The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has announced that its new Vancouver office has certified LEED v4 Platinum for Interior Design + Construction (ID+C) – becoming the first commercial project to earn LEED v4 Platinum in the country.
CaGBC’s goal with this new office was to provide leadership to the industry and demonstrate how a state-of-the-art, innovative green office can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve employee well-being. Climate change mitigation through green building rests first in improving building performance wherever possible. In order to earn LEED v4 Platinum certification, CaGBC worked with industry leaders DIALOG, Ledcor Construction Ltd., and Integral Group. Through this collaboration, the CaGBC Vancouver office was able to earn a final predicted energy cost savings of 25.3 per cent compared to ASHRAE 9.1-2010, with a 39 per cent reduction in indoor water use.
The selection of an appropriate location for a project is critical, and was a key contributor in CaGBC earning this LEED Platinum certification. Choosing to lease office space in the newly opened MNP Tower at 1021 W. Hastings St., a LEED Gold certified building owned by Oxford Properties Group, provided many advantages due to its dense downtown location. This includes ample access to amenities and strong bicycle and public transportation networks, which encourages employee wellness and mitigates the environmental impacts of commuting. CaGBC built on the idea of wellness by also incorporating an open-office design, a variety of workspace options, and sit-stand desks to maximize ergonomics.
“Our goal with this office was to set an example by achieving the most rigorous level of certification under LEED v4, and to do so by highlighting the innovation and capabilities that CaGBC has fostered over the past decade,” says Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the CaGBC. “As the pressure builds to urgently address climate change and other environmental issues, CaGBC and our thousands of members and stakeholders across the country continue to lead by example. This project is demonstrating how we can reduce carbon impact, improve efficiency and eliminate toxicity while stimulating innovation.”
Building materials also play a large role in mitigating carbon emissions, which is why the project team focused on product selections that had life-cycle information available, along with environmentally, economically, and socially preferable impacts. This included sourcing flooring, shades and fabric that are Cradle2Cradle certified or that have Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs); ensuring 80 per cent of workstation furniture was from reused, refurbished or recycled sources; and using VOC-absorbing gypsum and other low-VOC products to maximize indoor air quality.
In total, the CaGBC worked with 40 industry sponsors for this project, who provided in-kind services and support. The innovative office space not only achieved LEED v4 Platinum, but has served as a learning tool for CaGBC staff, visitors and the project team. A new video detailing the design and construction process of the office is available, along with project highlights at: www.cagbc.org/v4PlatinumOffice.