MASBO News - 2015 - (Page 29)

UPDATE ON SUSTAINABILITY for the New Schools in MANITOBA By Kyle A Lewkowich, MAA Architect, Sustainable Schools Design and Construction Public Schools Finance Board (PSFB) Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning S ince the Province enacted the Manitoba Green Building Policy in 2007, it is widely acknowledged that new provincially funded school buildings are at the leading edge of sustainable building design and construction. However, as project timelines for new school design (a multi-year process involving extensive collaboration between School Divisions and Public Schools Finance Board) and construction (again, a lengthy multi-year process for buildings that may be as large as 9300 square metres [100,000 square feet] in area) can be lengthy, we are only now coming to the end of the long process that will confirm the sustainability bona fides for a number of schools that began planning and programming in 2008. Despite the fact the Green Building Policy mandates a LEED Silver certification target as the minimum standard for design and construction, under the third-party LEED Reference Guide and rating system, the Public Schools Finance Board (PSFB) took a departmental stance to perform better the minimum, and pursue a higher standard of LEED Gold for major new school projects. The rationale for this decision was that students are an occupant class that can specifically benefit from buildings that are not only energy efficient and highly durable, but that are uniquely designed with healthy interior and exterior environments that support growing bodies and growing minds. The results are now in for the first of the schools designed since the advent of the Policy, and the major addition to Arborgate Middle School, Seine River School Division has been successfully certified as the first LEED Gold school in Manitoba. Arborgate joins Ecole Communautaire Aurele-Lemoine (Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine) (LEED Silver) as the only certified schools in Manitoba, (although it should be noted that design of Aurele-Lemoine actually predated the Policy). Nevertheless, a number of other school projects are currently in the third-party evaluation phase, and the process is therefore ongoing. In the current iteration of the LEED Reference Guide, which is a key evaluation metric referenced by the Green Building Policy, we have found that targeting a LEED Gold certification is possible and achievable, although there are challenges that are unique to every project. Experience has shown that challenges can be design-related, construction-related, and even LEEDaccounting related. Design-related challenges, for example, may arise on any project, when budget demands may affect system or building assembly choices, while construction-related challenges may relate to installation issues, product-substitution during construction, workmanship, and even weather. LEED-accounting challenges will arise after the construction and design is complete, when the third-party certifiers are poring over the pages and pages of data, energy model information, forms, and contractor-supplied information that supports the submission of the project documents made for LEED certification. This documentary submission, which takes places after the contractors and consultants have moved to the next job, and which itself can easily extend for longer than a year, is lengthy, arduous, and can suffer from the type of communication problems that always exist when third-party evaluators are expected to subjectively analyze complicated data 29 * MASBO NEWS 2015 about a project they know nothing about, based on information that is written for them by a consultant team that has been working on the project for years. Fortunately, most of these challenges, to date, have been successfully met. If we look ahead to future challenges for new school design, we foresee a number of potential opportunities and risks. Happily, it appears that, both from energy modeling data, and from actual post-occupancy data, the highestperforming new schools, from an energy use perspective, are operating at approximately 60 to 65 per cent better than a base-case building designed to the 1997 Model National Energy Code for Buildings. A challenge, going forward, will be determining how to continue to tune the buildings to even greater energy efficiency, while not repeating the design mistakes of the 1960s and 1970s when natural light, fresh air, and windows were considered the enemy of energy efficiency. A similar opportunity arises from the fact that as the building design becomes more efficient, it edges closer to being net-zero ready, as energy loads reduce to the point where the use of active and passive solar strategies can demonstrably offset significant amounts of the power needs of the building. Making the decision to move towards using active solar as a design strategy will take longterm vision to counteract the established and ingrained belief that active solar is too expensive in the short-term, too difficult to integrate, and too untested for Manitoba. However, the day is coming when we will see school buildings outfitted with alternative energy-producing continued on page 30

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MASBO News - 2015

MASBO 2014–2015 Executive
2014–2015 Committees
Message from the MASBO President
Message from the Executive Director
Honourary/Life Members
Under Construction –
MASBO Announces an Exclusive Pre-Conference Workshop
MASBO Annual Convention: “Emotional Intelligences in Action”
“It Ain’t What You Do…”: The Power of Emotional Intelligence
MASBO Welcomes New Executive Members
MASBO Says Farewell
2015 Grey Owl Award Recipient
Pupil Transportation: The Requirements and the Realities
The Canadian Pupil Transportation Conference is “Going to Winnipeg” in 2016
Workplace Safety and Health Programs Evolving in Manitoba School Divisions
MSBA Pension Plan Update
9 Things Highly Effective Leaders Do
Update on Sustainability for the New Schools in Manitoba
Index to Advertisers

MASBO News - 2015