Building green is about conserving resources during the construction of a building and throughout its operation to ensure it performs to environmentally sustainable standards. Green buildings contribute to Edmonton's energy transition goals by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and increased savings in the building's utilities. They also contribute to biodiversity protection and restoration, urban agriculture and improve comfort, productivity and livability for the people who occupy them.
What the City is Doing
The City of Edmonton is committed to demonstrating leadership in green building practices. Since January 1, 2008, all new City-owned buildings and major renovations have been designed and constructed, at a minimum, to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver standard. In addition, these projects are required to be formally LEED® certified.
In May 2017, City Council approved the Sustainable Building Policy (C532), setting a new and ambitious standard for energy efficiency for major Canadian cities. It outlines policy standards to ensure that the construction, operation and maintenance of City buildings is environmentally sustainable and reduces each individual building's carbon footprint. The policy encourages ideas such as passive design strategies, well-insulated building envelopes and the use of energy efficient technologies like LED lighting. It also requires a minimum 1% of the project budget for new building construction to be dedicated to on-site energy generation.
In order to track, certify and continuously improve on the environmental performance of buildings, the policy dictates that eligible City-owned buildings will benchmark their energy use, seek BOMA BEST certification and undergo energy efficiency audits. For more information, please see the Media Release.
Light Efficiency Community Guidelines
Since 2013, the City of Edmonton has required civic infrastructure to have effective exterior lighting, through its Light Efficient Community Guidelines.
A light-efficient community is one that uses light effectively and for its intended purpose. It includes the responsible use of light, helping to minimize energy usage and potentially negative effects of exterior lighting. Electric lighting is used appropriately for safety and comfort. Everyone in the community works together to help achieve this, and its implementation benefits humans, wildlife, plants and the natural nighttime environment.
Examples of Green Buildings and Communities
As the largest development of its kind, Blatchford holds the potential to influence the way the world thinks about creating communities.
Edmonton’s City Hall is home to civic leadership and is a significant gathering place in the community. The facility incorporates many green features, and is 17% more energy efficient than the national average for office buildings.
Learn more about the features of City Hall through the City of Edmonton Green Building Audio Tour.
Edmonton Tower opened in 2017 in Edmonton’s Ice District and has been awarded LEED® Gold Certification. The City of Edmonton is a major tenant in the building, owned by the Alberta Investment Management Corporation and operated by Katz Group Real Estate.
Learn more about the features of Edmonton Tower through the City of Edmonton Green Building Audio Tour.
Edmonton Valley Zoo
Exhibits and projects at the Edmonton Valley Zoo serve as models of environmental responsibility. The Wander and Ed-Venture Lodge, which opened in 2013, achieved LEED® Silver certification.
Kennedale Eco Station
The Kennedale Eco Station, located in northeast Edmonton, is a comprehensive waste drop-off facility. It was awarded LEED® Gold Certification and received CaGBC’s Green Building Excellence Award for New Construction (Commercial).
Meadows Fire Station No. 26
Meadows Fire Station No. 26 features a 5 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system that helps generate energy consumed on-site.
Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Pool
Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Pool was designed to be a modern green space that connects naturally to Edmonton's river valley. It incorporates many passive design elements, as well as solar systems that provide both energy and heat water.