West End Cultural Centre (WECC)
"We're also very proud. We've worked very, very hard to ensure that the redevelopment was done in a sustainable manner, from the site to water efficiency to the energy and atmosphere within the facility itself. "
—Meg McGimpsey, General Manager of the West End Cultural Centre
The West End Cultural Centre has announced that it is the first performing arts centre in Canada to achieve LEED Silver certification. The certification is given by the Canada Green Building Council (CGBC).
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification program that recognizes design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Renovations began in 2008 and the WECC set out from the beginning to make the building as environmentally friendly as possible.
"We're thrilled," says General Manager Meg McGimpsey. "We're also very proud. We've worked very, very hard to ensure that the redevelopment was done in a sustainable manner, from the site to water efficiency to the energy and atmosphere within the facility itself.
"But we've also been working on ensuring that our ongoing operations are sustainable as well, such as our green cleaning programs, our composting programs and encouraging active transportation. So it's nice to be recognized for that."
They are also pleased that over 75% of the waste that would have been directed to landfills in a normal construction project was redirected for other uses, "which is pretty phenomenal when you think about it," she adds.
The centre met rigorous criteria to receive certification. McGimpsey credits the many innovative people working on the project that were able to see the possibilities, including the redevelopment committee, Prairie Architects, Milestone Projects Management, private donors and sponsors as well as support from government.
"It's phenomenal that the centre was able to do such a large redevelopment project," says McGimpsey.
Along with the certificates, the centre also received a plaque that has been mounted in the lobby. It's a beautiful plaque built from Canadian maple, repurposing trees that were felled due to wind storms.
The West End Cultural Centre joins the likes of Mountain Equipment Co-Op and the University of Winnipeg Day Care who have also achieved LEED certification in Winnipeg.