Enermodal’s green building mandate begins with its head office.
With three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification ratings (New Construction, Commercial Interiors, and Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance), Enermodal Engineering’s Kitchener, Ontario headquarters sets a standard for environmentally responsible building development. A Grander View, named for its location on the Grand River, was completed in 2009. The building uses 82 per cent less energy than it would if it had been built conventionally.
Factor in the Platinum certification of its Calgary office and Platinum candidacies in Toronto and Denver, and it becomes obvious that the Canadian consulting firm is a leader in the green building industry. With over 250 projects in various stages ranging from design and construction to pending or certified, Enermodal consults on over 40 per cent of all LEED-certified buildings.
Richard Lay is a senior mechanical engineer at the Kitchener office. He says that he’s very happy with the 2009 improvements to LEED criteria, which are more focused on balancing both energy and water efficiency. He explains that before the LEED program, it could sometimes be difficult to convince clients to spend a little extra on water conservation efforts, because water and sewage were already relatively low cost. Now, however, LEED certification gives clients an extra push to use water more responsibly without compromising quality on amenities or design.
The Centre for Conservation at Ball’s Falls is a great example. Part of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, the centre is a Gold-certified LEED building that is leading the way in water stewardship. In addition to low-flow fixtures, waterless urinals and on-site sewage treatment, Enermodal also installed three rainwater cisterns that supply the water for both toilets and outdoor irrigation. The landscaping consists of native species to ensure that plants can survive with very minimal irrigation requirements.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s LEED Platinum Restoration Services Centre is another great example of Enermodal’s work. The centre uses low-flow fixtures, composting toilets and waterless urinals, meaning that they use absolutely no water for wastewater conveyance. Rainwater harvested on the roof and directed into a nearby pond along with surface drainage is used for irrigation. Compared to a conventional building of the same size, the building’s indoor water use is effectively reduced by 80 per cent.
Enermodal also strongly believes in conserving at home. In addition to the buildings themselves being green, the firm offers employee incentives for driving hybrids, taking transit and even using compost bins and rain barrels. In further attempts to become carbon neutral by 2014, they have even installed video conferencing in each North American office to avoid travel whenever possible.
This winter sees a new era for Enermodal as they settle into a partnership with MMM Group, combining their 30 years of expertise in sustainable design, LEED certification and green buildings with MMM Group’s expansive national and international consulting capabilities. The firms are already working together on two of the largest public-private partnership projects in Canada. — Jessie Davis