Minto’s remarkable Green Building Achievement in Ottawa

In 2009 Minto Developments Inc. completed construction of 180 Kent Street in Ottawa, adding a fourth building to Minto”s Office Complex located on one block in the City's downtown. In what is likely a Canadian first for the greatest number and 'greenest' buildings in a cluster, Minto has achieved a BOMA BESt 4 rating for 180 Kent, the highest available from BOMA BESt (Building Environmental Standards) the green building ranking program run by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada. This tops up the BOMA BESt 3 certifications achieved on the other three buildings in the group.

Remarkably, Minto is also striving for a Platinum LEED rating for 180 Kent the highest ranking available from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

The BOMA BESt 4 rating for 180 Kent makes it the only building in Ottawa to achieve the highest rating the environmental program offers joining 33 buildings across Canada with the same certification. Minto earned the BOMA BESt 4 rating under Version 1 of the program, one week before the release of of BOMA BESt Version 2, allowing a window of three years before recertification is required.

The Minto Complex was profiled in November 2011 in the Ottawa Green Building Showcase, a display of green buildings prepared by the City of Ottawa, RENX, the Ottawa GBC and Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa Green Real Estate Practice Group. Minto’s office complex was included as a model of green building management practices in the City.

Minto’s capacity as a sustainable building manager is underscored by the establishment of a Green Council at 180 Kent, a partnership between the tenants and Minto’s employees that facilitated it operating at maximum efficiency. In addition to the work of the Green Council McMurray Environmental Solutions was engaged to provide a waste management strategy.

What makes this achievement particularly notable is that Minto is targeting a LEED Platinum rating for 180 Kent. It anticipates a decision about the rating from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) in the spring of 2012. According to Oryst Deneka, Director of Property Operations for the building achieving the BOMA BESt 4 rating was contingent on having a state of the art building in the first place.

The building features a number of innovations, itemized in a Minto news release from January 26th, including a rainwater harvesting system, green roof and heat recovery units. In 2010, the office tower boasted 55 per cent water savings and 52 per cent energy savings compared to a commercial tower built to model national energy code for buildings (MNECB). And in 2011, 180 Kent Street fulfilled its commitment to eliminating approximately 825 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG's).

The building now fully leased, is home to a wide range of commercial tenants including government, retail, restaurant and financial services. Tenants at 180 Kent have also applied to the CaGBC for LEED for commercial interiors (CI) ratings. The CaGBC website lists Elections Canada, Infrastructure Canada, WSIB, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, SOPF and TD Canada Trust all located at 180 Kent and having active applications for LEED certification.

Receiving the BOMA BESt 4 Rating for 180 Kent capped off a year of honors and Green Building awards for Minto including:

– In April 2011 selection as an Aon Hewitt's Top 30 green employers in Canada.

– In May 2011 Minto was honoured by the Canadian Secretariat for the Asia Pacific Partnership (APP) on Clean Development and Climate for its role in the Canada-led Zero Energy Housing (ZEH) project.

– In the fall of 2011, for the second year in a row and third time in four years, Minto was recognized as the Ontario Home Builders' Association (OHBA) GREEN Builder of the Year.

– In 2011 Minto won Green Development of the Year at the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association Housing design awards for Stonefield Flats in Barhaven. The project is the largest LEED for homes multi-family community in Canada.

– Later in 2011, Minto Properties was also recognized at the Federation of Rental Housing Providers (FRPO) MAC (Marketing, Achievement and Construction) Awards with the Environmental Award of Excellence for Toronto's Richgrove Village

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