Tower worth doing well
Let’s face the facts. If the nine-storey office tower is built on top of city’s civic centre, chances are this tower will remain the city’s responsibility indefinitely. Even if a private buyer comes along, the city would not be able to sell the tower, not completely, anyway, because this is not a freestanding structure. It forms a complex with a civic centre, which will share several structural elements and building systems, like foundation, parkade, roof.
So, if the business tower is built, it shall conform to the same environmental, energy and sustainability requirements as all civic buildings in British Columbia. We know it will be LEED certified, but these days LEED is considered a ‘minimum requirement.’
A number of buildings in Metro Vancouver recently have been built to much more advanced standards, which include features like charge stations for electric cars, living roofs, energy recovery systems, ISO 50001 compliance, use of local materials as in BC Wood First Act. Examples of such buildings are the North Vancouver library, Richmond Oval and more.
Making the New Westminster business tower a ‘high-performance’ building will be truly good for the environment! It will be good for business, too. In tomorrow’s highly competitive office space market (20 towers are being added in Vancouver alone, plus a very large one in Metrotown), superior green credentials help promote the building, get a lot of positive media coverage, attract progressive-minded tenants, make leasing easier and command higher rates.
Any job worth doing is worth doing well, as people say. The business tower/civic centre at Columbia and Eighth Street shall be the ‘greenest’ building structure in New Westminster. At least until a new library and aquatic centre are built.