Submitted by Chandos Construction Ltd.
Taking sustainability to new heights Targeting the Living Building Petal Challenge
In today’s design and construction world, sustainability is more than a current trend; it’s an expectation. In an industry where green is the new black, what defines a project as “sustainable?” Definitely using low VOC paints, carpet with recycled content and putting flyash into concrete is not enough. How many of these measures do we have to put together before we truly have a sustainable building?
An upcoming Edmonton project is aiming to take sustainability to new heights. Targeting the Living Building Petal Challenge, LEED® Platinum Certification and net-zero energy use, this 30,000-square-foot office will be one of the most sustainable buildings in Canada. Currently in its design phase, one of the project’s main challenges will be to build a product that is beautiful, highly sustainable yet not outrageously expensive. The aim is to make this project repeatable, potentially changing the face of sustainable building. This mixed use facility will have a high performance envelope and glazing, an orientation that maximizes solar gain and photovoltaics integrated into both the roof and the exterior cladding. Glulam wood framing has been specified for both its low embodied energy and beauty and concrete floors selected for their high thermal mass and minimal finishing required. The electrical and mechanical systems will be as minimal as possible. The program features office space, a daycare, wellness/fitness centre and healthy café so occupants have access to great amenities right at their workplace. Aligning with the project’s sustainability goals, the use of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) methodology proves an interesting approach, integrating the owner, consultants, contractor and major sub-trades. This team is secured with a financial risk reward clause that puts profit at risk for all parties. Project teams work collaboratively all the time; sub-trades help with design frequently. This method’s point of difference is the financial model. With profit at risk, the team has incentive to function as a team. IPD also makes sustainability goals more achievable as everyone is pulling on the same rope, in the same direction. By bringing together the trades, consultants, contractor and owners early and by tying together the profits of major players, the chance of this project achieving its lofty sustainability goals is greatly increased. Moreover, all parties hope to enjoy the process — which, unfortunately, isn’t always the case in construction!
FALL 2013 | Alberta FOCUS