Two Ledcor Construction projects in British Columbia, Burnaby’s SFU UniverCity Childcare Centre and Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitors Centre, have achieved petal certification under the Living Building Challenge Standard.
“There are currently only 21 projects in the world that have received full or partial certification through the Living Building Challenge,” said Ledcor construction sustainability specialist Marsha Gentile.
The Living Building Challenge is regarded as the most stringent and innovative green building certification in the world. It promotes living, regenerative buildings that produce more energy than they consume, avoid toxic chemicals and incorporate natural, closed loop water systems.
Its categories are known as petals, which are achieved by meeting all criteria within each category. Petal certification is granted by satisfying the requirements of at least three of seven petals: place; water; energy; health and happiness; materials; equity; and beauty.
Ledcor projects certified in four categories
Ledcor’s awarded projects received certification for: place, materials; health and happiness; and beauty. They’re the first commercial buildings in Canada to achieve this certification, as well as the first in Canada to achieve the materials petal.
“To date, there are no fully certified Living Buildings in Canada,” said Gentile. “There is only one other petal-certified project in Canada, a residence on Vancouver Island.”
The two Ledcor buildings continue to work towards demonstrating net zero energy and water consumption in hopes of achieving full Living Building status.
“The buildings must successfully demonstrate net zero energy and net zero water use for a continuous 12-month period in order to demonstrate petal compliance,” said Gentile.
Building descriptions and other green Ledcor projects
The $19-million VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre opened in October 2011 and was designed to reflect a balance between architecture, landscape and constructability.
It features an undulating green roof resembling an orchid, geothermal heating, solar panels, a water capture system and an organic water purification system.
The 6,400-square-foot, L-shaped SFU UniverCity Childcare Centre at Simon Fraser University features exposed steel frames supporting a laminated wood roof and exterior wall.
It has natural ventilation and lighting and provides indoor and outdoor opportunities for children to explore water, light, air, gravity, vegetation and seasonal change.
“From Ledcor’s first LEED project in 2002 to these net zero projects, it has been a challenge and a pleasure to proactively participate in the advancement of sustainable construction,” said Gentile.
Other green projects Ledcor is involved with include: Edmonton’s Royal Alberta Museum; Vancouver’s Teck Acute Care Centre at the BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre; British Columbia’s Tsawwassen Mills shopping centre; and Toronto’s Canary District, which was the home of the 2015 CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Athletes’ Village.
The Ledcor Group of Companies is a construction company serving the building, civil and infrastructure, oil and gas, pipeline, mining, power, and telecommunications sectors.
The privately held, employee-owned company also owns operations in property investment, forestry, aviation and marine transportation services. It started in 1947 and has more than 800 employee shareholders while employing more than 7,000 across 20 offices.