FLASHBACK TO 2007: “The Capital Regional District Headquarters Building is the first LEEDs Gold Certified building in the Capital Region,” reported Jody Watson

Note to Readers:

Day 1 of the From Rain to Resource Workshop in October 2010 in Kelowna was geared toward technical operational and planning staff . The focus was on site-level best practices and tools to deal with various situations. One of the case studies was the Capital Regional District Headquarters Building in Victoria, BC.

Focus on Rainwater Features

“The Capital Regional District Headquarters Building is the first LEEDs Gold Certified building in the Capital Region,” reported Jody Watson, Harbours & Watersheds Coordinator for the Capital Regional District (CRD).

Jody watson - crd (120p)“My presentation at the Kelowna workshop provided an overview of the rainwater features of the building such as the rainwater harvesting and re-use system, extensive and intensive green roofs and the living wall.  The innovative features, the barriers to implementation and their resolution were discussed.”

Rainwater Re-Use for Toilets

“A 60,000 litre rainwater storage tank used for flushing toilets, which combined with the use of efficient fixtures such as dual flush toilets and water-free urinals, resulted in a 76% reduction in potable water consumption.”

Green Roofs – Intensive & Extensive

“Extensive green roofs, using a pre-grown sedum mat (similar to sod but with stonecrop-type plants) have been installed on four roof surfaces at CRD HQ. The living wall is installed on the exterior wall by the Centennial Square entrance to the main lobby of the CRD.”

The intensive green roof, which is accessible by staff, is installed on the second floor patio just off the lunch room. CRD staff participated in a survey for the design of the patio and formed the direction to the design team for this space. The new and improved staff patio features three seating and socializing areas interspersed with native plants and shrubs typically found in a Garry Oak meadow and woodland.”

Green Roof Performance Monitoring

CRD headquarters building - green roof performance monitoring“The CRD has installed a new weather station that is part of the performance monitoring program for the green roof project,” stated Jody Watson.

“The extensive green roof and the living wall are being monitored, in partnership with the BCIT Centre for Architectural Ecology – Collaborations in Green Roofs and Living Walls to provide real-time regional data on the environmental and economic benefits of these innovative technologies.”

“Monitoring includes a measure of rainwater retention and runoff reduction (average annual runoff, peak flow rate reduction in wet and dry season) and temperature and energy statistics (membrane temperature, diurnal temperature fluctuation, reduction in average daily heat flow through the roof, reduction in total energy demand).”

“This monitoring will obtain accurate data on the performance of green roof and living wall technology, specific to the climate for the region, and will be made available to the municipal partners for their information and use,” concluded Jody Watson.

About the CRD Headquarters Building

The vision statement from the Capital Regional District Strategic Plan states the following:

  • “Blessed by a temperate climate, rich natural diversity, stunning landscapes, and proud histories; our ‘community of communities’ has earned a reputation as one of the world’s premier places to live, work, and visit. The Capital Region will always be: livable and vibrant, stewards of the environment, and supported by a prosperous and sustainable economy.”

With this as a vision for the region and with the need to relocate the Capital Regional District (CRD) Headquarters, it was “natural” to incorporate sustainability into the new headquarters building.

In 1997, the CRD participated with the City of Victoria in a Joint Architectural Design competition for Centennial Square. In 2001, the Board approved purchase of the former City of Victoria police building at 625 Fisgard for siting of a satellite facility to house the CRD’s Environmental Services department. Phase One was completed and occupied in early 2004. Staff were directed to make the building “as green as possible” within the approved budget.

CRD headquarters buildingIn July 2003, the Board directed staff to proceed with design and construction of Phase Two. The Phase One architects and design consultants were retained to ensure consistent and integrated design. Flush with the success of the green design for Phase One, the CRD Board directed staff to aim for Leadership in Environmental & Energy and Design (LEED)® Gold for Phase Two.

Four years later, in the Autumn of 2007, the CRD Headquarters Building Phase Two was awarded the Canadian Green Building Council’s prestigious LEED®: Gold designation.