First LEED building certified in the Yukon

Stantec and Taku Investments Inc. are pleased to announce the certification of the first LEED building in the Yukon, the reconstructed Taku Inn. Through extensive renovations, the historical Taku Inn has been transformed into a highly efficient and sustainable building for Coast Mountain Sports and a number of office tenants.

“This is very exciting for sustainable building and design in the Yukon,” says Craig Hougen, owner of the Taku Building. “The climate in Canada’s North makes it a challenge to achieve LEED certification, so we are very proud of our Whitehorse team for achieving these results.”

The renovations to the 1940s era building were envisioned by Craig Hougen and Mary-Jane Warshawski of Taku Investments Inc. and designed by FSC Architects and Engineers prior to their acquisition by Stantec in October, 2011.

The prominent downtown location and its imprint on the Whitehorse landscape prompted the design/build team to maintain its character while responsibly upgrading the building systems. Designers worked to maintain as much of the existing historical building as possible, while retrofitting it for modern use.

Existing floors were structurally upgraded and insulated with mineral wool insulation. Exterior walls were substantially increased in width to allow more mineral wool insulation and increased thermal comfort. All windows in the store are triple glazed, low “E” to maximize the insulation value.

The highly efficient heating and cooling system has the ability to move heat within the building before calling upon the high-efficiency boiler.  The system combination with independently controlled heat pumps now serves to supply heat and fresh air. Air quality was also a priority during construction with an indoor air quality plan implemented to protect ducting and materials from contaminants. Low VOC paints, adhesives, carpets and plastic laminates also help to maintain a healthy environment.

Water reduction is established through the use of low flow faucets, low flush toilets and low flow showerheads. Recycling was also a priority during the renovation. The hotel’s furniture was distributed to charitable organizations and wood, metal and copper material donated to the local recycling centre.

“This project proves sustainable building and design can be a reality for the future in the Yukon,” Hougen says.

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