Record-High Green Score for Key Part of Canadian Waterfront Project

Record-High Green Score for Key Part of Canadian Waterfront Project

A key component of a sweeping mixed-use project to transform former industrial land along the Victoria harborfront has set a record by attaining the highest score to date for a LEED Platinum Certified building, its designers said.

Commercial architect design firm Perkins+Will announced Tuesday that the building complex officially titled Dockside Green Residential Phase I had achieved a platinum rating, the highest possible under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, better known as LEED.

In doing so, the design firm said, the project also called Synergy earned a record-setting 63 points. The score edged out the previous record-holder, the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Wisconsin, which was awarded 61 points when it received its LEED Platinum certification.

"Sustainable design has always been in the DNA of our corporate culture," said Perkins+Will CEO and President, Phil Harrison in a statement. "Dockside Green represents the future of sustainable design, and we are proud to work with the developers, Windmill West and Vancity Enterprises, to change the way the building industry views sustainable development."

The Synergy complex is made up of four detached buildings constructed over an underground parking structure. The project includes a nine-story residential tower with commercial units on the ground floor, a two-story townhouse, a six-story building with commercial units on the ground floor, and a four-story residential building.

The complex is the fourth Perkins+Will project to receive a platinum rating and the firm's 29th project to be certified under LEED standards.  Perkins+Will designed the master plan for the entire 15-acre mixed-use Dockside Green development, which is composed of neighborhoods called Dockside Village, Dockside Commons and Dockside Wharf. The latter includes the Synergy complex. The design firm said the 26-building development is on track to become the first LEED Platinum community in the world.

Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in Washington, D.C., lauded the project. Its designers and developers are to be  "commended for this significant achievement, and the leadership they have shown with this project sets a high bar for all of us," Fedrizzi said in a statement provided to GreenerBuildings.

Perkins+Will participates in USGBC's LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot, "helping us move the benefits of LEED from beyond the building's footprint into the community where it's located," Fedrizzi said.

According to its designers and developers, Dockside Green features an integrated energy system that will be greenhouse gas neutral and will provide the opportunity for the project to become a net-energy provider. The system includes a biomass plant that converts locally-sourced wood waste into a clean burning gas to produce heat and hot water.

Other green features include onsite wastewater treatment that is expected to save more than 70,000 gallons of water annually, rooftop gardens, a Smart Car vehicle co-op, Energy Star appliances, heat recovery ventilations units, Low E double-glazed windows and exterior blinds on the west and south faces of each building. Ponds that dot the development's central greenway will provide onsite stormwater storage as well as open space vistas.

"Our integrated design process empowered us to work with a large team of players to develop a vision for Dockside Green that is truly sustainable," said Busby Perkins+Will Managing Director Peter Busby, a founding member and current chair of the Canada Green Building Council. "Dockside Green raises the bar for large-scale urban design and planning, and produces an unrivaled sustainable community."