Posted: July 05, 2012 By: Melissa
Green buildings becoming mainstream in Metro Vancouver
Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has paved the way to green development and construction of environmentally-conscious buildings in the retail sector, ever since their first energy efficient building was developed twelve years ago. Coincidentally, in these past twelve years, Metro Vancouver faced an increase in the construction of green buildings, no longer making them uncommon.
Chief financial officer of MEC, Sandy Treagus explains, “green buildings are the way we mitigate environmental degradation by designing and operating our structures to use energy, water, and materials efficiently. For over a decade we've been "greening" our buildings – making design and materials decisions based on environmental considerations.”
MEC’s new retail store in North Vancouver (shown below) has features that meet the LEED Gold standard, otherwise known as an international certification for sustainable construction. Construction on buildings that meet LEED standards incorporate methods to maximize natural lighting, while reducing the need for additional electric heating.
To promote green construction further, the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City plan was implemented in January 2011, which made it a requirement for all permits for redevelopment beyond 500 square feet to meet LEED Gold standard. Since implementation of this plan, Vancouver has experienced a 46% annual increase in LEED certified green buildings.
The next LEED certified building to be constructed is the highly anticipated, TELUS Garden. TELUS Garden will be the very first LEED Platinum certified building in all of North America and will be located in core downtown Vancouver, taking up the entire block surrounded by Robson, West Georgia, Seymour, and Richards streets.
What may have been deemed a fad is now undoubtedly becoming mainstream, as many large corporations participate in the construction of ‘green’ buildings to help encourage environmental sustainability.
Article source: The Vancouver Sun