Triffo Hall takes LEED

Folio Staff

When the University of Alberta first considered the renovations of the historic South Lab building, it was with a typical patch and paint approach.

“This facility was in extremely poor condition and was looked at as a renewal of space, said Hugh Warren, director of infrastructure with the university’s Department of Planning and Infrastructure. “What we needed was a full-scale renewal that took a building with a poor facility condition index (total value of deferred maintenance divided by the replacement value of the building)back to a fully modern facility.”

That renewal process culminated in Triffo Hall, the focal point for graduate student activity on campus and the Killam Centre for Advanced Studies. The building was recently awarded with a gold level certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. LEED encourages sustainable, green building and development practices.

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.

“Did attaining LEED Gold come with a project cost premium? Yes. Was this premium worth the extra effort and dollars?  In this case, yes,” said Warren. “These buildings represent part of the fabric of the institution, and our growth and history over time. Not every older building needs to be demolished and, as demonstrated with Triffo Hall, a renewal can bring life back in a sustainable manner to a facility.”