LEED Platinum is a certification reserved for only the most sustainable projects in the world. In Canada, the largest LEED Platinum project is the University of Calgary Child Development Centre (CDC), a project built on the ideals of a sustainable future for its patients. Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. explains, “We discovered a lot about the level of collaboration that is required for a project of this kind. Every design element incorporated into the facility had to be considered from a complexity of angles –functionality, efficiency, sustainability, budget and aesthetics.”
Contributing to the sustainable nature of the project’s design are the integrated solar panels, “one of the largest photovoltaic arrays to be integrated into a buildings design in Canada,” according to the architects. Renewable energy techniques and natural daylighting systems reduce the energy costs of the building as well.
The University of Calgary explains, “The CDC is one of the most heavily instrumented buildings in North America, with the ability to monitor everything from boilers to elevators. The building uses grey water in its toilets, low-flow water fixtures, photovoltaic panel sunshades and a state-of-the-art HVAC system.”
Both zinc and aluminum composite cladding were chosen for the exterior of the center. Interestingly, the use of durable cladding materials allows for the building to require little maintenance and more significant weatherability protection than other exterior materials. Canada’s Thermal Systems fabricated the metal and Alucobond aluminum composite panels; the team was responsible for over 38,000 square feet of cladding material. A compelling component of the building’s facade is the large child’s handprint created on the multicolored Alucobond panels using 3M film.
As a healthcare facility, where you’ll have researchers and practitioners on site, the playful structure could have chosen a more clinical look but instead the architects chose a compelling façade that is inviting in its design, especially for children. The world-class research that takes place within the building is reflected in its exterior, showcasing that both the building and its functionality inside will benefit children for generations.
The project won the 2008 Calgary Award for Environmental Achievement from the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA).
information courtesy of Thermal Systems and The University of Calgary
photography courtesy of the University of Calgary and Oliver Shay via Green Architecture and Building Report