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LEED Spotlight: Dockside Green first in Canada to receive LEED® v4 ND: Plan Platinum certification

The Dockside Green neighbourhood in Victoria, B.C. has a history of sustainability, beginning with its first LEED Platinum certification for New Construction in 2008. With its updated neighbourhood plan, it continues the trend of leadership by becoming the first project of its kind in Canada to achieve Platinum certification under LEED v4 for Neighbourhood Development: Plan.

To date, about 25 per cent of the 15-acre mixed-use residential and commercial real estate development has been built out, including 266 residential units, 49 affordable housing units, 13 businesses located in three commercial buildings and temporary space for interim uses such as urban agriculture, art installations and public markets. Upon full completion, which is anticipated by 2027, the project is expected to include more than 1,300 residential units and a variety of commercial, retail and light uses, such as a commercial centre featuring new retail and office space, a children’s play park, a dog park, a brewery/distillery, a public urban plaza and indoor community space.

We spoke with Ally Dewji, Director of Development for Dockside Green, who discussed some of the strategies and considerations in building a vibrant and sustainable urban neighbourhood.

‘A values-based project’

The focus for Dockside Green has been to build an urban neighbourhood that serves the well-being of residents and the surrounding community; protects and nurtures the environment; and acts as a catalyst for a vibrant local economy. A key feature of the development is that it is a values-based project guided by a triple bottom line approach that prioritizes the following aspects:

  • Social: The ability to provide opportunities for inclusion and connectedness among the community’s neighbours.
  • Environmental: The ecological health and sustainability of the neighbourhood through site-wide initiatives such as standards for water conservation, energy conservation, on-site wastewater treatment and renewable energy production.
  • Economic: A commitment to a building a neighbourhood that is feasible and enduring given existing resources, and that supports and grows the local economy.

LEED v4 provides focus

With the goal of developing to the highest sustainability standard possible, the challenge for Dockside Green’s team was to choose a rating system that could be applied to this unique multi-phased, multi-use, neighbourhood-scale project.

“Through our review and discussion process, it was clear that LEED v4 ND was the most comprehensive rating system available, and as such we have utilized it extensively in our updated works on the project,” Dewji says, adding that the certification process helped Dockside Green’s project team focus on both the neighbourhood- and building-scale sustainability components in an integrated way.

Dockside Green is served by green infrastructure such as a district energy facility that generates heat for the entire development, an on-site wastewater treatment plant and greywater recycling system, and a greenway, waterway and mewsway connect the entirety of the site. The inclusion of these features, along with the project’s smart location and linkages, and its neighbourhood pattern and design, were all informed by the decision to pursue certification.

“LEED v4 ND played an important role in helping our team implement a relevant and enduring updated neighbourhood plan for Dockside Green,” says Dewji. “We commend the LEED v4 ND system for thoughtful consideration of all aspects within the triple bottom line paradigm.”

Engaging the community

The project’s Platinum certification has received overwhelming support from local residents, bringing about additional benefits that fit well with Dockside’s Green commitment to encouraging social sustainability and a sense of community both internally and externally.

Dewji notes that the achievement has produced a sense of pride in the community, particularly given the recognition that LEED v4 ND is one of the most stringent measures of sustainability globally. “To see a project such as ours achieve the highest level possible under that system has engaged the community in a way that would not normally be possible,” he says.

Showcasing the evolution of the neighbourhood

Dockside Green’s Platinum certification highlights its project team’s efforts over the past few years in supporting and speaking about the evolution of sustainable neighbourhoods, including the sharing of challenges the team has experienced along the way.

Dewji adds: “We are excited about the future at Dockside Green and look forward to the continued buildout of the project under LEED v4 ND as a showcase example of what a globally recognized sustainable neighbourhood can look like right here in Canada.”

Project team

Project Developer

Dockside Green Ltd. and Bosa Development

Project Director

Ally Dewji, Dockside Green

Principal Planner/LEED AP ND

Ian Scott, Ian Scott Planning

Principal Architect

Karen Marler, HCMA Architecture + Design

Principal Landscape Architect

Derek Lee, PWL Partnership Landscape Architects

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Canada ranks second on annual Top 10 Countries and Regions for LEED list
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LEED Spotlight: Dockside Green first in Canada to receive LEED® v4 ND: Plan Platinum certification
LEED Projects Certified - November/December 2017
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New Members - November/December 2017
A letter from CaGBC’s Director of Education: Highlighting continued growth and expansion in green course offerings
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