Date: July 19, 2011
Gold For UVic's First Peoples House
The University of Victoria’s First Peoples House is the most recent campus facility to achieve the gold-level standard in environmental design and sustainability. On July 18, the Canada Green Building Council officially recognized the building, opened in 2010, with gold-level certification in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building program.
First Peoples House provides a welcoming space for the community and an academic and cultural centre for Indigenous students, faculty and staff. The 1,161 sq m building houses the Office of Indigenous Affairs, Aboriginal student counselling services, a ceremonial hall, classroom and office space, and student and elders’ lounges.
“This unique building is a showpiece of sustainability and we are delighted to be recognized with LEED gold certification,” says David Perry, UVic’s director of capital development. “The project uses wood as a primary building material in support of the provincial Wood First Act. Our green building program is a significant part of the university’s broad range of sustainability initiatives.”
The building’s sustainability features include:
- recycled materials, including steel reinforcing bars and reclaimed red cedar
- a green roof
- natural light in 90% of the building via exterior glazing
- a seasonal storm retention pond fed by roof runoff
- natural ventilation, including a ventilation corridor and window vents with sensors
- landscaping with native trees and vegetation
Designed by Alfred Waugh Architect of Vancouver, the building reflects the Coast Salish style in features such as rammed earth walls, cedar plank exterior cladding and the ceremonial hall. In November 2010 First Peoples House was recognized as one of the best Western Red Cedar architectural designs in the world by the Western Red Cedar Architectural Design Awards.
UVic’s Medical Sciences, Engineering/Computer Science, Social Sciences and Mathematics and Administrative Services buildings previously achieved LEED gold status. All major University of Victoria building projects incorporate sustainability initiatives, including efficient energy and water management measures, locally sourced materials, natural landscaping and enhanced indoor air quality.
The university’s commitment to the LEED gold building standard is one of the reasons UVic is included in this year’s list of Canada’s 100 Greenest Employers (see http://bit.ly/eKUwwx).
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