Sustainable Buildings in Calgary

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Green Calgary by Wikimedia Commons
Green Calgary by Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to the implementation of green technology in the process of constructing new buildings, Calgary is the Canadian trailblazer. The city was the first jurisdiction in the country to adopt a sustainable building policy in 2004 known as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard (LEED) resulting in significant reductions in the consumption of water, energy, greenhouse gas emissions and materials usage. LEED encourages global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices and promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability in the following domains:

  • sustainable site development
  • water efficiency
  • energy efficiency
  • materials selection
  • indoor environmental quality

One of the events that regularly provide insight into future trends is the annual Alberta Sustainable Building Symposium (ASBS) during which architects, engineers, planners, builders, green product suppliers and building policy makers meet to discuss different approaches to sustainability. This year the ASBS celebrated its 15th anniversary and it provided a unique opportunity for 35 organizations to promote their products, services and success with senior influencers in Alberta’s design, construction and building operations community. Anyone who is interested in the project can become a member of the Symposium and share his or her views with the senior leaders and decision-makers from the provinces’s sustainable building industry.

BOMA Calgary

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Calgary is a member driven trade organization that supports the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, education and networking. The organization operates on the principle of providing energy solutions in built environments by adopting new technologies to address environmental concerns, increase efficiencies and reduce operating costs. If you want to learn more about the opportunities that the City of Calgary offers in the area of sustainable building and industry, BOMA Calgary and its professionals are there to give you all the necessary details. The organization provides networking opportunities for members through various events, educational sessions and committees such as:

  • Monthly Luncheons
  • Annual BOMA Ski Day
  • Certificate of Excellence Awards Luncheon
  • Bi-Annual Social Networking Events
  • Annual Christmas Luncheon

Enermodal Engineering

Water Centre by Wikimedia Commons
Water Centre by Wikimedia Commons

Calgary is also one of the seats of Canada’s largest consulting firm exclusively dedicated to creating green buildings – Enermodal Engineering. The offices of the organization whose main goal is to reduce the energy and water consumption and the environmental impact of building designs are located in Calgary’s vibrant Mission District. Enermodal belongs to the limited group of consulting firms that received formal certification from the Canada Green Building Council. The company has certified over 55 buildings (five times more than any other consultant) and has a further 200 in progress. There are many consulting firms in the country with LEED project experience but only a few of them can boast of such a strong track record when it comes to achieving its highest level.

Some of the buildings in Calgary that ranked well in the LEED™ measurements of their environmental performance:

Ranking first both in Calgary and the province of Alberta, this place has earned international recognition for a reason. It was designed to be in harmony with the landscape – part of the building is integrated into the hillside. Natural insulation reduces heating costs and creates an efficient layout, while the cold air from the outside is used for cooling..

The energy savings come from extensive use of natural daylight. The library was able to reduce its total electricity requirements by more than 30 percent by employing new strategies.

The integrated design and implementation of LEED strategies has enabled the centre to achieve many sustainability goals. 52 percent better then the national energy code requirements, the building succeeded to cut down on energy costs considerably. The storm-water is collected and filtered through an on-site pond.

Being the largest office building built by the City of Calgary in the last twenty years, it’s good to know that the integrated design process and a common green building design strategy were a big part of this project.

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