Sustainable Building Features
With a number of the earlier members of Prairie Spruce Commons committed to living “lightly on the earth,” it became our mission to exceed Saskatchewan’s building standards and build a green building. It is our hope that Prairie Spruce will be an example for others to learn from and follow.
Abundant Natural Lighting – Large windows, Juliette balconies, nine-foot interior walls, and vaulted ceilings allow nature light to flow deep into the building. This optimizes the ambiance in community-shared spaces as well as individual private units while reducing the use and expense of electrical lights during daylight hours.
Energy Efficient Lighting – Light-emitting diode (LED) light fixtures provide energy efficient lighting and also contribute to keeping rooms cool in the summer. Exterior light fixtures contribute as little as possible to light pollution in the sky.
Quality Wall Surfaces – An added layer of gypsum board to interior walls will add thermal mass, sound insulation, and fire resistance, thus creating a safer, more pleasant living space that is cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
High-Grade Efficient Windows – Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), triple-glazed low-E windows prevent heat from entering the home during the summer and escaping the home during the winter. This reduces energy use and keeps the building more comfortable to live in.
Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling – High-efficiency boilers distribute heat through in-floor radiant thin slabs that double as thermal mass. Ground source radiant cooling uses tubing buried under the parkade floor. This keeps the floors warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Deeper Wall Framing – Deeper outside wall cavities achieve R-values of 30 in the walls, and thicker insulation achieves R values of 60 in the ceilings. Framing and insulating practices reduce thermal bridging from structural elements and at the corners, keeping heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
Optimal Indoor Air Quality – Active ventilation with energy recovery provides fresh air and prevents moisture problems sometimes associated with tight building envelopes. Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) prevents the loss of energy associated with ventilation.
Efficient Irrigation Systems – Rain water will be collected and used for watering the garden. Systems include low flow nozzles and water sensors.
Solar Generating Power – Roof top photovoltaics are installation ready. In the future, solar panels will be installed to capture sunlight over the course of the day and turn it into electricity to be used in the building.