The new Qualicum Beach fire hall will focus on achieving high energy efficiency rather than gaining LEED certification.
Director of planning with the town, Luke Sales, said a program like LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, looks at every aspect of environmental building, starting with location, materials and handling of waste.
“I hope this wouldn’t be taken as a criticism but in some ways it’s spread too far, and in discussion we realized it might be more beneficial to the community and be a greater opportunity to show leadership to focus on one aspect of green building and that is energy efficiency,” he said.
The project is looking to be approved for funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund, so staff reviewed all the projects that have been awarded money in the energy category.
The highest energy reduction that has been achieved in the same time period the Qualicum Beach fire hall project is looking at, has been 71.5 per cent, compared with a typical fire hall.
The Qualicum Beach fire hall project will aim for 75 per cent reduction.
“Seventy five per cent reduction is a target that we can hit and it’s a target that would put Qualicum Beach well out in the forefront,” said Sales. “And I think its something that we can be very proud of.”
Although many of the projects that have been awarded funding from the Green Municipal Fund have had LEED certification, Sales said town staff and the fire hall working group believe this will show leadership and make their project stand out.
A motion at town council Monday night passed to target the 75 per cent energy reduction, as well as 25 per cent water consumption reduction and maximum utilization of site milled timber, as well as exploring other green building opportunities.