Monday, June 6, 2011

Ontario's city hall goes green

ONTARIO - When city officials committed to building a more sustainable community, they knew the only way to achieve it was if they took the lead. That's what they did with the renovation of City Hall.

The $21.9 million building incorporates sustainable practices that will not only reduce the city's carbon footprint but lead to energy savings and cost savings over time.

"It's important that we not only set the pace but set the example," Councilman Jim Bowman said.

The building has been designed to meet Silver LEED certification standards. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system. Meanwhile, the sustainable design status is given by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Work on LEED certification started as soon as officials embarked on the 19-month demolition and construction process, and in order to improve their chances of reaching the silver rating, Ontario officials had to be certain that they recycled as much material as possible from the demolition of the interior of the building. All waste was separated into various types thus minimising the impact on the landfill – a move that was simple enough for the city which already maintains an active recycling program.

To bring the old building into the 21st century, energy efficient lighting has been installed. Windows in the building have also been double paned, to retain heat. Another portion of the project was improving the plaza area in the interior courtyard of the building. Trees and new seating have been brought in and a metal shade structure now surrounds the windows. The structure will help block the direct sunlight that would otherwise hit the building.

In the courtyard, as well throughout the entire building, officials have placed California drought tolerant plants. In an effort to save even more water a drip irrigation system was installed underneath the plants, which releases water directly to the roots.

The city has removed the cement and installed permeable pavers around the building. The change will allow water to seep into the ground rather than creating groundwater runoff. However, the project continues to extend itself to the parking lot, with officials earning extra points in providing specific parking spots for fuel efficient vehicles.

The city of Ontario is currently preparing for a re-dedication ceremony for the newly renovated City Hall.

No comments:

Post a Comment