The City of Edmonton owns a lot of buildings, some of which are decades old. As we continue build more we need to think about the impact these buildings will make 10, 20, 50 years into the future.
In May 2017 the City of Edmonton updated its Sustainable Building Policy for all City-owned buildings. The policy includes setting aside 1% of the project budget for on-site energy generation (e.g. solar photovoltaics, cogeneration), and requiring new buildings to achieve 40% or greater energy and greenhouse gas savings than required by the current building code.
The policy also requires new buildings to use something called "passive design strategies" such as high quality, well insulated building envelopes (e.g., walls, windows and doors), and good building orientation to keep the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Strategies like these reduce the amount of energy needed for running the building's heating and air conditioning system. These changes in energy performance will contribute to achieving green building certification, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
And it’s these changes that will ensure that these buildings will continue to have a reduced impact for decades to come.
Currently, the City of Edmonton has 18 buildings that are LEED certified, including five at the gold level. That number will continue to grow as more City buildings are built or renovated.