Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Building breaks Northern frontiers

Lisa Scott
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (June 17/05) - When the new federal building on Franklin Avenue is completed this fall, it will ring in a new era of construction in the North.

Or so hopes Doug Ritchie of Ecology North.

The non-profit environmental group and the Arctic Energy Alliance made sure a public tour of the eco-conscious building was on the agenda for Environment Week.

"We wanted to give people an opportunity to see energy efficiency in action. It's one thing to tell people about it, it's another thing to show them," he said.

John Droog, PCL Constructors area manager, pointed out the $2 million south-facing solar wall that will provide 10 per cent of the building's energy needs.

The wall is only one of many features that will make it easy on the environment and a pleasant place to work as well.

Low volume air circulation will provide more consistent temperatures, natural light through windows that actually open will also be utilized.

"People work better in natural light. They feel better," said Droog.

A soil and grass green area on the roof will be accessible by everyone in the four-storey building. Grey water collected on the roof and ground water will flush its toilets.

Rather than use ground water, other high rises in the city run pumps 24 hours a day to control it's flow, Droog told the crowd of 20 people.

Workers may have to get out their bicycles or car pool, since the building will have minimal parking. Seven spots will be reserved for car poolers.

The building will be 40 per cent more efficient than a standard building, said Droog.

"You pay a little bit more up front, but end up saving a lot more in running the building," he said.

"I hope with this building, that we'll start to raise the standards of construction, not only with government buildings, but with all buildings throughout Yellowknife."