Visiting a City Hall on a Doors Open tour doesn’t sound like something that would make the top of anyone’s list – but they probably haven’t seen Vaughan’s City Hall. When the doors open October 1-2, you can bet there’ll be long line-ups to see this place.
Vaughan’s City Hall, a combination of eco-friendly and energy-saving designs, is truly state-of-the-art technology. Designed by Canadian architectural firm Kuwabara Payne McKenna and Blumberg, the structure is expected to be one of the largest to earn the Gold certification for LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is an internationally accepted benchmark for high performance green buildings. According their website, “LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.” Construction began in 2007.
So what makes Vaughan’s City Hall so cool?
The design includes a resource library, a civic square, a reflecting pool, a skating rink, gardens and parkland. Taking the “whole-building” approach, Vaughan’s City Hall focuses on energy conservation and a reduced dependance on natural resources. The city expects to save 25% in operational costs. Features include:
- maximum exposure to daylight
- passive solar shading
- energy-efficient heating and cooling systems
- natural ventilation
- water efficient landscaping
- fully accessible with wider aisles, ramps, automatic doors and lower counters
- low-growth vegetation on approximately 50% of the roof
- natural vegetation in the public gardens to minimize water and maintenance requirements
- locally sourced materials such as corn fibre carpeting, North American white oak, Wiarton limestone and Terrazzo flooring