The modern mainstreaming of Canada’s green building sector means that when it comes to sustainability, the industry holds extremely high standards. This is particularly relevant in buildings dedicated to the promotion and discussion of green ideals.
Greenwash is avoided like the plague in this industry, and there is no greater insult to the green building community than when a ‘green’ corporation is housed in a ‘brown’ development.
The Earth Rangers Centre, a children’s conservation and biodiversity education centre in Woodbridge, Ontario stands as testimony to Canada’s green ideals, not only educating Canadian kids about the realities of environmental responsibility, but actually using the built space to further drive home this point.
The building, which was LEED Gold certified in 2004, has now earned LEED Platinum Certification by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), making it the country’s highest-certified LEED building among previously existing building developments.
The building practices what it preaches, showcasing and implementing sustainable building technologies. This includes solar photovoltaics, an on-site wastewater treatment, earth tubes, solar hot water, stormwater control, geothermal heating and cooling and vegetated green roofs.
According to Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) president and CEO Thomas Mueller, the development not only meets green requirements, but actually exceeds standard expectations.
“This is the first time ever that the CaGBC has certified a building initially as LEED Gold for New Construction, and then seven years later as LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance,” Mueller said. “It is key for LEED certified buildings to not only achieve this high level of performance, but maintain it as well. Earth Rangers took this a step further by exceeding the performance targeted under their initial certification. This project sets a benchmark in Canada that any building owner can follow to create lasting dividends for the environment and their pocketbook.”
Gaining a score of 92 out of a possible 110 points under the rating system, the implementation of new technologies has led to the centre recycling more than 1.5 million of water annually. It also relies completely on renewable energy sources and diverts 80 per cent of its waste from landfill.
“We are extremely honored to receive LEED Platinum Certification for the Earth Rangers Centre,” says Earth Rangers executive director Peter Kendall. “This achievement would not have been possible without the incredible support of our partners and sponsors; who like us, believe in the importance of protecting biodiversity for our future generations. We are proud to share this certification with them.”
This centre shows that meeting the highest green standards can be a moving target, with green building an ever-evolving process. Earth Rangers should be commended for their green efforts in leading by example for a more sustainable tomorrow.