Blackwood Partners earns Canada’s first LEEDv4 certification for an existing building

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270 Albert Ottawa

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) says Blackwood Partners’ 270 Albert St. project has been recognized as Canada’s LEED v4 certified commercial project, earning Gold under the LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings (LEED O+M: Existing Buildings) rating system.

CaGCB says this project demonstrates how the rigour of LEED v4 can transform existing buildings and help Canada reduce carbon emissions to fight climate change.

“Projects like 270 Albert set a strong example of leadership in action,” Mark Hutchinson, CaGBC’s vice-president of green building programs, said in a statement. “They demonstrate how LEED v4 is providing project teams with a rigorous set of requirements and guidelines that, when successful, can lead a 40-year-old building to become a top-performer, saving energy and thereby reducing carbon and combating climate change.

“As Canada ramps up efforts to meet emissions reduction targets, this first LEED v4 certified commercial project is a great demonstration of how our existing buildings will play a key role in the fight against climate change.”

The 14-storey, 164,000 sq. ft.  office tower had previously undergone several major retrofits since  its 1975 construction.

“While the multi-tenant building was already operating efficiently when an energy audit was conducted in 2013, with this LEED v4 Gold certification the operations team was able to improve the building’s energy performance by a further by 25 per cent, resulting in an energy use intensity of 20 ekWh/sf and an ENERGY STAR score that placed the building in the 91st percentile amongst its peers,” the CaGBC news release says. “Crediting its close partnership with LEED consultants WSP Canada, Blackwood Partners also says the entire project – from initial planning to performance verification and documentation – was completed in just over one year.”

Meanwhile, CaGBC says LEED registrations hit new milestone in Q3 of 2016 with 6,096 to date.

There were also 70 new certifications between July 1 and Sept. 30, with the cumulative total of LEED certified projects across the country at 2,854.

Additionally, LEED v4 registrations grew in the third quarter of 2016, for a total of 32 registrations and two certifications in Canada by the end of Q3. This number will continue to grow with registration under the LEED 2009 version of the rating system ending on Oct. 31, 2016.

Year-to-date-totals (to September 30, 2016) by LEED certification level are as follows.

  1. 40 LEED Certified
  2. 98 LEED Silver
  3. 111 LEED Gold
  4. 20 LEED Platinum

In addition to 270 Albert Street, other projects of note that earned LEED certification during the third quarter include:

  • The Halifax Central Library in Halifax, NS, certified LEED Gold. This new library was designed to be a community gathering place that is an anchor and a resource for the region’s libraries. It earned LEED Gold by incorporating features like a vegetated roof, a rainwater collection system that collects rainwater in an underground cistern and reuses it in washrooms, and an active four-pipe chilled beam system with high-efficiency heat recovery.
  • Kwayatsut (at 2465 Fraser St.) in Vancouver, BC, certified LEED Gold. This multi-unit social housing development which in the Coast Salish language means “seeking one’s power”, provides ancillary support services and amenity spaces supporting youth at risk, and also includes commercial leased spaces. Among its sustainability features, the project provides ample access to natural light and air for occupants, installed bee colonies in planted areas, and consumes significantly less energy through a high energy performance envelope.
  • 120 and 130 Adelaide West (Richmond-Adelaide Centre) in Toronto, certified LEED Gold for Existing Buildings. Situated in the heart of downtown Toronto’s financial district, these buildings make up part of the Richmond-Adelaide Centre. Originally built in 1966, they were retrofitted to maximize sustainability, and improve tenant health and wellness.

A searchable LEED project database with further detail on all LEED certified projects in Canada, including project scorecards and photos, can be viewed on the CaGBC LEED Project Profiles webpage.

Image: 270 Albert, Ottawa (Blackwood Partners)

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