategies to reduce the building’s environmental footprint.
When the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC)—home to events like Construct Canada and the CSC Toronto Chapter’s No Frills Tradeshow—decided to renovate its South Building, it sought replacement ceiling panels that offered both a modern look and performance. It was also important the assembly would support its pursuit of certification under Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating program.
The Ottawa Paramedic Service Headquarters (OSPH) is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified facility in Ottawa. It is also the first and only headquarters for paramedic services in the National capital region. The 9290-m2 (100,000 sf), two-storey, state-of-the-art facility consolidated staff and operations from different locations of the city.
The phrase “think globally, act locally” is a good way to describe how sustainable design projects are conceptualized. From the building to the community scale, the goal is to minimize the initial and ongoing effects of development by striving for net-zero impact and focusing on ecological restoration. (Net-zero refers to a balance of resource use and restoration on an annual basis—producing as much energy through renewable sources as consumed, sequestering equal or greater amounts of carbon as emitted, or diverting all waste from landfills or other harmful means of disposal).
Without a properly engineered ventilation system on the roof, ice-damming can threaten a building’s health. An ice dam is a ridge of ice forming at the eaves of a roof, cricket, or valley that prevents melting snow and water from draining off. The water backing up behind this obstruction can refreeze, creating an ice dam. These dams can be the cause of roof failures; once significant amounts of moisture enter the building, there is a high probability mould and other negative impacts can occur.
Earlier this year, the redevelopment and expansion of Bluewater Health (Sarnia, Ont.) allowed the facility to become the province’s first acute-care project to earn certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) New Construction (NC) program.
The lighting at the border crossing between Vancouver and Washington shines green. When the U.S. Border Patrol planned the opening of its enlarged land port of entry (LPOE) station, energy savings were an important factor incorporated into the design.
As sustainable building has become the preferred (or, occasionally, required) construction method throughout North America, design professionals are turning to insulating concrete forms (ICFs). When comprising the building envelope, these materials provide occupants with a safe, clean, healthy, and comfortable environment in which to live and work. Whether residential multi-family, commercial new construction, school, theatre, healthcare, or retail, ICF structures also help reduce a building’s carbon footprint—their insulation can mean less energy to heat and cool than is needed in structures built with conventional materials.
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