Using Success as a Model
The Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict is modeled after successful EcoDistricts in Portland, Seattle, Washington DC and other US cities. It is a model that has been proven to work. Not only does it make neighbourhoods more vibrant and sustainable, it is good for business. By creating an EcoDistrict you maximize energy, water and fuel efficiency. And reducing consumption saves everyone money.
A large percentage of the office space in Ottawa’s core has not been renovated in decades and many commercial tenants, including the Government of Canada, are looking to move to more energy efficient buildings as a way to cut energy costs. By thinking and planning ahead, we have the opportunity to transform the core’s old buildings into green buildings, making Ottawa’s downtown more attractive to businesses. Although the initial investment might be a little higher, it will pay off over time.
A study of 33 green buildings in California found that green building methods cost an average of 2 percent more than traditional construction – but this resulted in an average reduction in energy consumption of 30 percent per building. This initial investment of only 2 percent resulted in savings worth more than 10 times that added premium.
The EcoDistrict model also allows for the development of collaborative and innovative infrastructure that will cut cost and energy use. Collaborative large-scale initiatives such as shared district heating and cooling amongst buildings in the core would minimize individual costs and make buildings economically – and ecologically – more attractive to prospective tenants.
The list of benefits that come from transforming Ottawa’s core into an EcoDistrict is a long one. To find out more, read our detailed report Transforming the Core: the Benefits of an Eco-district approach.