In Regina there is a substantial lacking of Eco friendly buildings and homes. The city has recently put in a new recycling system which will cut garbage in our dump by mass amounts with efforts to start to an Eco friendly environment, however we are a suburban area and therefore do not need to worry so much about smog and chemical pollution. Regina is in the beginning stages of doing what we can do as a city to be as “Green” as possible.
The concept of “Green” in my personal opinion means to make something as Eco friendly as possible. Essentially the idea of “Green” is to use the planets natural resources as much as possible to cut down on man made resources that are hurting our earth. Now a days it is even becoming a cost effective investment to choose Eco friendly options like Solar Power or natural insulation’s. At first this is a costly investment but in the long run will save the planet and your wallet. On the prairies we have started using wind turbines to generate energy and you will start to see more solar panels going up on buildings and housing. My old high school has an environmental club who fund raised enough money to put 10 solar panels on our school’s flat roof and will cut one third of their electrical bill over time. There are certainly young Global activists around us in Saskatchewan even if the city is just getting on board now.
Innovation Place is a Crown Cooperation in Saskatchewan that operates 26 buildings in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert. They pride themselves on building Eco friendly establishments as well as researching and putting into action the latest technology. When building they lay down all carpeting and ceiling tiles before putting up the interior walls to cut down on excess waist and labor costs as well as taking the extra time to build the exterior as tight as possible so the building will retain heat and keep cool naturally. This costs a little more to do but will cut down immensely on operating costs.
When there is a need for renovation or demolition the company will do its best to salvage and recycle any materials that can be reused such as doors, ceilings and light fixtures. If there is an excess of these materials they will be donated to Habitat for Humanity or other charitable organizations.
One specific example of being environmentally cautious is their efforts to conserve water. By making all toilets low flow and all fixtures touch less they are cutting down on the time the water flows and how much is wasted. It does not end in the bathroom, however. Outside they plant drought-tolerant plants as well as moister sensors and rain water sensors to control when the water comes on.
Another specific example is what the company does to minimize overall energy requirements. They use heat pumps in the winter seasons and heat recovering systems recover most of the heat leaving the building to pre-warm air coming into the building. The company has set in operating schedules that are closely monitored to lower temperatures on evenings and weekends as well as do thermal scans on the older buildings to see where there is energy leakage. A vertical wind turbine was just installed around Wascana Park in Regina in partnership with the University that will be used for research as well as a solar array on the Atrium building in Saskatoon with net metering arrangements with the city of Saskatoon.
Innovation place is truly a ground breaking company in Saskatchewan for the Eco friendly market. From the very first sketch of the building to handing over the keys every inch of it has been thought through to be as environmentally friendly as possible. They are helping to lead Saskatchewan and push them to be an environmentally cautious community. With Regina’s new recycling system, active youth and Eco friendly companies all actively pushing our community I am sure Regina is well on its way to becoming a “Green” society. To learn more about the environment and how to make building as environmentally friendly as possible.
Miss Teen Regina-World 2013,