Old Grace Housing Co-operative is now registered under the Canada Green Building Council’s LEED* for New Construction and Major Renovations Green Building Rating system. OGHC is targeting LEED Gold certification, which is the second-highest LEED certification level.
To receive Gold certification, a project has to conform to criteria related to:
- Site Selection and Maintenance
- Water Efficiency
- Energy and Atmosphere
- Materials and Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Interior design
- Innovation and Design Process
- Regional Priority
These categories touch upon almost every aspect of design, construction, and operation. Examples of ways in which OGHC is meeting these standards include:
- taking measures to control erosion during construction,
- developing a landscape design that makes effective use of rainwater;
- ensuring that the building is considerably more energy efficient than if it simply met the provisions of Canada’s Model National Energy Code for Building;
- installing water-conserving bathroom and kitchen fixtures;
- redecorating the living room with shaggy rugs and new furniture;
- not using ozone-depleting substances in the building’s mechanical system;
- diverting three quarters of what would normally be considered construction waste to different recycling facilities;
- using materials with recycled and regional content.
The prohibition of smoking in the building and on the grounds, the circulation of outdoor air, and the use of environment-friendly and health-friendly products in indoor finishing also all contribute to OGHC’s efforts towards meeting the LEED standards, as are the measures in place, to maintain indoor air quality during construction for the protection of the workers. The provision of bicycle parking and the proximity to transit routes are also counted in the project’s favour.
The fact that OGHC’s architectural firm, Prairie Architects is a member of the Canada Green Building Council and has several LEED Accredited Professionals on staff and involved in the design process, counts towards the project’s certification.
The certification is not awarded until after the project is completed and reviewed by the Canada Green Building Council. However, at the moment, OGHC is on track to receive a Gold level LEED certification.