The Shaw Centre offers businesses, visitors and its staff an exceptional environmentally healthy and green meeting facility. The Board of Directors insisted on strong environmental performance and leadership because of the Centre’s location and as a commitment to doing what is right for the future of the planet.
The new facility uses materials that are regionally manufactured or recycled to contribute to the local economy and to mitigate against pollution associated with transportation. Finishing products such as carpets, millwork, and paints are low in volatile organic compounds. Air is preheated in winter as it enters the building to reduce energy costs. The facility also utilizes low flow plumbing to reduce water consumption and minimize impact on water and sewage treatment plants. A cistern system is in place to gather storm water to be recycled for toilet use and irrigation. A high reflective roof has been installed to minimize the ‘heat island’ effect, which increases the temperature in urban settings and impacts climate as well as wildlife.
The Centre has also implemented a comprehensive waste management program, complete with advanced collection and sorting plans. Another feature of the environmental plan is an advanced green housekeeping and maintenance regime that ensures that the building operates in a healthy and environmentally responsible way for all guests, colleagues and exhibitors. In their work on the new convention facilities, proponents were encouraged to come up with some of their own environmental innovations, but were required to meet LEED certification. LEED, which is administered in Canada by the Canada Green Building Council, stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is North America’s leading third party green building rating system. The Ottawa Convention Centre has been awarded LEED Gold Certification.
Shaw Centre became Canada’s first Founding Industry Member of the international Convene Green Alliance (CGA), a grass-roots industry initiative spearheaded by several high profile associations from around the world that aspire to positive environmental practices. Members of CGA, based in Arlington, Virginia, intend to leverage their combined influence to encourage the hospitality industry to minimize its environmental footprint throughout the world.