Edmonton City Hall
Certifications & Awards
- BOMA BEST
- Developer: City of Edmonton
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Robyn Webb, Environmental Strategies Team at the City of Edmonton
Edmonton City Hall is the home to the mayor and city council and also a number of City staff. The building is not only used for council meetings, it is also a public gathering place in Edmonton. City Hall holds the downtown farmer’s market in the winter time and many gatherings and celebrations that take place in the sunny atrium of the building.
- The building was built in 1992 before programs like LEED were in existence and before the City of Edmonton had a sustainable building policy. However, it has another environmental certification through the BOMA BEST program. It’s a certification system for energy and environmental performance in buildings. In this particular building that meant conversions to low energy use lighting, replacing the old carpet with more environmentally friendly carpet, and using green products in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The custodial staff in the building also use green cleaning products. Where a green building rating system like LEED is mostly intended for new construction, BOMA is oriented around the sustainable operations and everyday activities of the building.
- Outside of BOMA BEST, a number of sustainable practices were taken at the time of construction. The main floor in the atrium of the building has beige stone stripes on the floor; those are old travertine from the former city hall that sat on the current location.
- The burgundy pillars outside are constructed from reclaimed granite from the old city hall, as is the green marble on the top floor of the councilor’s wing. These are some of the same practices that would receive credits from a program like LEED, where you get points for reusing materials and recycling material in construction. The building was also designed to maximize natural light. The two glass pyramids flood the building with light during the day, and it minimizes a need to have electrical lighting in parts of the building.
- Recently, in the spring of 2017, the City of Edmonton passed a new Sustainable Building Policy which commits to using BOMA BEST in all of the City’s facilities. The City has committed to green construction projects through LEED for a number of years now but this represents a big change as not only are new buildings going to be constructed to green standards, but they will also be operated in an environmentally sustainable way.
- In Edmonton commercial buildings account for about 23% of the overall emissions in the city, so the City of Edmonton decided to show leadership in reducing emissions in its own municipal buildings in order to get the private sector on board. Other community actors are also excited about doing the same.
- All of the bathrooms in city hall have been installed with low flow toilets and faucets to minimize water use.
- Having the farmer’s market in the building is also symbolic of the City’s support for food and agriculture in general. While City Hall gives local vendors access to the public, the market acts to enliven city hall as a venue as well. City Hall is also home to a social enterprise called the Hallway Cafe. The restaurant serves as a training program for at risk youth. Run by local non-profit E4C, the restaurant shows the City’s strong commitment to community economic development and poverty reduction, and contributes to the social sustainability of the building.
- City Hall is well situated for citizens to access through various modes of sustainable transportation. Underneath the building is the Churchill LRT station. There are also many bus routes that pass by the building. The new downtown bike grid flanks the side of the building, and there are good pedestrian facilities around the building as well. The building is ideally situated for people to reach sustainably, which makes it a great place for large gatherings and festivals.