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Blackwood Partners earns Canada’s first LEED v4 certification for an existing building

By The Canada Green Building Council   

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PrintCanada has its first LEED v4 certified commercial project with  270 Albert Street in Ottawa earning Gold under the LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings (LEED O+M: Existing Buildings) rating system. Asset managed by Blackwood Partners Inc. and property managed by Blackwood Partners Corporation, 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. 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,” says Mark Hutchinson, vice-president of Green Building Programs for the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). “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.”

Located in downtown Ottawa, 270 Albert Street is a 14-storey, 164,000 sq. ft. office tower that had previously undergone several major retrofits since the building was constructed in 1975. 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. 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. 

“Blackwood Partners is confident that the LEED v4 O+M Gold certification of 270 Albert Street is an opportunity to elevate the building in the downtown Ottawa marketplace by reinforcing the owner’s commitment to sustainable practices and supporting the green initiatives of our tenants within their workplace,” says Peter L. Stafl, vice-president of Leasing and Asset Management for Blackwood Partners Inc. “270 Albert is effective in minimizing environmental impacts through sustainable operational practices and energy efficiency, thereby benefitting all stakeholders through tenant satisfaction and improved returns. We are proud to lead the industry forward as the first building in rd as the first building in Canada to be certified under LEED v4 O+M.” 


LEED registrations hit new milestone in Q3 of 2016 with 6,000 to date

The CaGBC saw another big milestone in the third quarter of 2016, surpassing 6,000 LEED registrations in Canada, for a total of 6,096. There were also 70 new certifications between July 1 and September 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 October 31, 2016.

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

• 40 LEED Certified

• 98 LEED Silver

• 111 LEED Gold

• 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 highstem with high-efficiency heat recovery.

Kwayatsut (at 2465 Fraser Street) 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 & 130 Adelaide West (Richmond-Adelaide Centre) in Toronto, ON, 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. For more information on LEED v4 in Canada and the project’s who are leading the way – visit www.cagbc.org/LEEDv4.




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