April 3, 2006

Vancouver Port Authority's new HQ certified to LEED Gold standard

The new corporate office of the Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) at Canada Place has achieved Gold level certification to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI)(r). The $8-million investment in a green office has earned the VPA the distinction of being the largest LEED-CI certified project in Canada.

In 2004, the VPA moved into its own building at the north end of Vancouver's flagship cruise terminal in Canada Place. The move brought the crown corporation's employees together in one location after previously being spread out among a patchwork of offices in a downtown building.

As part of the move, the VPA set out to construct a healthy, environmentally sound office and contracted the services of two Vancouver architectural and interior design firms, Bunting Coady Architects and Group 5. Working together, the two firms coupled innovative sustainable design with a fully modern interior.

Features that helped the VPA achieve LEED-CI Gold certification include:

*Recycling: 70% of construction waste from the project was diverted from landfill sites.

*Efficiency: energy savings of 20% for lighting and 36% for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, compared to conventional buildings.

*Water Efficiency: The new VPA office uses 39% less fresh water than comparable buildings.

*Sustainability: elimination of fossil fuels for heating.

"In pursuing LEED(r) certification for our new office, the Vancouver Port Authority wanted to create a high-profile example of sustainable building practices. As we work with the marine community in operating a sustainable port, it is important that we look for all opportunities to make a difference," said Lori Lindahl, the VPA's vice-president of corporate services. "The building improves the quality of life for VPA employees and for our community. It also makes great business sense, operation costs are improved as is the value of the building," she added.

"When the VPA approached us to design their new premises, they made it clear that they wanted to show leadership in environmental stewardship," said Teresa Coady, founding partner of Bunting Coady Architects. "With large spatial volumes and a lot of exposed glass, a sustainable design for the interior was a challenge. LEED-CI Gold certification means that the Vancouver Port Authority now has an international-calibre showcase facility in a landmark building."

The project has highlighted the importance of creating environmentally sustainable interiors. It also marks the VPA's latest achievement in its pursuit to lead environmental responsibility in the Port of Vancouver. Other environmental initiatives underway at the port include: the use and testing of fuel catalysts to reduce emissions from shore-based equipment and ships; testing of hydrogen-injection systems in container trucks; cleanup of contaminated sites; creation of new marine habitats in and around port terminals; support for the establishment of a North American low-sulfur fuel zone for ships; and reduction of air emissions from trucks as a component of the port's container truck licensing system.

The VPA received its certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), which awards LEED status to leading-edge buildings that incorporate environmentally sustainable design, construction and operational features that reduce environmental impact. In Canada, LEED is administered by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

The project team for the construction of the new VPA offices also included Dominion Fairmile Construction, Stantec Consulting, Schenke/Bawol Engineering, Read Jones Christoffersen, Enersys Analytics and Western Mechanical Services.

Established in 1994, Bunting Coady Architects (www.buntingcoady.com) has received more than 50 awards for design quality and building performance, including the BOMA Earth Award four times. The firm lays claim to more square footage of LEED Gold-certified projects than any other architectural practice in Canada.

More information about the VPA's environmental initiatives is available from Anne McMullin, 604/665-9069, E-mail anne.mcmullin@portvancouver.com, Web site www.portvancouver.com/the_port/environment.html.

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