Archives from July 2014

The greening trend in development is also taking place in a general sense beyond just LEED certification as developers see the benefits of moving in this direction.

“The way we look at it there’s kind of two things that help us form our decisions. One is we try and re-use and adapt existing buildings so you see that in some of the investments that we’re making in all of our markets but in Calgary in particular,” said Michael Hungerford, partner with Hungerford Properties, citing the Icon Business Park and the Nexus Business Centre which have undergone multi-million dollar refurbishments in the city. “Reuse and adapting existing buildings I think is the greenest decision of all because there’s so much energy that goes into building these buildings to begin with. To throw that all away and discard it into the landfill is a real waste of energy.

“The second thing is what I would call a green mindset. As a developer, as we make decisions having a green mindset, and putting your green hat on if you will, you go about planning and designing and building projects.”

There’s not just economic benefits but human benefits in going green, said Hungerford.

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According to a recent INC magazine survey, green architecture is one of the most promising industries for entrepreneurs in 2014 and beyond. That’s certainly true for Hungerford Properties, a real estate development company that is taking its latest commercial project – Nexus Business Centre -- to the next level of sustainability.

In Calgary’s Meridian/Franklin area, Nexus Business Centre is a new I-C zoned commercial development currently under construction that will offer business owners and investors a chance to buy modern, high-quality office and warehouse space. Its list of green features is extensive (see below).

With the trend towards green architecture growing, buildings like Nexus will be an increasing presence on the Prairie landscape. “It's all about making a deliberate choice to find ways to improve our buildings, reduce waste, and use sustainable materials,” says Michael Hungerford, partner with Hungerford Properties. “The impact is felt in the comfort of the building and the reduced operating costs over time. The allure of those green benefits is strong, both for developers and buyers.”

WATER EFFICIENCY

Nexus is one of very few developments in Calgary to include a storm water management system which harvests rain water and recycles it for potable water uses such as irrigation and toilets. The extra deep soil coverage retains rain water preventing excess runoff to storm sewers. “The flood of 2013 is still fresh in our minds. If we can find ways to reduce storm water outflow into the city system, we can make a small contribution to reducing flood impacts,” says Hungerford.  

SUSTAINABLE SITE

Nexus’ construction team follows an erosion and sediment control strategy that prevents construction activity pollution. In addition, adding over 300 plants and 67 trees planted on site will provide shade and reduce the heat island effect of asphalt parking areas.

TRANSIT

Nexus provides community connectivity, reducing the emissions associated with transportation. Nexus adds pedestrian and bike friendly access along 5th Avenue where none existed before. And the Marlborough Light Rail Transit (LRT) station located just 5 minute walk from Nexus allows for a 10% reduction inof required parking stalls.

Energy Efficiency

ENERGY STAR® heat pumps provide precise heating and cooling, uncompromising energy efficiency and ultra-quiet cooling performance. In addition, the building’s insulated metal panels provide 50% more energy efficiency than typical concrete panels and the Kawneer glazed curtain wall system has been Cradle to Cradle certified for its material content, recyclability and manufacturing characteristics with silver certification.

MATERIALS

Hungerford has deliberately chosen to use more sustainable materials, including low VOC materials such as paints, composite wood products and tiles, local Allan block for landscape design and recycling the former railway spur lines on the property. The insulated metal panels are made with recaptured metals, weighing only 3 pounds per square foot reducing transport and installation energy. The exterior skin of these panels contains a substantial amount of recycled content and the panels themselves are recyclable. “We make a deliberate choice to try to use materials and follow sustainable development practices,” says Hungerford. “It’s something both we and our buyers can be proud of.”

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