October 22, 2008

Kasian designs LEED® Platinum certified building

Project is the largest in Canada to receive the highest level of sustainability certification
For Immediate Release

The University of Calgary Child Development Centre (CDC) has achieved the highest level of sustainability certification a building can reach in North America. The 125,000 sq. ft. CDC, designed by Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd, has been certified as LEED® Platinum by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) for its high level of sustainable design and construction features. It is the largest LEED® Platinum building in Canada. The focus of the new facility is to support the healthy development of children and their families.

“Achieving Platinum is a huge success for our firm and we are proud to be a part of the movement towards sustainable standards in Alberta and Canada,” says Bill Chomik, Principal at Kasian. “We discovered a lot about the level of collaboration that is required for a project of this kind. Every design element incorporated into the facility had to be considered from a complexity of angles – functionality, efficiency, sustainability, budget, and aesthetics.

It took significant input and a meeting-of-minds from the project manager, construction managers, sub-consultants, client, stakeholders, and user groups to determine the best outcome for the design.” The result is a benchmark, high performance, and sustainable facility.

Some of the design elements incorporated include: solar panels – one of the largest photovoltaic arrays to be integrated into a buildings design in Canada. It is capable of producing 65,000 kilowatt hours worth of electricity annually which is enough to run six single family homes for a year. Other features include high-performance boilers and water efficient fixtures. Zinc cladding was used on the building exterior to increase building durability and decrease the need for maintenance. Access flooring and moveable walls enable building flexibility so that tenants can change, but the walls will not have to be destroyed. Natural light is present throughout the building to reduce electrical costs and to create an open and pleasant environment for building users.

*As a result there will be an estimated energy cost reduction of over 70 per cent and an over 55 per cent water use reduction per year. 83 per cent of construction waste for this project was diverted from landfills. 11 per cent of the buildings consumed energy will be renewable. Parents whose children use the space will also be happy to know that building and finishing materials were chosen specifically for their healthy qualities and there is a state-of the-art mechanical fresh-air ventilation system.

“I believe we have achieved what we set out to do which was to provide great architecture that is highly sustainable and which enhances the experiences of people who use the building,” says Judy MacDougall, LEED® accredited Project Architect at Kasian. “The synergies of the many disciplines involved in the project and the passion of the entire team to reach this goal was the reason for our success.” The CDC had its official opening event on October 9, 2007. The building is located on the U of C Campus across the street from the Alberta Children’s hospital. Occupants include researchers, clinicians and community practitioners with major tenants including the Calgary Health Region and a new U of C child care centre. All are housed in an architecturally significant building which provides opportunities for community interaction and has an engaging street presence which gives the area an urban feel.

“The University of Calgary is committed to leadership in sustainable design and construction,” said University of Calgary President Harvey Weingarten. “In partnership with Kasian, we have created a living laboratory for vital sustainability research. The unique features of this facility will be studied, monitored and analyzed by our students and our researchers. Ultimately, other communities and other corporations will benefit from this research. Most importantly, our children, and their children, will benefit.”

Kasian is also partnering with the University of Calgary on another sustainable building project, the Taylor Family Digital Library.

“Achieving Platinum level is no small feat and Kasian is helping raise the bar for everyone,” says Thomas Mueller, president of the Canada Green Building Council. “This achievement also demonstrates the University of Calgary’s leadership role in connecting the forward thinking on the ground with a building that is good for the environment, for its occupants and good for the bottom line.”

LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings meet the highest environmental performance standards in Canada. The LEED® Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. This point-based rating system covers six areas: site development, water and energy efficiency, material selection, indoor air quality and innovation of design.

The Canada Green Building Council facilitates LEED-Canada certifications for new construction and commercial interiors.

* All percentages are based on a comparison to a model national energy code reference.