Dockside Green’s integrated design team celebrates groundbreaking achievement

Busby Perkins+Will announced that the completion of the highest-scoring LEED Platinum-certified building on record, Dockside Green Residential Phase I, in Victoria, British Columbia, marks its fourth LEED Platinum-certified project and the firm’s 29th LEED-certified project. In addition to designing Phase 1, Busby Perkins+Will was responsible for the design of the master plan for the entire 15-acre mixed-use Dockside Green development, which is expected to become the first LEED Platinum community in the world.

“Sustainable design has always been in the DNA of our corporate culture,” said Perkins+Will CEO & President, Phil Harrison. “Dockside Green represents the future of sustainable design, and we are proud to work with the developers, Windmill West and Vancity Enterprises, to change the way the building industry views sustainable development.”

Dockside Green Phase I, also referred to as “Synergy,” includes four detached buildings constructed over a common underground parking structure, including a nine-storey residential tower with minor commercial units on the ground floors; a two-storey townhouse; a six-storey building with minor commercial units on the ground floor; and a four-storey residential building which reached Platinum at 63 points, making it the highest-scoring LEED Platinum-certified project in the world. Formerly, the highest-ranked Platinum project was the Minnesota-based Aldo Leopold Legacy Center at 61 points.

Dockside Green is employing an integrated energy system that ensures the development will be greenhouse gas-neutral, while also providing the opportunity for the project to become a net-energy provider. The system includes a biomass gasification plant that converts locally sourced wood waste into a clean burning gas to produce heat and hot water. Among the development’s many other sustainable features are: an on-site wastewater treatment that is expected to save more than 70,000 gallons of water annually; rooftop gardens; a car co-op with Smart Car; and additional energy-saving features including Energy Star appliances, heat recovery ventilations units, Low E double-glazed windows and exterior blinds on the west and south faces of each building. A series of ponds spread throughout Dockside’s central greenway also assist in on-site stormwater storage while the greenway itself provides the development with significant public open space.

“Our integrated design process empowered us to work with a large team of players to develop a vision for Dockside Green that is truly sustainable,” said Peter Busby, a Founding Member and Current Chair of the Canada Green Building Council and Managing Director of Busby Perkins+Will. “Dockside Green raises the bar for large-scale urban design and planning, and produces an unrivalled sustainable community.”

When complete, the Dockside Green development will be a community of approximately 2,500 residents and will also include live/work, hotel, retail, office and light industrial uses, as well as numerous public amenities. Each of the development’s 26 buildings is designed for LEED Platinum certification.

“We have set a target for our entire community to be LEED Platinum,” said Joe Van Belleghem, co-chair of Windmill West and development manager of Dockside Green. “To receive this level rating for our first phase is a testament to the exceptional commitment of our architects Busby Perkins+Will and all our partners, contractors and consultants.”

The local community has enthusiastically embraced Dockside Green: when “Synergy” first went to market in December 2005, 85 percent of the residences were sold within the first three hours. The second phase of the project, “Balance,” is currently under construction and expected to be complete in early 2009.

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