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Green Architecture

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Green architecture is an idea that has been prominent in design excellence plans for the last 20 years. Recently, green architecture has been in the spotlight more than ever in order to meet the global requirements issued by the Paris Agreement in 2015. Countries around the world are incorporating design plans displaying renewable technology features such as wind energy, solar panels, electrification and green rooftops into their urban and rural infrastructure. Not only are these structures dynamic and innovative, they increase connectivity to the landscape and surrounding environment.

The design focus for the Energy Services Acquisition Program (ESAP), helmed by bbb architects in Ottawa, has always been centered around the public realm and focused on place making rather than iconic architectural form. The new energy centres being built in the National Capital Region for ESAP feature lush green roof landscapes that extend over the buildings and provide spaces for visitors to gather and enjoy the views overlooking the Ottawa or River. The intention is for the buildings to be secondary. In the case of the Cliff energy centre on Parliament Hill, the plant has a responsibility to not stand out or detract from Parliament, the Supreme Court, and Library and Archives. By extending green space over the buildings, the heating and cooling plants become partially underground. This reduces exposed building envelope and improves the overall building efficiency, insulation values, and reduces the amount of material used for cladding. The green roofs also retain stormwater, reduce heat-island effect and are part of a larger strategy for the buildings being in compliance with LEED v4 Gold standards.

The idea of prioritizing public realm and park space is consistent across all ESAP energy centres, providing room for expansion of the district energy system and reinforces the Government of Canada’s national greening initiatives.