Cambridge City Hall located in Cambridge, Ontario (100 km west of Toronto) has the special distinction as Canada’s first LEED Gold certified city hall. A unique atrium features a stunning four-storey living wall which contributed to the LEED certification. The Nedlaw Living Wall Biofilter harnesses nature’s remarkable ability to ‘eat’ pollutants, by drawing air through the plant roots where beneficial microbes consume contaminants as food, providing fresh air as clean as outdoor air.
As is the case at Cambridge City Hall, this technology improves building performance when fully integrated into the building’s HVAC system. The 110 square metre wall at the City of Cambridge recirculates fresh, oxygenated air throughout the entire 85,000 square foot building. As a significant fresh air source, the biofilter replaces air that the building needs to take in, reducing the energy costs associated with heating and cooling. The biofilter also helps maintain a favorable humidity level of 40-50 percent.
These very tangible cost benefits do not overshadow the considerable ‘soft benefits’ of a greener work environment. According to Bob Paul, Director of Facilities Management and Development “employees insist that they feel better and can ‘taste’ the fresh air“ and comments that the reduced CO2 levels make people feel less fatigued.