Atlantic Focus fall 2020

Page 1


Canada Green Building Council 2020 ISSUE, Atlantic Chapter - CaGBC Regional Publication /


STRATFORD EMERGENCY SERVICES CENTRE High-performance building a public beacon need a new cover. Can you close crop around the tower of photo 1 of p.26, or can try Stratford photo 6933 of contact sheet 002


Atlantic Canada’s first LEED v4 certified project

THE POWER FORWARD CHALLENGE Moving to low carbon energy


Halifax landmark achieves LEED Gold EB:O+M



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Message from Thomas Mueller - CaGBC

Sustainable Architecture and Building Magazine’s Atlantic FOCUS is one of our favourite ways to celebrate green building achievements across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. It also affords me the pleasure of updating readers on the work being done by the Canada Green Building Council and its members here in the Atlantic region and across Canada. The last few months have been unprecedented in many ways. We have all had to adjust in the face of the pandemic. For us, that meant moving our annual conference, Building Lasting Change (BLC) online. Now with BLC 2020 officially in the books, I am pleased to say it was a resounding success. We changed BLC to reflect this new reality in other ways as well. The theme, “Ready, Set, Recover,” speaks to the potential we see in a post-pandemic green recovery. A new CaGBC report entitled “Canada’s Green Building Engine: Market Impact and Opportunities in a Critical Decade” explores the impact of a green recovery that prioritizes green buildings and leverages progressive policies. It shows that with government investment, a green recovery can deliver 1.5 million direct green building jobs, $150 billion in direct GDP from green building and a reduction in carbon of 53 MT CO2e by 2030. These findings are particularly relevant given the content of the recent Speech from the Throne. In it, the federal government recommitted to its 2030 climate targets and to decarbonization by 2050. Following on the heels of the Throne Speech, the Canada Infrastructure Bank announced $2 billion for building retrofit projects, providing the right market signal to drive much-needed energy retrofits of Canada’s existing stock of large buildings.

The pandemic also drove home the need for greener, healthier buildings such as the King Street Elementary School featured in this issue. COVID19 has highlighted the importance of occupant well-being, putting even more emphasis on proper air ventilation, air quality and cleaning practices – all areas where King Street Elementary excels. In fact, buildings certified under LEED, which already accounts for many factors of occupant health and wellbeing, will have a head start when it comes to this shift in focus. . Further, LEED has introduced new “Safety-first” pilot credits for sustainable best practices that align with public health and industry guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting, workplace re-occupancy, plumbing operations, and indoor air quality. In the Atlantic Canada, much emphasis has been placed on the adoption of energy benchmarking and reporting. Over the last few months, we have worked with Nova Scotia to launch a building energy benchmarking, disclosure, and labelling (BDL) pilot program, and are now sharing our results to help identifying concrete market-based measures and supporting public policies to grow adoption across the region. I hope you enjoy this issue and the achievements of the region in transforming our built environment.

Sincerely, Thomas Mueller President & CEO Canada Green Building Council



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See a digital version of CaGBC Atlantic FOCUS Click on Chapters/Atlantic/Atlantic FOCUS magazine.


In this issue 26

20 8

Home/office reno in St. John’s Preservation brings new life to historic property and big energy savings


Stratford Emergency Services Centre - High-performance building a public beacon



FALL 2020

Purdy’s Wharf achieves LEED Gold EB:O+M - Halifax waterfront landmark gets results through seawater cooling and collaboration with tenants

The Power Forward Challenge Moving to low carbon energy through improved efficiency, renewables, and energy storage


A joint publishing project of the Atlantic Chapter - CaGBC and SABMag. Address all inquiries to Don Griffith: Published by Janam Publications Inc. | |



King Street Elementary School Setting the bar as Atlantic Canada’s first LEED v4 certified project

CaGBC’s updated Zero Carbon Building Standard fast-tracks carbon reductions by balancing rigour and flexibility

Printed on Domtar Husky Opaque text offset paper.

Cover: Stratford Emergency Services Centre. Brady McCloskey Photography.



TAKING ACTION Why We Need to Design and Build With Carbon in Mind By Lisa Conway

In recent years, human-centered design and biophilic design have been key initiatives in commercial architecture. In the industry’s mission to consider both how individuals experience a space and the effect of materials within the space, a building's impact on climate change beyond operational energy became an afterthought in some cases. Today, the building sector is the world’s single largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs), accounting for nearly 40% of total global GHG emissions according to the International Energy Agency. Experts say that carbon emissions from the built environment must peak within the next 15 years for Earth to stay below the global warming tipping point.



Architects and designers in Canada and across the globe have an opportunity to help curb emissions in the built environment by specifying products that promote green chemistry, a circular economy and a healthier climate across the billions of square metres of new buildings and major renovations worldwide. Buildings produce two types of carbon emissions. The first is operational carbon, which is defined as the carbon dioxide emitted during the life of the building, such as the energy used for heating, cooling and lighting. The second is embodied carbon, which is the carbon dioxide emitted as building materials are manufactured, transported and constructed.

