Western will put forth its best efforts to undertake building design and construction projects in line with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standards. Currently, Western has 1 LEED GOLD certified building (Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavillion) and 2 LEED SILVER certified buildings (McIntosh Gallery and Stevenson/Lawson Hall). Seven additional buildings are registered for LEED certification. They are:
- Richard Ivey School of Business
- Physics and Astronomy Building
- Medical Education Centre
- Ontario Hall
- Music Building
- Fraunhofer Project Centre
More information about some of these buildings can be found below. Campus and community members wishing to learn more about these green buildings can register for a tour here.
Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion
In 2009, Western officially opened the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion, the first LEED certified building on campus. Dubbed “the green building”, this $22-million, 45,000 square-foot structure exemplifies environmental building practices in addition to housing research projects in green technologies, processes and materials.
- The roof of the “green building” contains seven species of drought-resistant sedum, a hardy garden plant. The soil and plants insulate the building for sound and increase cooling and heating efficiency throughout the year.
- Sustainability in Design of Facilities: The University will incorporate sustainability of the environment into the planning and design process. This includes promoting energy conservation in the operation of facilities, provision of facilities to support alternate transportation arrangements, and the protection of natural and wetland areas throughout the campus. Building designs should recognize the use of buildings as learning tools as well as learning environments and should provide examples of sustainable designs for students.
- Green Space and the Campus Environment: Planning should include preservation of the grounds and development of a Landscape Plan, including the allocation of lands for the Sherwood Fox Arboretum and enhancement of courtyards and other spaces, while trying to use species native to Southwestern Ontario whenever considering new planting/landscaping. In the development of plans for new facilities, the preservation of trees needs to be a critical part of the planning. When it is necessary to remove trees, they will be replaced in numbers equal to or greater than the trees being removed. In addition, the University will commit to enhancing the landscape with plantings throughout the campus.
- Roof Top: The Pavilion has a roof like no other on campus. Grasses and local native plants have been planted on roof surface. The green space controls rain run-off and reduces the heat island affect, by naturally absorbing the sun's rays as opposed to reflecting them back into the atmosphere.
- Renewable Energy: A wind turbine and solar panels on the roof generate electricity for the building, and a ground source heating system helps cool the building during summer and heat it during winter.
- Electrical: By design, the building is energy efficient. Natural light and open areas are plentiful in order to reduce energy consumed for lighting. It has been proposed in some areas that a light meter will automatically dim lighting fixtures that are being superceded by the sunlight that is filtering in.
- Plumbing: Low water use faucets are used, along with dual flush toilet and low flow urinals. Most notable for the plumbing infrastructure is the provision of a cistern. This water-recovery system will gather rain runoff and contribute a portion of the water for use in the toilets and urinals.
- Ventilation: A heat recovery system will be in place on the fume hood exhaust system on top of the building. The reusable heat source will be coupled to the traditional heating system and contribute to space heating.
- Areas that are vacant for long periods of time will have the amount of air flow reduced, thereby decreasing the demand on the heating or cooling supply and the energy used to circulate it.
- Construction: Even the construction process of the new building is governed by strict guidelines. Before a single grain of dirt is turned on the site, the process of sustainable construction is underway.
- Contractors: will be accountable for a clean and efficient construction site, putting less strain on the environment around that immediate area.
The McIntosh Gallery was officially certified on October, 9, 2012. It is the nation's first building to be certified under the new, more stringent green building guidelines, LEED NC-2009. For the gallery, energy efficiency was key, seeing that the building was over 70 years old when it was renovated:
- The building’s windows were replaced with high-performance double- and triple-glazed windows.
- Sensors were installed to control lights and ventilation.
- Highly efficient, long-lasting LED lights were installed helping to better showcase the art.
The renovation efforts also inspired McIntosh staff to develop some of their own green initiatives – like targeting paper use to using only locally sourced walnut frames for art.
For more information about this renovation, please view the article published in Western News.