Sustainable Building- Monica

31 10 2008

In class this week we were given many examples of green buildings in Europe, after this class I decided to find out whether there were are green buildings in Winnipeg.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of the green buildings in Winnipeg is recognised by many as being the most energy efficient commercial outlet in Canada and one of the most environmentally friendly in the world. The Mountain Equipment Co-op has received this status because of its building materials used and its energy and water efficiency.

The original site was occupied by 3 buildings, 95% of  the material from these buildings was either  used in the new building or recycled. All structural material were reclaimed including  the brick and wood floor, joists, exterior masonary, cast iron columns and steel beams. The construction of this builidng used 80% less energy than it would have used had it used all new material.

To minimize the consumption of new material, the ceiling was left exposed, the floors where left in there brick of hardwood state and the minimum amount of hardwall required by building codes was used.

MEC is 65% more efficient than the standards of the Model National Energy Code and it keeps 64 tonnes of greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere each year. In order to make these energy cuts exterior walls are insulated to an R value of 30 which is twice called for by the building code, by doing this it reduces heat lose and thus energy consumption. Another feature that that reduces heat lose are the windows which are either double or triple-paned, and framed with fiberglass or aluminium. The green roof provides evaporative cooling and helps insulate the building keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Another feature that reduces energy consumption are the Co2 sensors that ensure an optimal balance of fresh incoming air.

There are also composting toilets that provides fertilizer that can be used on the green roof. By doing this it reduces waste water volume by more than 50% saving 73 cubic meters of water each year.

All of these components work to make this building a prime example of a green building, and should work as a template for all  buildings.




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