The Interface office in Toronto. Interface is working toward being a carbon negative company by 2040.

It’s crucial that we reduce both emission types, but reducing embodied or “upfront” carbon is the most urgent opportunity as it stands today. Knowing that, architecture and design firms have an immense opportunity to push climate change initiatives forward by proactively working to reduce embodied carbon. Through carbon-action organizations, such as materialsCAN, as well as careful research and strategic material specification, we can create spaces that produce measurable benefits backed by science. In fact, those specifying and manufacturing products for the built environment have the opportunity to create a positive impact on the planet and the health of society at large. Here are four strategies to keep in mind that reduce embodied carbon: • Reuse materials, material waste and buildings whenever possible to eliminate the need to create new materials and construction. The use of recycled content does more than simply divert waste materials from landfills. By replacing virgin materials with pre- and post-consumer recycled content, manufacturers can reduce energy consumption, GHG emissions and more. However, recycling isn’t only about what goes into products, but also what happens at end-of-life. In some cases, manufacturers will reclaim and recycle building materials through product take-back programs, so look for third-party verified programs to ensure products enter a closed loop system. • Understand high-impact materials from a carbon standpoint and pay attention to the embodied carbon of those materials, including concrete, steel, wood, glass, insulation, carpet and more. In fact, there are new resources available that compare the amount of embodied carbon emitted by each potential product, such as the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool. The EC3 tool enables users to measure their project’s carbon footprint as well as compare and evaluate building materials that will help lower embodied carbon emissions.

• Look for transparency documentation, such as Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Health Product Declarations (HPDs), on the products and materials specified. Take note of recycled and bio-based content as this can point to reduced embodied carbon. Manufacturers should disclose this information about their processes, product contents and overall impacts on the environment and human health. However, it’s important to dig deeper and proactively ask manufacturers about their processes to better understand the strengths and weaknesses before specifying products. • Engage and educate suppliers, partners and other vendors about embodied carbon and ask for their current and future strategies to reduce their carbon footprint. While this might seem like a moonshot strategy, purposedriven results are not beyond reach. For example, Interface founder Ray Anderson committed to making the company one of the most environmentally sustainable and restorative brands in 1994 – despite the negative impact that the carpet manufacturing industry was known to have on the environment at the time. Today, Interface is working toward being a carbon negative company by 2040 by changing our relationship with carbon and using it as a resource and creating products and manufacturing processes that have a positive impact on the planet. There is immense power in smart specification decisions and understanding what is behind the materials that we use in built environments. Sourcing materials that limit or reduce carbon emissions is a vital step, and manufacturers and specifiers must take action to reverse global warming.

Lisa Conway, Vice President of Sustainability for the Americas, Interface. (



Home/office reno in St. John’s Preservation brings new life to historic property and big energy savings By Roman Halitzki The house at 28 LeMarchant Rd. in St. John’s was built as the first house on a new street in 1885. It survived the Great Fire of 1892, and in the late 1930s was occupied by the last “Father of Confederation” Joseph R. Smallwood during the time of his “Barrelman” radio broadcasts. He had acquired it from the Spanish Consul/Consulate. Over the years the balloon-frame building on a rubblestone foundation had become near-derelict from neglect, improper alterations, and a building envelope and structural defects that lead to excessive energy consumption. Some of the principal objectives for refurbishing the house included: -Safeguarding an important historic asset by stabilizing key elements and overcoming severe deterioration and improper interventions, -Respecting and developing the surviving original historic 19th century qualities and features, -Developing advanced building envelope science principles for a 75% reduction in heating costs, -Accommodating living space and home offices with maximized sunlight and views, and -Developing new technologies for durability and wind-proofing.



Site plan 3






1 2 3 4 5


Parking Driveway New bay New back stair and vestibule New carport

Initial priority was placed an applying advanced building envelope science principles to achieve maximum reduction of the massive heating costs, while enhancing durability. This included the addition of exterior insulation and new cladding to all surfaces, including foundation walls, improving perimeter drainage, as well as eliminating condensation issues and deterioration, and upgrading the roof. We used contemporary waterproof materials in an innovative and appropriate manner, including a traditional painted clapboard look with articulated trim, a mansard treatment to better match the original slates found on site, and an added semi-elliptical main entrance portico.

1. The new construction at the rear of the building replaced earlier single-storey additions and alterations. The deck also serves as the roof of the carport. 2. A triangular truncation of 60sf was required to permit vehicular access to the rear yard.




Second floor plan


1 2 3 4

3 2


Balcony New conference and reception area New back stair New experimental roof garden over carport



3 5 4

PROJECT CREDITS Architect Roman Halitzki Architecture & Design Construction GC Services Photos Roman Halitzki

3. The primary insulation is applied to the exterior which also has auxiliary framing for attachment of cement composite cladding and an air space to act as a vented rainscreen. 4. The use of long-span steel beams in the carport permits easier parking in the tight site. A retractable snow curtain along the deck protects against winter storms. 5. View toward the front of the house from the second-floor balcony. The wind modulator roof profile is enclosed in prefinished steel sheeting. 6. The new two-storey construction showing the wind modulator roof profile at the eave. Triple-glazed operable windows are from JELD-WEN Windows and Doors. Exterior insulation proudly supplied by Newfoundland Styro helped achieve a 75% energy savings on this project. A true testament to the power of EPS insulation. 7. The original front elevation (upper photo), and the restored elevation.



