CAGBC Vancouver office

Vancouver, British Columbia

January 27, 2017

Rating System/Standard
Certification Level
Building Type

In November 2016, LEED v4 became the guiding framework and new benchmark for the next generation of green buildings. As Canada’s leading non-profit supporting the design and construction of green, healthy buildings, it is important that CAGBC lead by, demonstrating to the industry how a state-of-the-art, innovative green office can reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with building construction and operation, and improve employee well-being.

After 10 years in their West Pender Office location, a growing team required the CAGBC Vancouver office to relocate. In January 2017, in keeping with Council’s leadership position in the industry,  the CAGBC Vancouver office became the first commercial LEED v4 Platinum certified project in the country, earning certification under the Interior Design + Construction (ID+C) rating system.

Located in the LEED® Canada CS Gold certified MNP Tower at 1021 W. Hastings Street, owned by Oxford Properties Group, this new office provides a healthy, sustainable space for staff and visitors – and one that reflects the innovation and growth in green building that the CAGBC has fostered over the past decade. In order to earn LEED v4 Platinum certification, CAGBC worked with industry leaders DIALOGLedcor Construction Ltd. and Integral Group.

This innovative office space has served as a learning tool for CAGBC staff, visitors and the project team and the following case study will provide an overview of the project as well as its accomplishments and challenges.

Building performance

Climate change mitigation through green building rests first in improving building performance wherever possible. With LEED v4, there is a greater emphasis on performance, as reflected in water and energy metering requirements.

The energy modelling for the CAGBC Vancouver office project was provided by Curt Hepting at EnerSys Analytics. The scope of the project was limited in terms of the energy conservation measures that could be implemented; however the project was able to earn a final predicted energy costs savings of 25.3 per cent compared to ASHRAE 90.1-2010.

The project also earned a 39 per cent reduction in indoor water use. Though the kitchen is the only space within the office with plumbing, LEED v4 ID+C requires the inclusion of fixtures in the building that occupants access, including washrooms. In this case, the most efficient gain and least intrusive solution was to switch out the flush valves for the urinals in the fifth floor washrooms in order to increase water savings. In the kitchen, a low flow faucet was installed along with an ENERGY STAR® dishwasher, contributing to water and energy savings.

The energy modelling for LEED v4 CI involves the application of the 2010 version of ASHRAE 90.1, calculating the baseline according to Appendix G.

Waste management

Ledcor provided a Waste Management Plan detailing five waste streams, which under LEED v4 is now a prerequisite. The five waste streams included wood, metal, cardboard, gypsum and soft plastics. Of the 909 kilograms of waste generated, 799 kilograms or 87.9% was diverted from landfill.

Creating a healthy work environment

Canadians spend much of their lives at work and the indoor environmental factors within that space, such as daylight, air and water quality, and the presence of low-emitting materials, can have a huge impact on overall health and well-being. LEED v4 delivers improved human health and environmental sustainability by further enhancing building performance and placing a spotlight on materials transparency and environmental life cycle impacts.

Version 4 introduces a larger focus on life cycle assessment, as well as product disclosure and optimization to LEED with three new credits that focus on different ways to provide disclosure and optimization:

  • Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs);
  • Sourcing of Raw Materials; and
  • Material Ingredients.

Designer DIALOG and contractor Ledcor both worked tirelessly to source material to support these new credits and succeeded with the help of industry tools like Green Wizard.

The project team focused on product selections that had life-cycle information available, along with environmentally, economically, and socially preferable impacts. This included sourcing flooring, shades and fabric that are Cradle2Cradle (C2C) certified or that have Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs); ensuring 80 per cent of workstation furniture was from reused, refurbished or recycled sources; and using VOC-absorbing gypsum and other low-VOC products to maximize indoor air quality.

The location for a LEED project is also critical to health and wellness considerations, and was a key contributor in CAGBC earning this LEED v4 Platinum certification. Due to its dense downtown location, choosing to lease office space in the newly opened MNP Tower at 1021 W. Hastings Street, a LEED Gold certified building owned by Oxford Properties Group, provides many advantages that can enhancing staff comfort and satisfaction, including:

  • Ample access: adjacent to public transit, numerous services and amenities, as well as an extensive bike network, which encourages employee wellness and mitigates the environmental impacts of commuting.
  • A brighter outlook: the new office space features large windows, providing abundant natural light and views of the Vancouver cityscape.
  • Cleaner air: The new office features an outdoor air system designed to provide at least 30 per cent more outdoor air than ASHRAE 62.1-2010 requirements. Ventilation air for the office is provided by an HRV, recovering energy from the exhaust air stream and transferring it to the incoming fresh air. This incoming air is then passed through a MERV 13 filter before it is distributed throughout the office.

CAGBC built on the idea of wellness by also incorporating an open-office design, a variety of workspace options, and sit-stand desks to maximize ergonomics. Facilitating techniques to support movement throughout the day is a significant aspect for health and wellness in the work place, and one that CAGBC took very seriously in this new office space.

Thank you to our Sponsors

In total, the CAGBC worked with 40 industry sponsors for this project, who provided in-kind services and support and would like to thank them for contributing to the success of this project.

Special recognition for the CAGBC Vancouver Office goes to:

Additional sponsors are (in alphabetical order):


Certification LevelPlatinum
Rating SystemLEED v4 ID+C
Total Points earned82
Sustainable Sites18 out of 18
Water Efficiency6 out of 12
Energy & Atmosphere32 out of 38
Materials & Resources7 out of 13
Indoor Environmental Quality7 out of 17
Innovation in Operations6 out of 6
Regional Priority4 out of 4

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