By combining Aboriginal values and international environmental practices the Aboriginal House has earned the University of Manitoba its first Gold LEED® status.This is only the fifth building in Manitoba to receive its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificate from the Canada Green Building Council.
“It feels great to get this award, we aimed for gold and we got it. It’s a significant achievement and it inspires us,” says Bill Schellenberg, manager of Architectural Services for the University.
The new building houses the Aboriginal Student Centre, the Access Program, some professors of Native Studies, the Office of University Accessibility and the University of Manitoba Aboriginal Student Association. It is a place of pride for the 1,600-plus Aboriginal students and staff on campus. Prairie Architects Inc., which included four University of Manitoba Aboriginal architecture students, was hired in 2004 to design the building. Dominion Construction, with an 80 per cent Aboriginal workforce, constructed the building.
“What makes this LEED building stand head and shoulders above the rest is the Aboriginal leadership and values that have been woven right in with the architecture and construction,” Marten Duhoux, chair of the Manitoba chapter of the Canada Green Building Council says.
Some of the numerous energy-efficiency, environmental features and Aboriginal features include:
· natural and recycled materials like locally-quarried Tyndall stone
· roundness of the building to reflect the Mother Earth
· seven interior poles representing the Seven Sacred Teachings
· main entrance faces the rising sun and respects the East, a
direction that signifies rebirth and new life to many Aboriginal people
· heated entirely with reclaimed energy (the first building on campus to do so)
· designed landscape requires no permanent irrigation system using a combination of xeriscaping and native, drought tolerant prairie species
· aerator faucets, automatic faucet shutoff devises, low-flow toilets and waterless urinals
· Natural daylight supporting interior lighting.
For more information please contact Sean Moore, public affairs, University of Manitoba, 204-474-7963 (email@example.com)
Marten Duhoux, chair Manitoba chapter, Canada Green Building Council, 204-792-0266 (firstname.lastname@example.org).