September 13, 2012
- Rating System/Standard
- LEED 2009
- Certification Level
- Building Type
Earth Rangers operates programs that educate children and their families on the importance of protecting biodiversity and encourages them to adopt more sustainable behaviours. The Earth Rangers describe themselves as the ‘Kids’ Conservation Organization’, providing children with the opportunity to protect animals, improve the environment and make a difference.
The Earth Rangers Centre, earth rangers Woodbridge, Ontario, is the operations base for all of their programs across Canada. The centre was an early adopter of LEED, achieving LEED® Gold for New Construction in 2006 and LEED® Platinum for Existing Buildings (EB: O&M) in 2012. Their motivation for LEED certification was simple: as an organization that encourages families to adopt sustainable behaviours, it was critical that they led by example.
We spoke to Peter Kendall, Executive Director of Earth Rangers, about the building and how it has performed since its last certification in 2012, and what this means for their organization’s bottom line.
The following case study was written using responses previously provided for a LEED Spotlight in July 2016, and is the result of an interview with Peter Kendall, Executive Director of Earth Rangers.
Energy efficiency key to project’s ongoing success
The Earth Rangers Centre was designed and constructed to be 63 per cent more efficient than Canada’s Model National Energy Code for Buildings. In keeping with their mission to educate and empower children to Bring Back the Wild, the 60,000 sq. ft. facility is a model of sustainable technology and practices. Some of the buildings key features include:
- On-site wastewater treatment;
- Geothermal technology;
- Solar generation of approximately 100 kW;
- Extensive building automation;
- Solar thermal;
- Green roof;
- Radiant heating and cooling; and
- Earth tube ventilation.
Collectively, these technologies allow the Earth Rangers Centre to operate on less than $0.80 per sq. ft for energy use.
Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to sustainability through LEED
The centre achieved LEED certification fairly early on and says the project represents their core values. “LEED certification is the gold standard for green buildings and gives us a tangible and highly recognizable way to showcase our commitment to sustainability to our 140,000 plus members, tens of thousands of visitors and related stakeholders.”
Since opening, the centre has given tours of the facility to over 20,000 building professionals, post-secondary students and senior corporate and government leaders, many of which have become sponsors of the organization. “Being one of the top rated LEED facilities in Canada allowed us to attract the attention of a wider audience.”
Occupants of the facility also benefit from LEED certification with a strong IAQ, achieved through low VOC building materials and high fresh air intake. The extensive BAS system regulates temperatures and the lighting levels in the space ensure that increased comfort levels are achieved for those working within the facility.
LEED® EB: O&M allowed for further improvements and bigger gains
While the original LEED Gold certification allowed the centre to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability to all of their stakeholders, after a few years of operations, it became clear that building a “green building” was not enough. It was then that the Earth Ranger Centre decided to undertake the LEED® EB: O&M standard to ensure that, not only was their facility at the leading-edge of sustainable technology but, all of their practices were aligned with this goal. The LEED® EB: O&M framework provided the centre with a solid guide to improve, and the rigorous reporting requirements needed to achieve their goal.
Currently, Earth Rangers reports that the Centre operates 112 per cent more efficiently than the average Canadian office building. The facility features energy and water savings, including:
- 28 kW fixed solarvolatic array along with a 57 kW tracked array.
- Combined generation gave them approximately 90,000 kWh in 2015, offsetting a large portion of energy costs for the facility.
- As the facility is not attached to city sanitary or water mains, all processing is done on site at their 20,000 L Wastewater Treatment Plant and withdrawn from their 120 foot deep well.
- Using the effluent from treatment plant for toilet flushing and irrigation of the green roof, they’ve reduced the demand on the local water table by 73 per cent. This avoids potable water use of approximately 452,000 gallons on average. Consumption levels are minimized through the use of low flow aerators and toilets, as well as pint-per-flush urinals.
LEED SCORE CARD
|Rating System||LEED Canada for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance 2009|
|Total Points earned||92|
|Sustainable Sites||18 out of 26|
|Water Efficiency||14 out of 14|
|Energy & Atmosphere||29 out of 35|
|Materials & Resources||8 out of 10|
|Indoor Environmental Quality||13 out of 15|
|Innovation in Operations||6 out of 6|
|Regional Priority||4 out of 4|