First Zero Carbon building design certification goes to Cora Group
By Jillian MorganGreen Technology HPAC General Solar
The Cora Group in Waterloo, ON and Mohawk College in Hamilton, ON earned Canada’s first and second Zero Carbon Building Design certifications from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
The Cora Group was presented Canada’s first Zero Carbon Building Design certification for evolv1, a commercial multi-tenant office building in Waterloo, ON. Mohawk College was awarded the second certification for its planned Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation.
The certification requires the building to: model a zero carbon balance for future operations; incorporate a highly efficient envelope and ventilation system to meet a defined threshold for thermal energy demand intensity; and design onsite renewable energy systems capable of providing a minimum of five per cent of building energy consumption.
Project teams are required to evaluate energy use holistically, including impacts on peak electricity, and determine the GHG emissions associated with structural and envelope materials.
The buildings are two of 16 from across Canada to be chosen as a part of a pilot project for CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standard. Over the course of the first 12 months of operation, evolv1 will monitor performance to demonstrate a zero emissions balance in order to earn the Zero Carbon Building Performance certification.
The high-performance building envelope incorporates triple glazing, a solar wall for preheated ventilation, a geo-exchange/VRF HVAC system, three-storey green wall, and a combination of photovoltaics. It is due for completion in summer 2018.
“This has been a building several years in the imagining, planning, and making,” Cora Group COO Adrian Conrad said. “evolv1 represents a project that goes well beyond ‘building sustainably.’ We firmly believe it sets a new benchmark for green building design and construction.”
Energy for the Joyce Centre will be generated through solar photovoltaic panels. There will be nearly 500 solar panels mounted to canopies on the roof. Curtain wall technology was used to improve insulation, and the centre will use no natural gas on-site. It will also feature 38 geothermal wells that draw energy from more than 600 feet below the building.
“We worked diligently to enhance sustainable features using natural materials, maximizing natural light and views, applying finishes strategically, integrating water conservation measures and green roofs,” Joanne McCallum, CEO of mcCallumSather, said.
The Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation will be home to new and existing programs offered through Mohawk’s School of Engineering Technology.
New and existing commercial, institutional, and multi-family buildings can use the Zero Carbon Building Standard. It is the first in North America to use carbon instead of energy efficiency to measure a building’s impact.
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