2013 Miss Teen Canada – World Blog Network Assignment Number One
Ever heard of a Green Building? No, it is not a building painted green. It is a structure and process that is environmentally friendly and resource-effiecient! The common objective of a green building is to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and natural environment by: efficiently using energy, water and other resources, protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity, reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation. Now, think if every building was environmentally friendly, the world would be THAT much “friendlier“!
Environmentally Friendly Green Building in my Town:
I live in a small, nice, clean town called Grimsby located in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario. Our Town Hall strives to enhance Grimsby’s quality of life and sense of community through efficient delivery of a wide range of services. And THIS JUST IN: they recently renovated the town building, designed with sustainability and ease of access in mind, calling it the Newly Renovated Town Hall Project. Thanks to Green Reason being part of the project team, the new Grimsby Town Hall is a proposed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building designed by Mayhew. Green Reason completed the project on track to achieve LEED Canada-NC Silver certification. It is located on the previously developed town site land which minimized the need to expand onto new land.
Features that help minimize the environmental impact on its surroundings:
- The white roof membrane reflects heat instead of absorbing it, which decreases urban island heat affect. It lowers the roof temperature by up to 50 degrees celsius with reduce A/C energy cost!
- The building lighting is designed to minimize light pollution onto neighbouring properties and into the sky.
- The town of Grimsby has provided secure bike lock/storage areas for all cyclists and shower/change facilities for staff cyclists. This encourages residents and staff to seek alternative transportation that will help get cars off the road. What’s better than saving the environment AND getting your exercise in when riding a bike to work!?
- Carpooling spots have been designated to cut down on the number of single-occupant vehicle trips to the Town Hall on a daily basis. Sharing is caring!
The 3 Objectives going into this project were:
1. Minimizing Construction Materials and Waste: The Grimsby Town Hall reduced new material and waste during the construction of the building by reusing 85% of the structure and shell from the existing building (excluding roofing which needed to be replaced).
- During the demolition and construction phase, almost 80% of construction waste was diverted from the landfill to recycling facilities. Diverted materials include concrete, metal, wood and drywall.
- The use of local materials on the project was approximately 25% of the total project material costs. Local materials are defined as resources or products extracted and manufactured within 800 km of the project, with a larger radius defined for components that are transported by rail or water rather than by truck.
2. Water and Energy Reduction:
- Water-efficient plumbing fixtures were installed to reduce the use of potable water. Low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, low flow lavatory faucets, and low flow kitchen sinks combine to reduce water consumption by almost 47% compared to conventional fixtures.
- An energy model was created that predicts the Town Hall will consume approximately 29% less energy!!! Small changes make a BIG difference.
3. Improved Indoor Environment: to improve indoor air quality, the use of products that emit high levels of chemicals that can cause health issues inside the building are restricted.
- An indoor air quality plan was implemented during construction to ensure measures were taken to reduce contamination with dust and chemicals as much as possible.
- Studies show an important factor for occupant health and satisfaction is access to daylight and views! The layout achieves approximately 75% access to daylight and 90% access to views before furniture installation.
- Also, operable windows, blinds and lighting controls ensure that occupants have greater control over their working environments which will improve their comfort levels.
- Workstations and task chairs installed in the building were tested and certified by SCS (Scientific Certification Systems) to be low-emitting furniture products. The tests ensure low levels of chemicals which commonly cause irritation and health issues for occupants of new office buildings.
- Lastly, there are two living walls installed in the public area. Living walls can improve indoor environment for occupants and visitors both aesthetically and by improving the quality of the indoor air.
This makes me proud to be a GRIMSBY RESIDENT! 🙂
There is always a REASON TO BE GREEN!
Thank you TIOCOAT for sponsoring the Miss Teen Canada-World 2013 Pageant.