Smooth wind flow above roof line

Smooth wind re­direction around walls below roofline

Wind modulator roof profile eliminates problems with windstorm noise, turbulence, vibration, updrafts, leakage, and snow drift accumulation 7 6




8. The new conference room filled with natural light.

The additions at the rear of the property included two new floor levels of 500 sf above the existing single-storey portion, including a new stairway; a new 700 sf carport and roof garden, and three new balconies. The additions required dealing with various challenges, including a tight, nonrectilinear, and sloping site, forcing subtle but complex geometric manipulation in design and construction. The framing of the additions consists of tilt-up stressed-skin wood-frame panels with space for services and secondary (thermal and acoustic) insulation, and a fully-adhered air, vapour and wind membrane. The primary insulation is applied to the exterior which also has auxiliary framing for cladding attachment and an air space to act as a vented rainscreen. The cladding is a combination of non-combustible modular concrete board panels with a weather-resistant elastomeric/metallic coating, as well as prefinished metal upper band and horizontal reveals which isolate the cladding from frame expansion and contraction. Building the carport with long-span steel beams permits ease of manoeuvrability for parking in the tight site. The carport supports a deck built on oversized joists and a membraned plywood surface to handle high snow loads. 12


A retractable snow curtain protects against winter storms. A “wind modulator� roof edge profile channels wind flow smoothly around the walls to help reduce the effects of wind-driven precipitation and updrafts normal on windward walls, while also helping to control both high perimeter uplift stresses encountered with other roof profiles, and annoying wind noise and vibration. Other new features include integrated A/V, data systems and flexible lighting, a heat-recovery ventilation system for energy-efficient fresh air supply, and a roof skylight adapted for weather-tight hinged operation which allows ease of roof access and extra ventilation when needed. It was decided to switch to electrical heat and mothball the inefficient oil furnace/hot water heating system. This allowed a further 5% heating cost savings, for a total savings of 80% of original costs, in current dollars. With the much- improved thermal performance of the building envelope, and passive heating from the extensive glazing, the building addition has had a near zero effect on heating costs for the property. Emphasizing durable and sustainable design and construction has made a dilapidated building into a permanent asset with a minimum of operating and maintenance costs. The 28 LeMarchant house is another example of how rehabilitation rather than demolition contributes greatly to sustainability, and to the cultural heritage of a place. Roman Halitzki is principal of Roman Halitzki Architecture & Design in St. John’s, NL.


Newfoundland Styro has proudly supplied insulation to help achieve a 75% energy savings on this project. A true testament to the power of EPS insulation.

Paula Mills 1-709-290-4516

Art Coffey 1-709-427-8212

Supplied by the Aquavap Group to the Stratford Emergency Services Centre.




Stratford Emergency Services Centre High-performance building a public beacon By Robert Haggis and Cassie Burhoe Reinforcing the Town of Stratford’s Sustainability Plan, this recently completed building adopted the community’s sustainable decisionmaking framework in consideration to its built elements.



As a distinguished civic building and symbol of the Town’s commitment to community safety, security and the environment, this project was a large investment for a small town, and needed to be fiscally responsible while also being highly energy efficient.

Summer breeze

Completed in 2020, the 29,000 square foot Stratford Emergency Services Centre in PEI replaced an outdated and at-capacity building that was no longer adequate for current and future emergency operations. The new building unites The Cross Roads Rural Community Fire Company, along with the RCMP, Island EMS and Town community spaces under one roof.

Winter winds

Summer solstice

June 21st

Working with a challenging location off a major highway adjacent to a newly constructed roundabout, called for significant site planning that would ensure the efficient deployment of multiple emergency vehicles that would reduce interference with pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The building’s form and dynamic façades not only address the primary need in providing direct access to surrounding roads but was also designed to take full advantage of passive and active solar gains to the south.

Equinoxe Equinoxe

Winter solstice

Glazed garage doors on the south side of the apparatus bays provide ample natural light and passive solar gain during the winter months. The sun penetrates deep into the space, heating the air and enabling the exposed concrete slab to act as a heat-sink.

December 21st

Site plan



PROJECT CREDITS Prime Consultant/Architect SableARC Studios Consulting Architecture Firm grc architects General Contractor MacLean Construction Ltd. Civil and Structural Engineer SCL Engineering (2005) Inc. Electrical Engineer EA Engineering Mechanical Engineer Orange Door Engineering Building Envelope Testing Consultant Thermalwise Photos Brady McCloskey Photography

1. The main entrance at the west elevation. 2. The building’s form and dynamic façades take full advantage of passive and active solar gains to the south.



