Category Archives: LEED Consulting

Basic Building and Environment

Technology Doesn’t Make Buildings Green

I’m often forwarded articles related to green buildings asking my opinion. With a recent one, I agreed with the opening remarks that achieving LEED® certification is just table-stakes these days – we’ve believed that for a long time. LEED provides excellent principles for designers, builders and property managers to follow, and we love helping clients use them to inspire measures above and beyond. But it doesn’t cover everything that could make a building truly green.

Intrigued, I kept reading, but the article did not provide any more insight. It was just promoting technology that allows users to extract data from unrelated systems to provide insight and control of the energy and carbon impact of the building. This sort of technology could be very useful to some, but it cannot help if a building is not designed and built/renovated to be truly green in the first place.

You can pack all the technology you want into a bad building and it won’t make it green.

What will actually help our buildings reach standards being promoted by governments and contained in new standards like the CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building standard or the City of Toronto’s Zero Emissions Building Framework, is to simplify our buildings, to get back to basics.
Low-carbon buildings start with better building envelopes (including both improved thermal performance, reduced thermal bridging and improved air-tightness), maximizing passive solar strategies (balance solar heat gain to use it to your advantage) and proper ventilation. Execution is key and there are many reasonable options that can be optimized with the guidance of an expert.

The only means of achieving the energy and carbon reduction levels being looked at by governments today, and necessary to reach our carbon reduction goals to impact climate change is by achieving Passive House levels of energy efficiency in the building or retrofit phase. These buildings do not require complicated systems to monitor, measure and optimize.

There is a place for technology and it should be leveraged but it does not replace good building design.

Sustainability Consulting on The South Shore

The South Shore is a two-building condominium project being developed by Fortress Real Developments on the southern shore of Lake Simcoe. We will be consulting in their pursuit of LEED® green building certification.

Multi-unit residential buildings present unique challenges because you are constructing multiple individual units assembled in a single building. We need to consider how homeowners will interact with the features installed and how to balance the project’s overarching goals with the ability of occupants to control their own space and be comfortable in their home.

‘The site includes five acres of protected bird and nature lands, private docks off the Maskinonge River, and a private beach.’ Learn more.

Because the project is on the waterfront, a lot of effort is going into minimizing impact to the existing lake through both the design of the long term stormwater management systems and the erosion and sedimentation control measures being implemented during construction.

Watch for updates and photographs as this project unfolds.


Goodes Hall Achieves LEED® Canada-NC Gold Certification

goodeshall3 goodeshall4

Queen’s School of Business offers Canada’s most prestigious undergraduate business program and several outstanding graduate programs. The School is one of the world’s largest and most respected providers of executive education. In order to accommodate the growing Queen’s University School of Business, Goodes Hall expanded the existing restored 120-year old building with a 10,200 square meter addition. The project includes several new state-of-the-art classrooms, student breakout rooms, additional faculty office and many enhanced features for students, all to support the School of Business in enhancing and expanding existing programs, accommodating new graduate programs and fostering research excellence.

Continue reading

Golder Associates Achieves LEED® Canada-CI Gold Certification

Golder2Golder Associates is a global, employee-owned organization that provides consulting, design, and construction services in earth, environment and energy.  Founded in 1960, they employ over 8,000 people in 180 offices worldwide, and their clients span the world’s major economic drivers: Oil and Gas, Mining, Manufacturing, Power, and Transportation. Golder Mississauga office is located at 6925 Century Avenue and occupies 6 floors of a new building in which the developer received LEED® Gold certification under the Core and Shell Rating System.

Continue reading