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Green, Efficient Civic Buildings

Houston's new Leisure Facility utilizes a geo-exchange energy system to provide space and water heating. / District of Houston.Green, efficient civic buildings, for example municipal halls, libraries, and recreation centres, can provide attractive, comfortable and healthy spaces for the use of the local government and community. These low carbon buildings:

  • Use only the minimum amount of energy needed for operation
  • Utilize renewable energy sources, rather than fossil fuels, for heating, cooling and power 

Existing civic buildings may be retrofitted to reduce energy consumption and emissions and reduce operating costs, improving long-term fiscal performance. New or replacement building design and operation can incorporate green, efficient design, maximizing energy and emissions performance.

Green, low-carbon civic buildings are efficient, use low-emission energy sources, and provide improved indoor working environments.

Local governments typically have direct control over their buildings. Retrofits and green design can often be cost-neutral, making civic buildings a key area for action.

Green buildings, for example as defined by the LEED™ system, in addition to reducing energy and emissions of each unit of floor space, also reduce water and resource impacts, provide healthier and more productive working environments, and support alternative transportation.

Future low-carbon buildings are also energy- and resource-efficient to build and operate for a given amount of service provision. “Net zero” energy buildings, requiring no net external energy input to operate, have been put forward as a longer term goal, and these will become more practical as the building industry advances its knowledge. 

Whistler Public Library with green roof / Resort Municipality of Whistler

[Use the tabs above to learn WHY this sector is important in GHG management and HOW you can reduce emissions in civic buildings.]

[1] Building Green Inc. (September 2007). The Transportation Energy Intensity of Buildings. Environmental Building News.
[2] Canadian Green Building Council. City of Vancouver National Works Yard.
[3] Paul Kernan Architect & Sheltair
Group. (2002). LEED Implementation Guide for Municipal Green Buildings. Greater Vancouver Regional District.

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