First LEED Platinum Building in Canada

Green Building. Image Source: FM Innovations.

Earlier this month, communications giant TELUS unveiled its plans to create a Platinum-rated LEED national headquarters right in the middle of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

TELUS has partners with Westbank Development Corp., who will be leading the project.  Henriquez Partners will be the architect in charge of designing the building.

This will be a challenging endeavor.  Although other TELUS buildings have achieved gold and silver LEED ratings, no building in Canada has achieved the prestigious U.S. Green Building Council Platinum rating.

“The fact that TELUS is choosing to build a new national headquarters in Vancouver is a great vote of confidence in our local economy,” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a recent statement. “Their proposal to build to LEED Platinum is extremely ambitious and sends a signal that in Vancouver, going green is good for business and the environment.”

The project, called the TELUS Garden, will cost an estimated $750 million and consist of a 22-story office building and 500,000 sq. feet of office space, as well as 500 residential units.  Ten thousand sq. feet of garden space will be used to grow organic vegetables for nearby restaurants, in addition to two roof forests.  The building will also feature “media walls” that are capable of broadcasting local cultural events to the public.  The building is expected to house approximately 1,000 of the 15,000 TELUS employees in the province of British Columbia.

TELUS hopes to have the project completed by 2015.

About the LEED Platinum Rating

The LEED rating system is scored on a possible 100 points, as well as 6 additional points for design innovation.  There are four levels of certification, with “Certified” being the lowest and “Platinum” the highest.  A LEED “Certified” building has scored 40-49 points, while a “Platinum” building has a score of 80 points or above.

An application and certification fees must be submitted to the USGBC to achieve LEED certification.  Compliance with requirements must be well-documented.  The application process for new construction certification has been recently been transferred to electronic form.

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