1. What are the social benefits of this project?
This LEED certified building presents one of the best solutions to meeting the sustainable and environmental goals of Halifax, while strengthening the local economy and keeping the building affordable in the long term.
2. What are the overall advantages to retrofitting/remodeling the building?
• There will be numerous advantages to this retrofit including:
• Maximize energy efficiency and cost savings
• Renovating building systems increases overall building lifespan
• Reduce waste during construction and operation
• Individual premises will be able to use Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
after normal business hours without having to run the entire building system providing further energy efficiency
• Upgrading to higher interior and exterior environmental standards
• Develop a more attractive building and streetscape
3. What are the design highlights of the remodel?
• The new building will be LEED certified
• A significant increase in Class A office space to the downtown
• Incorporate a green roof to provide energy efficiencies to the building
• State-of-the-art mechanical systems for even greater energy efficiency
4. How will the heritage component be maintained?
The new office space will restore the façade of the Macara-Barnstead building and thoughtfully incorporate it into a new streetscape along Granville Street.
5. Isn’t this just facadism?
This is a design approach that integrates heritage character with the modern architecture and urban design.
6. What environmental impacts will there be during construction and operation?
There will be unavoidable aspects of construction such as noise and dust, which we will work to minimize during the building process.
The largest environmental impact will be the reduced carbon footprint of the office building. It is also expected that the amount of energy that will be used in the new, expanded building will be equal or less than the energy used in the existing building. In addition, the green roof will reduce the amount of rain water entering the sewer system.
An important aspect of the retrofit is the huge reduction of waste disposal as compared to demolishing the existing building and constructing a new one. The design team is reusing the existing building and upgrading it to extend its life.
7.When will the building be completed?
If things go as planned, the building should be completed in less than two years from start of construction.
8.Won’t the development cause major traffic problems?
During construction at certain times of the day there will be limited vehicular access to the adjacent block of Granville Street.
9. What is the economic impact of the development?
• This will be one of the first new commercial buildings in the downtown in 20 years
• A larger building will generate more tax revenue for HRM
• The renovation and expansion will create jobs for Nova Scotians in the construction industry
• The ability to offer larger and more efficient floor plans to tenants will draw companies from all over
to contribute to HRM
• The high level of energy efficiency of the building embodies the city’s commitment to sustainable building, an important message both for Nova Scotia and the rest of the world
10. Will this create jobs?
There will be about one hundred construction jobs created for the 2-year building period.
11. What makes this a green building?
The remodel is designed and constructed to increase environmental performance and create healthier working environments.
12. Is a green building more expensive?
Initially, yes – but a LEED building quickly pays back the preliminary investment in reduced energy, water and sewer costs, improved comfort and healthier air quality. Leasers are increasingly making decisions on energy efficient features and design, and this demand will only increase in coming years, as energy prices rise.