Edmonton Federal Building

Edmonton Federal Building

Edmonton, AB

Award Winner
Nedlaw Living Walls

Product Supplier & Designer: Dr. Alan Darlington, Nedlaw Living Walls
Product Supplier & Designer: Randy Walden, Nedlaw Group
Designer: Peter Streith, Kasian Architecture
Principal: Oliver San Agustin, Kasian Architecture
Job Captain: Les Poon, Kasian Architecture
Contract Administration: Susana Lui, Kasian Architecture
Principal Design: Bill Chomik, Kasian Architecture
LEED Coordinator: Esther Rivard-Sirois, GRP Kasian Architecture
Project Manager: Rob Mulyk, Kasian Architecture
Project Administration: Jennifer Tucker, Kasian Architecture

As well as being an aesthetic element, this biofilter is also a functional piece of machinery, improving indoor air quality. It actively removes pollutants from the air, generating over 1,500 cfm (700 litres per second) of virtual fresh air. That’s enough ‘fresh’ air to supply two thirds of the needs of over 150 people. And this virtual fresh air is generated using up to 90 per cent less energy than conventional air treatment systems.
— Dr. Alan Darlington, Nedlaw Living Walls

A Case Study in High Efficiency

The Bio-filter Living Wall system at the Edmonton Federal Building is the focal point of the large glass public atrium, the newly added grand entranceway into this rejuvenated historic building. The living wall and associated water feature provide a calm and serene environment in the busy public space. The vibrant layered and organic pattern of the plants makes the wall a work of art, and provides a foil for the otherwise angular and clean-lined space.

In the Edmonton Federal Building project, landscape and urban design were extremely important. The exterior of the building features numerous green roofs and an extensively landscaped plaza featuring local and native plant species. Utilizing a green wall within the building seemed the next logical step to ensure that the objectives so carefully considered on the exterior of the building also translated into the interior.

However, this living wall is not only aesthetic; it is also a working element of the building’s mechanical system. Air is actively drawn through the wall of plants, where biological components degrade pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene into harmless constituents of water and carbon dioxide. The living wall also filters fine particles such as dust and spores. Once these processes have occurred the air is distributed back to the space mechanically. The living wall also contributes to the humidity levels of the atrium space contributing innovation points to the LEED Gold certification goal.

The judges felt that this project presented an excellent integration of living wall technology into the public space of the building in both a functional and beautiful way.

Credit: Kasian & Nedlaw Living Walls

Credit: Kasian & Nedlaw Living Walls

Alberta Ecoroof Initiative

Alberta Eco-Roof Initiative

Calgary, AB

Award Winner
Green T Design

Designer: Kerry Ross, GRP, Green T Design
Designer: Bob Thornton, Studio T Design
Supplier: Marie-Anne Boivin, Soprema
Supplier: Trevor Sziva, Soprema
Contractor: Stephen Teal, GRP, Flynn Canada
Building Owner: Neil Ubi, Innovate Calgary
Building Owner: Dave MacKillop, Innovate Calgary

The Alberta Ecoroof Initiative project is the green roof that I have worked most with. It has evolved over time and my understanding of its characteristics and benefits has grown. I intentionally call it an ecoroof because it is not green all of the time; the changes in the colours, the varying blend of plant species over the seasons and the habitat it created has been an interesting wonder to observe.
— Kerry Ross, GRP, Green T Design

A Showpiece of Research and Function

An organization and building that houses a mixture of tech start-ups and likens itself to an ecosystem sprouts green roof habitat to deliver ecosystem services. The project serves as a key component to Innovate Calgary's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, but also serves as an example of clean technology. The green roof provides a tangible example to educate staff and visitors and it acts as a tangible resource for peers in the field of living architecture.

It was ten years ago this summer that the first phase of planting was undertaken on top of the link building that connects two wings of the Alastair Ross Technology Center in the University of Calgary Research Park.

This project distinguishes itself from other green roof projects as being the only known green roof in Alberta to feature different systems side by side, varying by type and depth of growing medium, and plant species selection. In addition to the various systems trialed here, a two year stormwater study was performed which demonstrated the effectiveness of green roofs to retain runoff.

By using a variety of planting systems and monitoring their progress, we have been identifying types of systems and species that thrive in the Calgary climatic region, noting successful outcomes as well as shortcomings. The installations serve as a green roof botanical garden.

Credit: Bob Thornton

Credit: Bob Thornton

Berry Architecture Office

Berry Architecture Office

Red Deer, AB

Award Winner
Berry Architecture + Associates

Architect & LEED Consultant: Berry Architecture + Associates
Landscape Designer: Living Lands Landscape & Design
Mechanical Engineer: Reinbold Engineering
General Contractor: Shunda Consulting & Construction
Electrical Engineer: Acuity Engineering & Consulting Service Ltd

Doing what was right for the environment was the first goal of this redevelopment project for Berry Architecture & Associates. We wanted to create a pleasant oasis for our staff and our clients where they could be surrounded by a little bit of nature in a downtown urban setting.
— George Berry, Owner, CEO, Berry Architecture + Associates

A Little Bit of Nature in a Downtown Urban Setting

Completed in 2011, the Berry Architecture + Downey Roth Hrywkiw Fidek LLP building was a complete revitalization and modernization of a run-down 1950’s bowling alley in downtown Red Deer, Alberta. The green roof, planted in 2012, enhances this downtown neighborhood both aesthetically and environmentally adding a variety of flowering plants and grasses to the area including canada buffalo -berry, prairie onion, wild flax, and wild bergamot.

Students cultivate vegetables and herbs from seed in the greenhouse that are transplanted into raised planting beds. With the help of teachers and parent volunteers the students at P.S. 6 Eco-Center grow fruits, vegetables and herbs for the school cafeteria's salad bar. They collaborate with the cafeteria staff to develop recipes for the produce grown on the roof.

A unique feature of the green roof is the flowing stream which provides habitat and support for birds and insects. Staff and clients enjoy the pleasant setting of this natural retreat through a variety of social events including barbeques and green roof parties, as well as meetings and lunch time gatherings. Three raised planters provide fresh herbs and vegetables for the staff who take turns caring for the gardens. The gardens and stream are watered exclusively through the grey water system. Stormwater is collected in holding tanks located in the mechanical room on the main floor. That stormwater is then used to water the garden planters, refill the stream as needed, and even provide water to on-site toilets. All non-vegetable plants are indigenous species which do not require watering. Since the renovation, the runoff discharge rate and quantity values have decreased by more than 25%.

One goal of the green roof was creating a bio-diverse habitat for wildlife with an emphasis on indigenous pollinators by providing food with a wide range of indigenous plant species, as well as flowing water and perching and nesting sites. Other goals were to decrease the impact of rainwater run-off on the municipal water system and to improve the air quality of the urban environment by installing the roof on a formerly plant-free site.