CaGBC certifies 202 LEED projects in 4 months
Two PCL-built hospitals 'LEED' the way
The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) saw a strong start to 2015 in terms of green building certifications in Canada, with 135 registrations and 202 certifications in the first quarter of the year. This brings the total number of LEED certified projects in Canada to 2,252.
LEED Gold, the second-most rigorous level of certification, was the most common in this period, with 90 certifications, followed by LEED Silver (67), LEED Certified (36) and LEED Platinum (9). Included in the list of LEED Silver projects were two prominent Southern Ontario hospitals, Bridgepoint and the Niagara Health System’s St. Catharines Site.
Bridgepoint Hospital is an internationally-recognized healthcare and research centre that was specifically designed to provide care for patients needing rehabilitation, as well as those living with complex health conditions. This 680,000 sq. ft. facility’s sustainability measures include 29 per cent energy cost savings, and a smart irrigation system that is connected to local weather stations.
At nearly one million sq. ft., Niagara Health System’s St. Catharines Site is a comprehensive acute care hospital that also introduced much-needed regional services to Niagara, to provide residents with access to care closer to home. It incorporated a high-performance building exterior to keep the interior temperature cooler in summer, and a 35 per cent reduction in water usage as a part of its sustainability strategy.
Apart from the obvious sustainability benefits, one of the biggest impacts for hospitals and healthcare facilities is that green buildings are also inherently healthier buildings, noted Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council.
“Given their function, hospitals must dispense public services in an environment that is as healthy as possible, both physically and psychologically,” added Chris Gower, Executive Vice President at PCL Constructors Canada Inc. which designed and managed construction for both projects.
“Evidence-based design studies have shown that access to natural daylight and views contribute to patient rehabilitation and recovery, and feelings of well-being, comfort and wellness for building occupants, as well as increased productivity for hospital staff and caregivers.
“By their very nature, hospitals are not efficient buildings since they have more air exchanges and require significantly more water than most other buildings. When designing these facilities, it was therefore essential to balance energy efficiency with patient comfort. This included maximizing the quality of the indoor environment and providing access to daylight.”
A searchable LEED project database with further detail on all LEED certified projects, including project scorecards and photos, can be viewed on the CaGBC LEED Project Profiles webpage.