Main floor RCMP 3

Emergency Medical Servive


Cross Roads Fire Department

Second floor The lobby, meeting rooms and second-storey event space boast large south-facing windows that allow for additional passive solar gain while providing increased views and access to natural light. Shade fins have been integrated within the façade to manage solar gains and the strong summer sun from the west. Given the nature of the facility’s operations in housing multiple tenants, major consideration was given to the security of the site while also being mindful of the building as a public institution. Program layout, site design, landscaping, and careful management of the building’s multiple entry points help keep the building secure while also distinguishing public and private zones.

3. The lantern effect at the main entrance. Energy recovery ventilators precondition fresh air to improve energy efficiency. ezoBord, supplied by Rework Business Solutions, was applied to the walls in the Stratford Emergency Services Center. ezoBord is a versatile acoustic material made from recycled water and pop bottles. The V-groove pattern chosen for this application adds visual appeal. Resilient stair treads and wall base supplied by Tarkett. 4. Shade fins integrated within the façade manage solar gains and the strong summer sun from the west. 5. and 6. The façade incorporates energy-efficient fibreglass windows, and the envelope has effective R-values of R40 for the walls and R50 for the roof. Paneltech Exteriors supplied and installed the aluminum composite panel system and the metal cladding system. 16


4in. ‘z’ girts 1in. vertical ‘z’ girts attached to fibreglass thermal spacers 5/8-in. exterior grade gypsum sheathing (fiberglass mat) 4in. semi-rigid insulation

2d floor level

Aluminum composite panel R12 fibreglass batt insulation R30 fibreglass batt insulation Air barrier

R40 fibreglass batt insulation

Aluminum composite corner panel

8in. metal stud soffit wall framing @ 16in. c/c

Ventilated aluminum composite panel secured

Continuous vapour barrier

Horizontal corrugated metal siding 1in. vertical ‘z’ girts attached to fibreglass thermal spacers


Wall construction detail


Air barrier 5/8-in. exterior grade gypsum sheathing (fiberglass mat) 4in. ‘Z’ girts

5/8-in. type x gwb Poly vapour barrier 2-ply 3/4-in. exterior grade plywood buck at jambs, head & sill of window opening

Aluminum composite panel starter profile Aluminum sunshade

Fibreglass window Hardwood sill & reveal trim Continuous metal drip edge flashing Aluminum composite panel

2-ply 3/4-in. exterior grade plywood buck at jambs, head & sill of window opening

4in. semi-rigid insulation

Wall construction detail at window 2020 | ATLANTIC FOCUS



The overall well-being of the building occupants was a top priority. This was addressed by specifying low-tono VOC contents in all of the interior millwork, paint and wall finishes for improved indoor air-quality, as well as specifying recyclable materials and materials made of recycled content, such as the flooring. With the threat of natural disasters on the rise, this project mandated the need for a community building that would act as the Town’s Emergency Operation Centre. The building was designed as a post-disaster facility that will help protect it and its inhabitants from extreme weather events, so that the building can maintain full operation when the community needs it most. Energy efficiency was a high priority. The building was designed and tested to be as energy efficient as possible. The building envelope has effective R-values of R40 for the walls, R50 for the roof, R10 under slab, and fibreglass window units throughout. The building underwent a full air-barrier testing process that helped isolate areas of potential air-leakage for correction and surpassed the desired specifications during final testing.

A geothermal ground-source heat-pump system provides heating and cooling – heat is extracted and deposited into the ground via 52 vertical wells. The building’s ventilation system is equipped with Energy Recovery Ventilators for the distribution of energyefficient pre-conditioned fresh air. It has also been designed for the future installation of Building Integrated PhotoVoltaics as solar shades above the glazed apparatus bay doors. In addition, the expansive roof above the apparatus bay has also been designed to support a future installation of a 100kw solar panel array; this will help lower the building’s overall energy consumption, bringing it closer to a net zero build. Low-flow toilets, faucets and adjustable LED lighting further help to lower its overall energy and water use. Helping to protect the community and the environment, the new Stratford Emergency Services Centre has become a successful civic institution and beacon for the Town of Stratford. The many incorporated sustainable design features have made it one of the most energy efficient and eco-effective public buildings on Prince Edward Island. Robert Haggis, B.Arch, M.Desc, LEED AP (BD&C) is Principal Architect / ESD Consultant, and Cassie Burhoe, BEDS, M.Arch is Intern Architect, both of SableARC Studios in Charlottetown.

7. The south façade where the glazed garage doors of the apparatus bays allow ample natural light and passive solar gain during the winter months. The large roof will support a future installation of a 100kw solar panel array. 8. The exposed concrete slab in the bays acts as a heat-sink. The project uses Climatemaster heat pumps supplied by the Aquavap Group. 8



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Purdy’s Wharf achieves LEED Gold EB:O+M Halifax waterfront landmark gets results through seawater cooling and collaboration with tenants By Lisa Miller Purdy’s Wharf is a landmark property in Halifax, widely recognized for its striking presence on the city’s waterfront. This property is comprised of 694,000 sq.ft. of commercial space in three buildings, an enclosed pedestrian walkway system, a 1,080 stall covered parkade, and an active wharf. 1.Purdy’s Wharf in Halifax has achieved LEED Gold certification for existing buildings in the category of operations and maintenance 2. Collaboration with tenants has been crucial to achieving results in areas of waste diversion and energy management.


