Once upon a time, in the magical land of Victoria, there was a store. This store was a very special store you see. It resided in a very old part of Victoria. (built 1982) The building was once called the Vogue Building. People used to slumber here when they came to visit the magical land from abroad. It was a very nice hotel, originally built with a timber post-and-beam structure with a concrete front. A very architecturally pleasing one at that. Since then the nice shop keepers have changed a few things to show the true beauty of it’s natural wood, along with let a little more light in.

Let’s warp speed up to 2013 shall we? The store I’m talking about is MEC. (Mountain Equipment Co-op, opened in 2006) Can I just say how cool this place is? Seriously. It’s in one of my favorite looking buildings in all of town; it’s painted this bright sunny yellow that just makes you want to smile; you can buy the coolest stuff here for all of your outdoor adventures; and it’s GREEN. Obviously not the colour green…that would mean I lied to you a second ago. No, I mean green as in environmentally green! Reclaimed wood and straw board, approved by the Forest Stewardship Council, is used in the displays and fitting rooms. Decorative wood boards in fixtures come from reclaimed submerged trees. These are harvested from flooded reservoirs, by a local company, reducing the demand for living trees. Recycling at a while new level. Not to mention all the flooring behind the scenes that we don’t see is made of renewable materials.

Because MEC used a Heritage building instead of building one from scratch, they were able to change a few things to make it even “greener.” This resulted in a store that reduces energy consumption by 36% compared to a conventional building. This translates to an annual energy savings of approximately $15,000 – $20,000.Regionally sourced materials (i.e., Parallam) are used where possible to reduce the embodied energy and pollution in transport of materials. MEC really though of everything they could do to make this store a place that’s not just for the community to shop at, but actually betters the Capital on an environmental level. This store reflects a 100% commitment to renewable energy through the use of Green Power Certificates (BC Hydro Power Smart). I could go on for days about everything they’ve done.

  • T5 fluorescent bulbs reduce interior heating loads by over 50%, compared to the base building mode, while sensors in non-public spaces turn lights off when space is vacant.
  • Interior paints contain low or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and the store also uses low-VOC sealants and caulking.
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Heat pump blowers and ductwork cool the premises using outdoor air, minimizing the use of air conditioning compressors. And a state-of-the-art DCC (Direct Digital Control) system provides accurate and flexible equipment operation, minimizing energy waste.
  • Heat recovery ventilators capture heat from air, and from display lighting, and redistribute it throughout the store. The store is also heated with high-efficiency (SEER 16) heat pumps, using C02 sensors to optimize energy usage. Neither fossil fuels nor ozone-depleting refrigerants are used to heat or cool the store.

It’s companies like MEC, and communities that back them up, that will help us sustain our world for the next generation. We only have one planet for us to live on, we need to do everything we can to make it last longer! Whether that be using reclaimed wood the next time you’re building something, or even getting your flat roof re-done by Tiocoat! Things like that can be so easy! It’s environmentally friendly and LEED certified! flat roof solution white reflective rubber roofThey really say it best over at Tiocoat. “The intent is to reduce heat islands (thermal gradient differences between developed and undeveloped areas) to minimize impacts on micro climates and human and wildlife habitat.” Go Check them out! http://www.tiocoat.com/ And always remember, you may just be one person, but everything you do to help earth matters!

xox

Written by: Christina Scheurle

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