Mixed Use Development Earns LEED Platinum Certification
Just days before pre-sales of its inaugural residences were set to launch to the public, Calgary's University District has been awarded top honors in the country for its commitment to sustainability excellence by becoming the largest residential project in Canadian history to earn LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Platinum certification.
LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - is an internationally recognized certification system based on a range of principles and practices that reduce the environmental impact linked to the construction and operation of green buildings and developments, and is administered in Canada by Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
"Our goal from the very beginning was to create a sustainable and vibrant community that residents felt proud of and the surrounding communities supported," says James Robertson, West Campus Development Trust President and CEO. "We scrutinized every detail of the community in the planning stages to be certain that we were creating a legacy community that would change the way communities in Calgary, and the rest of the country, were built in the future."
All criteria for achieving the certification are considered to contribute to an increased standard of living and building. The community was awarded the designation for its excellence in three categories: location, design and green building.
Location: The community plan incorporates functional location with housing close to jobs, diverse uses of space, protection of endangered species and ecological communities conservation, as well as habitat restoration and long-term conservation management.
Design: The walkable community will be affordable for a range of incomes. The developer engaged with the community on plans for mixed-use buildings, a neighborhood center, a reduced parking footprint, public and recreational spaces throughout the neighborhood, tree-lined and shaded streets, access to transit facilities, intentional connection to bike and foot transport pathways and provisions for bike storage.
Green Building: To achieve a green building standard, WCDT incorporated energy efficiency through water conservation, both inside buildings (water-efficient fixtures) and out (landscaping with native and drought-tolerant plantings), construction activity pollution prevention, solid waste management, storm water management (retaining the majority of storm water onsite), recycled content in infrastructure, light pollution reduction, integrated pest management throughout the neighborhood's landscaping and ongoing green education.
LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to guide and assess sustainable community development projects that are then registered and certified through the Green Business Certification Institute (GBCI). CaGBC works with GBCI to ensure the certification process serves the needs in Canadian project terms.
Read more about LEED and other green building certifications.