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West End venue recognized for sustainable redevelopment
The outside will remain blue, but the building is certified green.
Last week, the West End Cultural Centre announced it was the first performing arts centre in Canada to achieve LEED Silver certification from the Canada Green Building Council.
"I think it fits with the general ethos of the centre," said WECC general manager Meg McGimpsey.
"We recognize there’s an importance to build sustainable communities, and included in that is sustainable architecture. The committee (responsible for the redevelopment) recognized it as something to ensure not only the centre’s longevity, but the environment."
In 2008, the WECC began a massive $4-million redevelopment that saw 5,000 square feet added to the iconic Winnipeg venue.
Redevelopment included using recycled and reused materials in construction, as well as paints and sealants certified for low emissions.
Oak doors from a Calgary courthouse that was being torn down were reused throughout the building, and some flooring was made from refurbished elm trees cut down for structural reasons or Dutch elm disease. Marble counter tops and theatre seating from the former Epic Theatre on Main Street were also refurbished and incorporated into the slick new centre.
"Those really have helped continue the story and are neat features for people to be able to (know about), when they’re walking through to building," McGimpsey said.
The centre continues to use environmentally-friendly housekeeping cleaners and chemicals, and installed a rainwater irrigation system to feed a small greenspace at the back of the building, she added.
Damien Fenez, one of the architect’s responsible for the redevelopment, said LEED-silver status isn’t something that is easily achieved. The WECC joins about a dozen buildings in Manitoba that have the status, he said.
"It can’t be done without serious client contribution and a serious vision," he said, noting his company, Prairie Architects, has built the majority of LEED-silver buildings in the province.
"It’s our focus to drive towards sustainable architecture. It’s been something that Prairie has focused on since the get-go… and something we’ve continued and feel strongly about."
While it isn’t necessary to achieve, LEED standards are used as a benchmark to evaluate the performance of a building, he said.
"We use it as a tool to help building owners and managers achieve an energy efficient building and one that reduces footprint on the environment," he said.
Fenez said he is currently working on two projects that will be built to LEED standards — a youth hostel in St. Boniface and a high school in Winkler.
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(1 of 14 articles for this week)05/22/2013 1:00 AM 0
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