Fern Lane Renovation
We turned our 100+ year old building into one of the most energy efficient offices in Canada. The renovation added 50% more space while reducing our energy consumption by 22%!
Renovating allowed us to save over 525,000 MJ of embodied energy. That's equivalent to 6 years of operation!
Video: Find out more about why we renovated from Maggy.
The main entrance has been transformed to create an open, inviting space. We used a universal access design to create a barrier-free main floor.
What is the best way to keep a building
warm? Insulation! Keeping in the heat is the most efficient way to reduce heating energy.
During our renovation, we added insulation to all 6 sides of our building. The walls feature blown-in cellulose between the studs and 3 inches of Roxul wrapped around the exterior.
Community Meeting Room
Our main floor includes our community meeting space. Here we host events, meetings, workshops, presentations, and action committee meetings.
Salvage was an important aspect of our
renovation. By salvaging we were able to reduce
both our energy demand and waste production. In the community meeting room alone, we feature salvaged bus shelter windows, re-purposed floor boards, and used rubble from our own building as fill.
Our backyard includes our deck, garden and bike parking.
The deck is made from sustainably harvested wood from Windhorse Farm in New Germany, N.S.
Our new stairs are made of hemlock, harvested in Canada. Because of the natural properties of hemlock, it does not need to be treated with wood preservative.
The siding is made of knotty spruce from Amos Wood. It was treated with a natural wood preservative
their time to help
treat every piece
Our unfinished basement used to be a major cause of heat loss for our building. During the renovation we finished the basement and added insulation from steel door cut-outs.
A steel door cut-out is the waste produced during steel door manufacturing. It's a layer of insulation sandwiched between steel.
Video: Find out more about steel door-cut outs from Emma.
Our new bright stairwell connects all three floors of our building. The first thing you may notice are the yellow steps. They are made of Marmoleum, a sustainable flooring material.
The hand rail is crafted from muffler pipe!
The stairwell is insulated with denim insulation, the salvaged from our own office, reducing waste and energy.
Every interior door in the building had a previous life!
We also salvaged the molding from our own building and finished it with low-VOC paint.
Interior windows help light spread into the building. This is a technique known as daylighting, which reduces the need for electric lights.
Our bathrooms feature several technologies aimed at reducing water consumption. Canada is one of the highest water users in the world.
The second-floor bathroom includes a sink with low flow faucet, a dual-flush toilet with built in tank sink, a water-free
urinal system, and a
low flow shower
Our shower helps promote active transportation and a healthy lifestyle for staff and volunteers.
Offices throughout the building are designed to be team spaces. There is room for staff to work on their own, and to collaborate and work together a group.
Our building uses heat recovery ventilation to help cycle fresh air into offices, while saving energy.
Video: Learn from Kim about the natural clay wall finishes we used in our building
Adding space was one of the reasons we chose to renovate. The third floor allowed us to add 50% more space while preserving the building.
Our building is sealed with a continuous
air barrier. This was implemented to
stop air leakage and keep in the heat. A
blower door test showed that our building has 1.4 air changes per hour, which is better than the standard for new R2000 buildings, and represents an 82% improvement in air sealing!
Canopy Meeting Room
All of our curtains are made from organic cotton, a sustainable option which we use to help control room temperature.
Video: Salvage has been used throughout the building. Find out more from Mike about what was involved.
Our new roof helps keep us warm in two ways. It is very well insulated to help stop heat loss, and it supports our solar thermal system.
Our solar system includes 10 thermal panels which collect heat. The heat is stored in glycol, which is then transported to the basement. There, the glycol runs through heat exchangers to warm up water.
The warm water is stored in hot water
tanks for use in our in-floor radiant heat system. A photovoltaic solar panel powers the glycol cycling pump.
Thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers who helped make this project possible!
Beav’s Plumbing and
Equilibrium Engineering eyecandy SIGNS INC
GD Boyd Electrical
Hewitt CAT Rentals
Kent Building Supplies
National Truss Span
Peter Kohler Windows &
Royal Environmental Group Sherwood Enterprises
Scotia Metal Products
Standing Ground Natural Plasters
Straw Bale Projects
Tekton Design + Build
Valhalla Wood Preservatives Whitman Accessibility