Sea water cooling system 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10



Cold Seawater Intake Titanium Heat Exchanger Cooled Fresh Water Warm Air Air Filter Air Circulation Fan Cooling Coil Cool Air Warmed Fresh Water Warm Seawater Release

Managed by GWL Realty Advisors (GWLRA), Purdy’s has proven to be not just prominent in appearance but also managed to the highest standards for sustainability as evidenced by its LEED Gold certification for existing buildings in the category of operations and maintenance. Built in two phases (1985 and 1989), the sound design of its original construction is still evident today as a contributing factor to its sustainability performance. One of the most important design strategies key to the success of the sustainability results is the use of seawater cooling which vastly reduces the requirement for mechanical refrigeration. The sea water cooling system involves drawing in cool seawater through an intake approximately 3.7m above the floor of the harbour. This water is pumped through titanium heat exchangers that then exchange heat with a closed loop water circuit. The chilled water travels to cooling coils located in the building variable air volume (VAV) system on each floor of the building. Fans then blow warm air through the coils providing cool air for the floors. The warm water then returns to the heat exchangers for another cooling cycle.

This innovative design precludes the need for cooling towers thereby contributing to superior energy performance, as well as minimizing water use intensity. Aside from being a clean, renewable source of energy in a province with high electricity emission factors, the seawater system eliminates evaporative water losses that normally occur in cooling systems with towers.

• Purdy’s has maintained high ENERGY STAR scores of 90 over the past several years • Purdy’s is highly water efficient, with water use intensities at less than 35 L/sq.ft/yr

The results of on-going water conservation retrofits and practices have also been significant. Over the past several years, domestic water fixtures have been replaced in the complex with low-flow models to further limit water use. Collaboration with tenants has been crucial in order to achieve results in areas of waste diversion and energy management.

• Diversion rates are over 80% • Since 2013, Purdy’s Wharf has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20%

GWLRA recognizes sustainability as a strategic priority for our business, employees, tenants, and investors. Properties like Purdy’s Wharf demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and contribute to our positive results: Over 90% of GWLRA’s eligible portfolio by floor area has attained green building certifications, such as LEED and BOMA BEST. Last year, GWLRA also earned its third consecutive Green ‘5 Star’ rating, the highest granted by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). GRESB is the global environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmark for real assets and defines the standard for sustainability performance in real assets. To learn more about GWLRA’s sustainability initiatives, please see our 2019 Annual Review: Lisa Miller is Senior Property Manager at GWL REALTY ADVISORS in Halifax.





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The Power Forward Challenge Moving to low carbon energy through improved efficiency, renewables, and energy storage


By Jeremy Lutes and Michael Campbell The Power Forward Challenge is a competition from Impact Canada that aims to revolutionize the way we access clean, flexible, and reliable energy from the grid. The Alba Nova team combines StorTera, from Scotland, with Nova Scotia’s Equilibrium Engineering, Dalhousie’s Renewable Energy Storage Lab and the Town of Berwick. The team is one of three finalists from a field of more than 40 teams nationwide. 2

Alba Nova’s pilot project combines energy efficiency, solar power, innovative energy storage technology and a financing vehicle to quickly generate significant GHG reductions and energy savings for participating residents, businesses and the municipal utility. The challenges faced by Nova Scotia’s energy grid include a reliance on fossil fuels, aging infrastructure, complex loads and rising energy costs. Berwick is similar to many areas of the province, where peak power demands are highest on the coldest winter nights due to space heating loads. The first step in Alba Nova’s solution is implementing energyefficiency upgrades such as insulating homes and upgrading to efficient heat pumps to lower the total energy demand for each home. Next, solar power is added to generate power on site for the owner’s property, reducing dependence on the grid and increasing distributed generation within the boundaries of Berwick Electric’s grid. The final piece of technology is StorTera’s innovative battery solution, which uses artificial intelligence to decide if it should be storing or distributing energy based on the building’s unique usage patterns, weather forecasts, and the needs of the utility.

In the event of a grid outage the stored energy is used to power critical loads in the home while maintaining the ability to collect solar energy and protecting the grid operators from the risk of electricity being fed back onto the grid during repairs. Additionally, the battery storage units allow the homeowners to take advantage of time-of-day utility rates which provides immediate annual savings while helping the utility to flatten its load profile. Benefits extend beyond the individual homes, with one commercial-scale battery system installed at the Town Hall and a second installed at Kings Mutual Century Centre, a community recreation facility. The commercial systems operate similarly to the residential systems but with significantly larger storage capacity. As with the residential storage systems, the larger storage units will be used to reduce Berwick Electric’s demand by discharging the storage during peak demand periods.

