LEED Spotlight: First Capital Realty Inc. earns LEED Gold for Red Deer Village shopping centre development

This multi-tenant building, which forms part of Red Deer Village shopping centre development, is located at the intersection of 67th Street and Gaetz Avenue in Red Deer, Alberta. We spoke to Rosemary Martin, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for First Capital Realty Management Services LP (FCR) about the many tactics they took to earn the certification, and how this was done in a setting with multiple tenants.

Key features

Located in an area of mixed retail, commercial and residential land uses, this project was remediated to remove contaminants in the soil resulting from the site's former use as a retail gas service station. High efficiency lighting and mechanical systems were installed to maximize energy efficiency and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.

The following key energy conservation measures (ECMs) were implemented to reduce energy consumption:

  1. Improved building insulation.
  2. High performance glazing.
  3. Reduced lighting power densities.
  4. Demand control ventilation (DCV) system/carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors.
  5. Exhaust air energy recovery on various mechanical systems.

Among its other sustainability features, the site has good access to transit, includes an electric vehicle charging station, and has a Sikaplan roof with an initial Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) of 101.

Several innovation strategies were included in this project's LEED Gold Certification plan. An Integrated Pest Management, Erosion Control and Landscape Management Plan was developed and implemented, committing to environmentally sensitive grounds keeping practices. Other innovation strategies included exemplary performance of water efficiency credit 3 (WEc3) and energy and atmosphere credit 6 (EAc6).

Water efficiency measures included in lease agreements

Mandatory lease agreements specified that tenants install low-flow toilets and faucets in the building. These fixtures reduced annual potable water use by 48%. The following table summarizes the water use calculations and demonstrates how the savings worked:

Design Scenarios Total Annual Volume (L)
Baseline 110,303
Project design 57,579
Water use reduction 48%

Energy efficiency leads to big cost savings

Energy models were developed and the design was compared against the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB) 1997 baseline building. Energy and cost modelling results from the building were combined to determine the overall energy savings for the project.

It is expected that this efficient design will result in 38 per cent energy cost savings compared to the reference building. In addition, a two-year renewable power contract was established to offset 70 per cent of the project's core and shell electricity consumption, equal to 19,500 kWh. This commitment will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with fossil fuel use and encourage the development and use of grid-source renewable technologies.

The following table summarizes the energy modeling results:

Design Scenarios Annual Energy Consumption (MJ) Annual Energy Cost ($)
MNECB building 1,906,650 23,386
Project design 1,018,939 14,363
Total energy savings 887,711 9,023
Percent energy savings 47% energy savings 38% energy cost savings

Use of locally sourced materials and resources a key focus

The building was constructed using sustainable materials including those that were manufactured and extracted locally, and produced with a high amount of recycled content. Construction materials can have a significant impact on the environment, as natural resources such as minerals, water, and energy are used to create a product from a raw material, and to ship the product to the site.

Therefore, it is essential to source building materials that have a low embodied energy. By sourcing materials that are manufactured locally and with recycled content, Red Deer Village was able to minimize the environmental impacts associated with material selection.

The following locally sourced materials contributed to the 31 per cent regional materials by cost of all construction materials for Red Deer Village:

Product Distance between Project and Manufacturer (km) Distance between Project and extraction site (km)
Concrete admixture 120 800
Hot mix asphalt 50 100
20mm crushed gravel 50 50
Rebar 850 800
Splitface block 360 800
Plate 570 2,400
Plate 845 2,400
Gravel 20 20
Concrete 150 800
Precast concrete 160 20

During construction, waste was carefully tracked to verify that it was diverted from landfills and sent to recycling or reuse facilities whenever possible. Diverted materials included concrete, metal, wood and asphalt, for a total of 91 per cent diversion, with 150,892 kgs diverted from landfill, and 165,972 kgs taken off-site for alternative re-use like Strickland Farms, which took and re-used 100 per cent (3,320 kgs) of our project's extra wood.

Lastly, in addition to materials management during construction, Red Deer Village operates a tenant waste collection and recycling services on site through its property management.

Better indoor environment for tenants and visitors

We spend nearly 90 per cent of our time indoors. The construction process can impact the indoor air quality of the building and as a result, it is critical to prevent indoor air quality issues during the construction process. The project was designed and constructed to enhance indoor environmental quality through careful selection of materials, prudent construction practices and improving the supply of ventilation air.

Low emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, composite wood, and agrifibre products were selected to reduce the quantity of air contaminants that are odourous, irritating or harmful to the comfort and well-being of installers and occupants.

The base building heating and cooling systems were designed to provide a thermal environment that meets the requirements of ASHRAE 55-2004. Indoor environmental parameters, such as temperature, thermal radiation, humidity, and air speed, were addressed in the design.

LEED essential to First Capital's sustainability goals

In keeping with FCR's ongoing commitment to sustainable design and construction, this project was built to earn LEED certification, and used LEED as a guideline throughout the process. The team worked together to implement green design and construction strategies, which were reviewed from a LEED compliance perspective, feasibility perspective and cost perspective.

A LEED kick-off meeting was held early in the design stage, with members of the design team in attendance. The goal of the LEED kick-off meeting was to establish the sustainability goals for the project, discuss potential opportunities and obstacles, evaluate LEED Canada CS 2009 criteria, and discuss the strategies that would be implemented to achieve LEED Canada CS 2009 Gold Certification for the project.

During construction, practices such as erosion control, indoor air quality management, and waste diversion management were implemented. The project team also collected information on materials and products supplied to the project to verify that products met specific LEED criteria.

Project Team

Project Owner/Developer First Capital Realty Asset Management Corporation
Property Manager Tanya Clark, First Capital Asset Management Corporation
LEED Consultant Carolyn Elizabeth Risley, Inviro Engineered Systems
Chief Sustainability Officer Rosemary Martin, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, FCR Management Services LP