West Village, located one kilometer from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and 30 minutes from Buffalo in the United States is one of the largest buildings in North America to achieve LEED® Platinum Status. West Village’s developer and owner, Dundurn Edge Developments, took every practical step towards using energy efficient building materials to create the most environmentally friendly and environmentally sustainable building possible. Two, 9-storey buildings stand on site, housing 449 students in 107 suites. Energy efficient building materials in the building, include NUDURA Insulated Concrete Forms, a cistern system to collect rain water, and an evacuated tube solar collector system. With the shortage of off-campus housing for students, as well as problems with students moving into single family dwellings, Robert Manherz, the president of Dundurn Edge Developments saw an opportunity for his company to do their part in creating a solution that utilized energy efficient building materials.
The decision to utilize energy efficient building materials to obtain a LEED® rating was determined in the very early stages of the building design process. This decision was based mainly on Manherz’s experience with using energy efficient building materials in the construction of his cottage.
“When we did an analysis of what we were trying to do versus what the requirements were for LEED,we were right on the boarder between Gold and Platinum, why not go for Platinum?” Manherz said. With the use of energy efficient building materials such as NUDURA Insulated Concrete Forms for the exterior walls, as well as, the largest evacuated-tube solar system in the province Platinum status was easily achieved. Stephan Carpenter, President of Enermodal Engineering said, “The Platinum certification was due in part to energy savings of 57 percent”.
NUDURA energy efficient building materials also played another major role in reducing energy usage in the building as well as improving the performance of other energy efficient building materials in the building. David W. Myles, president of Emcad, the design build firm for West Village said “Because the building had a NUDURA wall system, it had a higher resistance R-Value on the building envelope. It meant that I could downsize the boiler, heating and cooling systems sizing”. In turn, thousands of dollars were saved during the construction of West Village, and a more enjoyable indoor environment was achieved.
Operating for more than a year. “In terms of water savings, we are spending about 36 cents per-person per-month for water, which translates into about $200 per-month on water bills for the whole buildings and there are 450 people living there. By comparison, my house uses $12 per person per month. Effectively we are using about 14 liters on water per-person per-day, which is basically three or four toilet flushes. We spend about $40,000 on gas and $85,000 on electricity last year- it works out to about $1,000 of utilities per-apartment, per year” – Robert Manherz- President of Dundurn Edge Developments Manherz also commented on the speed of construction “We started on the ground floors in January 2007 and basically did one floor every 10 days on both towers.” NUDURA Walls also contributed LEED® points due to their long lifespan of nearly 100 years.
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