A downtown business has earned the gold standard when it comes to environmentally conscious construction, after a lot of effort went in to making it as green as possible.
And the starring role in their Gold Certification under LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, standards is a green roof, featuring a stream, plants and a vegetable garden.
Berry Architecture and Associates and Downey Roth Hrywkiw Fidek Chartered Accountants completed the renovation of their building, the former Red Deer Bowladrome, three years ago.
And on May 9, they earned the gold certification, second only to platinum on the stringent rating system looking at eco-conscious construction.
“We felt as architects we had to put out there what we preach to people,” said George Berry, CEO for Berry Architecture. “We didn’t feel it was right to be telling people how to be environmentally responsible, without doing it ourselves.
“We just said, let’s do it. There are enough people out there talking and we wanted to do.”
The two companies bought the building in 2011 and finished work on it in 2012. Berry said rather than seek out the LEED rating immediately, they ran a full year of heating and cooling to see how much energy they were able to save. After that year-long cycle, they sought their LEED certification.
The renovations were done to improve energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, modern comfort and functionality.
“It’s been great to show leadership in the environmental design and re-design of buildings,” said Jerome Roth, a partner at Downey Roth Hrywkiw, in a news release. “This building has been very economical and a great opportunity for us to provide a very healthy environment for staff and clients.”
Berry said he was most proud of the green roof, which also doubles as a space for employees to use.
“We literally put a new roof overtop of the existing roof, because the structure couldn’t handle it,” said Berry, calling it a key priority for him and his business partner Susanne Widdecke.
“Our garden has already been planted there, we grow a lot of our own vegetables that we’ll eat over the summer. On beautiful days, we’ll have the barbecue going on there. We don’t discourage our staff from grabbing their laptop and going up on the roof.”