LEED Spotlight: Centennial Place in Calgary certifies LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings

Oxford Properties Group has a company-wide mission to maximize efficiency and encourage rigorous sustainability measures both in the design/construction of their buildings, and through ongoing updates to existing buildings. With Centennial Place now one of Alberta's first office complexes over one million square feet to achieve LEED Platinum for Existing Building: Operations & Maintenance, they have once again proven that they are dedicated to meeting their own high standards – to the benefit of occupants and the bottom line.

We spoke with Darryl Neate, Director of Sustainability for Oxford Properties Group, about the building, the results so far, and what this means for customers and clients.

Key Features

Centennial Place is a 1.3 million square foot, two tower office complex located in the Eau Claire district of downtown Calgary, developed and managed by Oxford Properties Group. Construction was completed in 2010 and the project achieved LEED Gold certification for Core and Shell. This year, they sought and earned LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance for Centennial Place.

Highlights of the property include:

  • Energy Star score of 97.
  • Proximity to public transit – 72 per cent of occupants either bike, walk or take public transit to work daily
  • Fine-tuned operation of building systems to achieve industry-leading energy efficiency.
  • Extensive energy sub-metering to better understand opportunities for continuous improvement.
  • Eight best-in class Sustainable Operations Policies (e.g. Grounds Maintenance & Landscaping, Purchasing & Waste, etc.)
  • Industry leading comprehensive Recycling Program to divert 75 per cent of waste from landfills.
  • Demand controlled ventilation to optimize outdoor air delivery.
  • Comprehensive Green Cleaning program.
  • Active engagement of tenants to understand and contribute to green building initiatives.

Oxford's commitment to green uses LEED to drive them forward

The Guiding Principles of Oxford's Sustainable Intelligence program shape all aspects of their approach to sustainability, and have been shared with all of their stakeholders since they launched their formal program in 2008. LEED aligns well with these guiding principles – particularly those around Leadership, Performance, and Credibility.

Oxford also prides itself on embedding sustainability within its culture, and LEED supports this objective by allowing their management teams engage with their customers to pursue sustainability targets together, and for all to achieve recognition for their successes through the rigorous, third-party review process.

Achieving LEED Platinum at Centennial Place made philosophical and business sense. Oxford set a national objective of having as many sites as possible LEED certified, as one element of their commitment to sustainability. At the same time, Oxford's customers are also becoming more sophisticated in their understanding of energy performance of the buildings they occupy and asking about LEED certification in the leasing process.

Going for LEED's highest level means maximizing the benefits to customers and tenants

Oxford pursued LEED Platinum certification at Centennial Place because of the direct benefits it delivers to customers. The building management team works directly with customer representatives to implement sustainability measures in the building to enhance comfort, convenience and efficiency. Oxford has undertaken significant action to increase occupant comfort and satisfaction while improving energy performance and reducing the environmental impact of their buildings.

This includes optimized HVAC schedules for the building leveraging the automation system, and being one of Calgary's most comprehensive office building recycling programs. They have also achieved market differentiation – Centennial Place is a pioneer in Alberta being one of the first office complexes over one million square feet to achieve LEED EB: O&M Platinum, and they will see $39,530 lowered annual operating costs which directly benefits their customers.

In addition, Oxford believe that Centennial Place is an optimal work environment for occupants. These benefits include:

  • Providing ample natural light to occupants.
  • Numerous transportation options that encourage walking and biking;
  • Green cleaning practices which leads to a healthier work environment and protects occupants from harmful chemical toxins
  • A demand controlled ventilation system which not only saves energy but also provides an optimum volume of fresh air;
  • Providing tenants with the ability to participate in one of the City's most comprehensive recycling programs.

With LEED Platinum, the savings speak for themselves

Oxford's principal target was to complete a re-commissioning to ensure Centennial Place is performing at or better than its original design. The co-generation plant was a specific project undertaken to achieve greater energy efficiency from an already highly efficient complex.

Some of the efficiency goals included a 2.5 eGWh per year of anticipated energy savings (equivalent to the energy use of 57 single family dwellings); 620 tonnes of CO2e per year of GHG emissions saved (equivalent of taking 131 vehicles off the road for a year), and 494 tones of waste diverted annually (saves 35 trucks driving to landfills each year).

Additional Features

  • Underground parking and reflective white roof/green roof areas to reduce urban heat island effect.
  • Water-efficient washroom fixtures, cooling tower water management.
  • Landscape vegetation which requires no potable water use for irrigation.
  • Minimal light pollution.
  • Occupancy sensors on all base building light fixtures.
  • Combined heat and power generation system on site.

Project Team

Project Owner/Developer Owner: OMERS Realty Corporation Developer/Manager: Oxford Properties Group
Architect WZMH Architects
LEED Consultant LEED Gold Core & Shell: MMM Group (formerly Enermodal)
LEED Platinum EB: WSP (formerly Halsall Associates)
Mechanical Engineer Smith + Andersen
Electrical Engineer Mulvey + Banani International
Structural Engineer RJC Consulting Engineers
Landscape Architect (if applicable) Foothills Landscaping
Project Manager Oxford Properties Group
Contractor/Builder PCL Construction
Commissioning Authority CFMS Alberta Ltd.
Other (please list name, title and role) Controls Contractor: Trane
Green Cleaning Services: Hallmark Housekeeping
Green Pest Services: Poulin's Pest Control
Waste & Recycling Hauler: Waste Management
Lighting Supplier: HD Supply Litemor