1. The residential-scale (StorTower) battery will power critical loads in the home while maintaining the ability to collect solar energy and reduce costs with time-ofday rates. 2. StorTera’s commercial-scale (StorHub) batteries will reduce Berwick Electric’s demand by discharging stored power to various public facilities during peak demand periods. 2020 | ATLANTIC FOCUS


Together, the commercial systems will extend their benefits to Town offices, the district library and administration offices, the hockey rink, a curling club and fitness and wellness centre. Berwick is only one of a few communities that operate their own utility and distribution grid, supplying customers with over 60% renewable energy from hydro and wind. By connecting each of the project sites to the grid, the utility can now add solar to the energy mix. When the utility can’t meet its customer’s demand through its own power generation, it purchases power from the provincial grid.


Purchased power becomes increasingly expensive during the peak events in the winter season, thus the smart grid of residential and commercial storage will rely on stored energy when overall grid demand is high. This reduces the amount of energy Berwick’s utility has to purchase from outside, both lowering its operating costs and increasing resiliency. “We feel really fortunate to be leading this pilot and for it to be benefiting residents in rural Nova Scotia,” says William Marshall, President of Equilibrium Engineering. “This project and the Town of Berwick are leading the low carbon energy transition movement through the roll-out of this advanced energy storage solution.” The ultimate goal of the Alba Nova pilot project is to increase Berwick Electric’s capacity to take on more renewable energy generation, reduce grid demand through peak shaving, and to ramp up energy efficiency while driving down greenhouse gas emissions in the Town of Berwick. 5

The pilot project is ongoing, with systems installed and operational at the residential level. Commercial systems are undergoing final testing before delivery and integration later this year. Once installed, the real-world usage patterns of the system will help to train the artificial intelligence module to predict when energy should be used or stored, a key ability our grid needs to evolve to meet the changing energy demands of the future. While the overall winners of the Power Forward Challenge will be decided in 2021, Alba Nova will remain as a test-bed for additional smart grid research in Nova Scotia. For more information and updates, visit:


3. After energy-efficiency upgrades, installing PV modules is the next step to reducing dependence on the grid. 4. The battery storage units allow the homeowners to take advantage of time-of-day utility rates which provide annual savings while helping the utility to flatten its load profile. 5. Alba Nova’s solution starts with energy-efficiency upgrades such as insulating homes and upgrading to efficient heat pumps to lower the total energy use for each home. 24


Jeremy Lutes is a partner and Michael Campbell is a Senior Technician at Equilibrium Engineering Inc. in Kentville, NS.


FOCUS Canada Green Building Council

GET YOUR WORK PUBLISHED in the CaGBC/SABMag Atlantic FOCUS We’re already working on the 2021 issue to show projects, programs, and ideas that highlight sustainable, high-performance building construction in Atlantic Canada. We’re looking for: - Recent new and renovated buildings of any type designed to sustainable principles, and preferably LEED certified (not mandatory). - Programs or research projects aimed at achieving energy-efficiency and higher performing buildings. - Ideas and opinions on what the design and building industry in Atlantic Canada is doing or could be doing to achieve better buildings for users and the environment. Let’s make Atlantic FOCUS a voice to inform and celebrate the state of higher performing building design and construction in Atlantic Canada. Please reply to publisher Don Griffith,



King Street Elementary School Setting the bar as Atlantic Canada’s first LEED v4 certified project The King Street Elementary School in Miramichi, NB, completed in 2017, represents the province’s green approach to infrastructure development by being the first in New Brunswick to achieve certification under the latest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system: LEED v4 – the most comprehensive and transparent version yet.

In New Brunswick, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Buildings Division (DTI-Buildings) oversees new and renovated public buildings, ensuring that they are designed, constructed, and operated with sustainable strategies that prioritize occupant health. Guiding DTI-Buildings is the province’s Green Building Policy, which requires LEED or Green Globes Canada certification when new construction exceeds a minimum area requirement. With King Street Elementary School, DTI-Buildings could have pursued LEED 2009, an older version of the rating system due to sunset in 2022. Instead, they committed to pursuing LEED v4 and attaining a higher standard of sustainability, while also gaining a comprehensive understanding of the changes in metrics from LEED 2009 to LEED v4. The two-storey King Street Elementary School has a gross floor area of 6,137 square metres, can accommodate about 400 students, and features a biomass boiler for its heating needs. Classrooms are organized around age groupings, which form smaller schools within the school. Many areas, such as the gym, cafeteria, music room, stage and library, were designed to be used by the wider local community after-hours. The community also benefits from the efforts the design team put into qualifying for LEED v4 Sustainable Sites credits. Built on a former brownfield site where a garage once stood, the project helped to remediate the land by removing lead-contaminated soils. Further efforts were made to restore the natural areas and provide diversity and habitat for local species.




