Canadian Consulting Engineer

Calgary childcare centre scores highest in Canada for sustainable design

October 29, 2007
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

A building at the University of Calgary has been certified as LEED Platinum by the Canada Green Building Council.

A building at the University of Calgary has been certified as LEED Platinum by the Canada Green Building Council.
The University of Calgary Child Development Centre is an 11,600-sq.m (125,000-sq. ft.) building located on the university campus, across the street from the Alberta Children’s hospital, which was designed by the same architects and mechanical-electrical engineering team.
The Platinum designation is the highest available for sustainable design and construction features according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ranking system, which is widely used throughout North America as a benchmark for green building design and performance.
The Child Development Centre is the largest LEED Platinum certified building in Canada and has scored the highest of all LEED certified “cold climate” buildings in the world. It is also the highest scoring LEED certified building in Canada, having 57 points.
The design team was led by Kasian Architecture, Interior Design and Planning. The mechanical and electrical consulting engineers were Wiebe Forest Engineering; structural engineer is Read Jones Christoffersen, and civil engineering was by MMM Group (formerly Bel-MK Engineering). The LEED consultants were Green Building Services. Construction was by EllisDon and project manager was R.C. Peterson Ltd.
The childcare centre officially opened October 9, after a two-year construction period. Among the design elements is a large array of solar panels on its south wall. The photovoltaic system is capable of producing 65,000 kilowatt hours worth of electricity annually (enough to run six family homes). Among many other green features, the building has high performance boilers that are 91% efficient, tankless domestic hot water heaters, and radiant cooling panels on the south and west perimeter spaces to offset solar gain.
The building is expected to render a 70% saving in energy costs every year, and use 55 per cent less water than a standard building. Over 80% of the construction waste was diverted from landfills.
Providing childcare space for up to 80 children, the zinc-clad building has an open concept main floor which includes a large sculptured staircase and artist mural. The second floor has a lounge that overlooks the open area below.
Thomas Mueller, president of the Canada Green Building Council, said at the building opening: “Achieving Platinum level is no small feat and Kasian is helping raise the bar for everyone. 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 for the bottom line.”


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