April 24, 2006

Toronto, Winnipeg take the LEED for commercial, airport buildings

Toronto's first commercial building registered to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard was officially opened on April 13 as SAS Canada, a subsidiary of the international software firm SAS, unveiled its new corporate headquarters at 280 King Street East.

LEED recognizes construction projects that demonstrate the utmost commitment to environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.

The new 110,000-square-foot, $30-million facility has been developed as an architectural and environmental showcase in the city's downtown core. Constructed out of 55% recycled material, SAS Canada's new headquarters uses 30 to 50% less energy than a comparable building of similar design.

In addition to winning of the Real Estate Excellence Award (REX) for Office Development of the Year, the building was also a finalist in this year's Globe Awards for Environmental Excellence and has been nominated for numerous other environmental and architecture awards, including the city of Toronto's Green Design Award.

As he opened the headquarters doors to the public for the first time, SAS Canada president Carl Farrell reaffirmed the company's dedication to participating in Toronto's south-east downtown revitalization. Working with the St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre and Toronto Parks and Recreation, SAS is investing $45,000 over three years towards the restoration and improvement of David Crombie Park and Parliament Field.

SAS provides business intelligence software and services to customers at 40,000 sites, including 96 of the top 100 Fortune Global 500(r) companies. Its Canadian subsidiary has been in operation for 18 years, with the Toronto head office supported by branches in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. More information is available on-line at www.sas.com/canada.

In another Canadian LEED first, the Winnipeg Airports Authority is planning to make its operation the first Canadian airport to achieve LEED certification for an air terminal building as it undertakes a comprehensive redevelopment of the airport site.

The new terminal building and associated facilities will represent a modern gateway to Winnipeg and Manitoba, and the Authority intends to meet the environmental standards with high-performance design, construction and operation. The project will use the Canadian Green Buildings Council's LEED standards as a rating system, and a consultant will be hired to document, monitor and verify sustainability initiatives related to the redevelopment.

The Manitoba government is supporting the project through a $75,000 grant from its Sustainable Development Innovations Fund (SDIF). "Successful completion of the certification process will put the Winnipeg Airports Authority in a unique position as a LEED-registered airport terminal building in North America," said Conservation Minister Stan Struthers.

The SDIF supports a diverse range of projects from research studies and demonstration of new technology to community enhancement and environmental awareness. The LEED project is one of 43 sharing $650,335 in SDIF funding. The SDIF also supports activities under other programs such as the Waste Reduction and Pollution Prevention (WRAP) fund and the Manitoba Climate Change Action fund. More information is available on-line at www.susdev.gov.mb.ca.

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