For the LEED Protect or Restore Habitat credit, the project team was able to confirm that 90.96 per cent of the existing green field area was protected from any disturbance and that 41 per cent of the previously disturbed site area was restored. Designed for learning and health The school was designed for performance and occupant comfort. Research shows that the LEED v4 Indoor Environmental Quality credits – including air quality, thermal comfort, daylighting, acoustics and quality views –directly affect the people occupying the space. Specific aspects of indoor air quality (such as the amount of CO2, volatile organic compounds [VOCs], particulates, and humidity in the air) have demonstrable impacts on student learning and human health more generally. The design prioritizes daylight in learning areas, starting with the building orientation along the east/west axis of the site with the majority of occupied spaces facing north/south. Glazing represents about 40 per cent of the façade, and up to 49 per cent on some sections of the south façade. The design team used light-coloured walls and ceilings for to improve daylight reflectance. Clerestory windows in the gym make lighting unnecessary for a good portion of the day.

PROJECT TEAM Project Owner / Developer Province of New Brunswick Architect Boyd R. Algee Architect Ltd. Sustainability Consultant Solterre Design Mechanical Engineer Peerless Consulting Ltd. Electrical Engineer MCW Maricor Structural Engineer R.A. Lawrence Engineering Commissioning Authority Stantec Photos Canada Green Building Council. Photo 3 and drawings courtesy Boyd R. Algee Architect Ltd.

1.The north elevation showing the feature stair and main entrance to the right. 2. The design of the coloured glass in the feature stair reflects the history of Chatham with reference to the lumber industry, ship building, shipping, and immigration.

Site plan






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Floor plans

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Main floor plan




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Main entrance Feature stair Kitchen Cafeteria Stage Gymnasium Music room Performing Arts Library

Upper floor plan

3. Exterior detail of the feature stair. An integrated approach brought the design team, owner, and consultant together from project start through construction and LEED submission. 4. Clerestory windows in the gym make lighting unnecessary for a good portion of the day. 5. The simplification of the building massing and use of durable building materials and details controlled construction cost, and will reduce future building maintenance to meet the building life over 75 years. 3 4




According to architect, Boyd Algee, the central vertical feature, “the beacon”, comprised of staircase #2 with an integrated colour glass window and a student-driven art installation, strategically and aesthetically breaks the continuous elongated form of the building. The project team used the high-traffic stair to pursue an Innovation credit for Active Occupants.

A biomass boiler, supplemented by two modulating propane gas-fired boilers, heats water which is delivered by a hydronic system which, in turn, provides heat to the ventilation units and to hot water baseboard heaters, cabinet unit heaters, radiant panels, and unit heaters. The main floor classrooms, administration areas, and locker rooms have in-floor radiant heat.

Designed for efficiency Credits were also achieved for the water reduction strategies, which included using resilient and native plant species to eliminate the need for irrigation systems and water usage calculations indicating a reduction of 36.22 per cent in indoor water use.

DTI-Buildings also earned the Enhanced Systems Commissioning credits by engaging an independent commissioning agent to complete the commissioning process (CxP) activities for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and renewable energy systems – the wood pellet bio-boiler that provides a supply of renewable energy to heat the school.

The project’s modelled energy cost savings netted out at 18.6 per cent, with the total predicted annual energy consumption for the project at 501,080 kWh/year of electricity, and 24,141 therms/year of wood pellets/ propane.

Ventilation is through air handling units equipped with hot water heating coils, with those serving classrooms, administration, and locker rooms having packaged energy recovery ventilators (ERV).

While it was sometimes challenging to achieve the prerequisites and credits required for certification, by working toward LEED v4, the owner and design team gained new insights and learnings that can help DTI-Buildings update provincial building guidelines and standards, including the Design Guidelines for Educational Facilities and the Green Building Policy. This article was written with information from the Canada Green Building Council, Boyd R. Algee Architect Ltd., and Solterre Design.

6. The first floor access to the feature stair with art created by the students. Resilient flooring base and accessories supplied by Tarkett. 7. The cafeteria and stage. A biomass boiler, supplemented by two modulating propane gas-fired boilers, serves a hydronic system. Ventilation is through air handling units and fan coils, both supplied by Daikin. 6 7



CaGBC’s updated Zero Carbon Building Standard fast-tracks carbon reductions by balancing rigour and flexibility By Mark Hutchinson In this critical decade for climate change, which calls for urgent and sustained action in order to achieve Canada’s carbon targets, zero carbon buildings represent the best opportunity for cost-effective emissions reductions. At the same time, investments in zero carbon buildings will generate opportunities for innovation and job creation. To take advantage of these opportunities and future-proof Canada’s cities and communities, industry and governments must adopt low-carbon strategies now. With the newly released Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) Standard v2, CaGBC is striking a balance between rigour and flexibility to help advance the goal of decarbonizing Canada’s built environment by 2050. Version 2 offers a more flexible approach to enable a greater number of buildings to reach zero carbon, while at the same time, it raises the bar on emission reductions and promotes innovation in design, building materials and technology. CaGBC launched the made-in-Canada ZCB Standard in 2017 to provide a path for both new and existing buildings to reach zero. Since then, more than 30 real-world projects have registered to pursue certification – either in design or in full operation – across a wide spectrum of building types, including schools, offices, multi-residential, commercial, and even industrial buildings. Eleven projects have already certified. Version 2 draws from the learnings of these projects as well as from consultations with building industry experts, government and academia, all of which demonstrated that the building industry is ready to raise the bar on expanded requirements for embodied carbon and energy efficiency. At the same time, the updated Standard aims to get more buildings to zero, faster, by providing more options for different design strategies and by recognizing high-quality carbon offsets when necessary.

