Historical buildings don’t have to be antiquated when it comes to sustainability
Imagine the challenge of upgrading a building built in the early 1900’s to make it environmentally friendly. Now imagine if it was one as grand and as public facing as the Saskatchewan Legislative Building. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Central Services have proudly done just that earning a BOMA BEST Silver level upon recertification. The building houses many innovative environmental initiatives from sustainable landscaping to lighting surveys, striving for environmental excellence at every turn.
Despite the many hurdles faced by an aging 1908 infrastructure, the building owners, managers and tenants at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building have embraced the challenge of managing a century old building. They have implemented many sustainable features not only inside of the building but outside as well, resulting in an overall reduced environmental footprint. A dedicated management team ensures that regular assessments and audits are made to better allocate funding for projects, making certain that the building is consuming as little as possible. This approach yields higher success in sustainability and tenant wellbeing.
How did we do it?
- Regular upgrading of all lighting fixtures to heritage LED lights
- Transition to low flow fixtures
- Implementing a reverses osmosis system to pre-treat water before entering into the boiler system to reduce blowdown and chemical use in the steam boilers
- Harnessing the water from the lake to cool the compressors for the air conditioning loop
- Recycling the water from the lake for landscape irrigation
- Non-pesticide landscaping and zero chemical snow removal
Using the BOMA BEST tool the team has improved the re-auditing system that is in place at the legislative building. However, BOMA BEST is not only for the then and now, Curtis says, “BOMA BEST provides us with the necessary information to move forward in pursuing long term waste, water and GHG reduction. We use BOMA BEST as a baseline and benchmark for moving forward with all of our buildings. Not only to improve sustainable performance of the Saskatchewan Legislative building but to reduce the footprint of government as a whole.”