January 5th - 2010

OREA main office now a green building

OREA held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony in December to celebrate the completion of the green building renovations to the Duncan Mills office.

OREA held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony in December to celebrate the completion of the green building renovations to the Duncan Mills office.

The original building was built in 1969 and the much-needed renovation and expansion serves to house classrooms as well as staff and meeting space and now includes five classrooms with a capacity of 150 students. Classes start in the new building in January 2010.

OREA took the “opportunity to build a LEED building – one that would not only contribute to preserving our environment but would also save us money in operating expenses,” said OREA President Pauline Aunger.

The upgraded building includes new windows, cooling and heating systems, and water fixtures, and 90 percent of the demolished material has been recycled or reused.

Following the LEED
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings not only save money in operating cost, but also can provide healthier work environments, which has been shown to contribute to higher productivity and improved occupant health and comfort.

LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas: sustainable site development; water efficiency; energy efficiency; materials selection, and; indoor environmental quality.

So even though the renovations increased the size of the building by 25 per cent, operating costs are expected to drop by three per cent, said Aunger. Some of the key features of the building designed to meet the LEED requirements also make it more comfortable.

For example, every 200 square feet there is a window that opens, which means less requirement for heating and cooling in the spring and fall. It also means that 95% of staff have a view to the outside.

The building makes maximum use of natural light. Office walls include glass to allow for the flow of natural light to everyone, and partitions are designed so that everyone can stand up and see natural light sources. There are no light switches in the hallways. Instead, there are occupancy sensors which turn lights on when there is movement and turn them off after a period of no movement.

The LEED process is not just about construction: it is also a look at how to operate as a business, and with an internal recycling program, housekeeping products program, and a green meetings program we are on the way to meeting our certification goal.

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For more information contact

Ontario Real Estate Association

Jean-Adrien Delicano

Manager, Media Relations

JeanAdrienD@orea.com

416-445-9910 ext. 246