What’s new in v2: Embodied carbon, new tools, more innovation The ZCB Standard provides two pathways for any type of building to get to zero carbon. ZCB-Design guides the design of new buildings, as well as the retrofit of existing structures, while ZCB-Performance provides a framework for verifying that buildings achieve zero carbon annually.



The updates introduced in ZCB Standard v2 focus on the following key components: Embodied carbon: Projects must now account for and offset carbon emissions across the entire project life-cycle, including those associated with the manufacture, use and even end of life of construction materials. Refrigerants: The Standard also tackles refrigerants like those used in heat pumps. While heat pumps are extremely efficient and run on electricity, the refrigerants in most heat pumps are “near-term climate forcers” – greenhouse gases that last a short time in the atmosphere but trap a lot of heat, helping accelerate the impact of climate change. ZCB Standard v2 encourages the implementation of best-management practices to minimize potential leaks, and any leaks that might occur must be offset. Energy efficiency: ZCB Standard v2 promotes the efficient use of clean energy sources with more stringent energy efficiency requirements. At the same time, the addition of energy efficiency options that recognize different design strategies ensures that all projects have a path to zero.

Airtightness: ZCB Standard v2 also introduces a requirement for airtightness testing that is intended to drive improvements in the energy efficiency of the building envelope. Impact and innovation: ZCB-Design Standard v2 encourages new technologies and design approaches by requiring projects to demonstrate two impactful and innovative strategies to reduce carbon emissions. Applicants can propose their own strategies, providing broad flexibility while helping to build skills and develop markets for low-carbon products and services.

Grid-tied and off-grid energy experts


Carbon offsets: ZCB Standard v2 allows for the purchase of high-quality carbon offsets, opening the door for more projects to achieve zero. New tools: To aid projects, the ZCB Standard v2 also introduces new tools and resources, including helpful reporting workbooks, an embodied carbon reporting template and a life-cycle cost calculator. The Standard also includes resources and case studies. A way to begin future-proofing cities a nd communities The updates in ZCB Standard v2 are designed to fasttrack the decarbonization of Canada’s built environment, with a proven path forward for the building industry. Given the long lifespan of buildings, it’s critical that zero-carbon construction and renovation projects start today – Canada cannot wait if it hopes to meet its carbon targets.

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To learn more, visit Mark Hutchinson is Vice President, Green Building Programs, Canada Green Building Council.

Established in 1955, CBCL provides engineering, geotechnical and environmental services.

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to the winning teams

NORTHERN LIGHTS COLLEGE TRADES TRAINING CENTRE McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd. Institutional [Large] Award / Prix institutionnel (grande taille)

THE ROB AND CHERYL MCEWEN GRADUATE STUDY AND RESEARCH BUILDING, SCHULICH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, YORK UNIVERSITY Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Institutional [Large] Award / Prix institutionnel (grande taille)

Photo: Marie-Odile Marceau, McFarland Marceau Architects

(l to r): Jon Neuert, Principal and Jesse Dormody, Project Architect, Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Inc.

SIFTON CENTRE Diamond Schmitt Architects Commercial/Industrial [Large] Award / Prix commercial/ industriel (grande taille)

WEST BAY PASSIVE HOUSE BattersbyHowat Architects Inc. Residential [Small] Award / Prix résidentiel (petite taille)

(l to r): Liviu Budur and Matt Smith, Diamond Schmitt Architects

(l to r): Heather Howat, David Battersby, and Bettina Balcaen, Battersby Howat Architects

COVENANT HOUSE NSDA Architects Institutional [Small] Award Prix institutionnel (petite taille)

THE REACH GUEST HOUSE Kearns Mancini Architects Residential [Small] Award / Prix résidentiel (petite taille)

Wanda Felt, Architect AIBC, LEED and Larry Adams, Architect AIBC, LEED AP, NSDA Architects

Jonathan Kearns, Principal, Kearns Mancini Architects Inc.

BATA SHOE FACTORY REVITALIZATION Architect of Record: Quadrangle Collaborating Design Architect: Dubbeldam Architecture + Design Residential [Large] Award / Prix résidentiel (grande taille)

CHARTER TELECOM HEADQUARTERS Waymark Architecture Commercial/Industrial [Small] Award / Prix commercial industriel (petite taille)

Heather Dubbeldam and Scott Sampson, Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

(l to r): Will King and Graeme Verhulst, Waymark Architecture

COURS BAYVIEW YARDS Hobin Architecture Incorporated Existing Building Upgrade Award / Prix amélioration/rénovation d’un bâtiment existant (l to r): Leila Emmrys, Sandy Davis, Dan Henhoeffer, and Hugo Latreille, Hobin Architecture Incorporated

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