Grace Hospital, New Emergency Department Redevelopment
Three Green Globes Certification

On May 12, 2020, the Grace Hospital Emergency Department Redevelopment in Winnipeg Manitoba was awarded a rating of Three Globes under the Green Globes v2 New Construction Canada building performance assessment certification process. This award required achieving an overall rating of 55% based on a series of specific criteria organized as seven modules: Project Management; Site; Energy; Water; Resources; Emissions; and Indoor Environment.

The redevelopment project was an addition of a new one-storey, 3,380 m², emergency department that tied into the existing hospital and the ACCESS Winnipeg West building. Heating and cooling is provided from existing high pressure steam boilers and upgraded chillers in the hospital’s Power Plant. New air handling units (AHUs) provide ventilation for the Emergency Department. Energy efficient lighting is installed throughout, and natural daylight from clerestory windows and light tubes brightens the interior spaces. Additional project features contributing to certification include: use of eco-friendly construction materials with Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) or other third party certifications; low VOC emissions from paints, adhesives, sealants, flooring and other interior building products; 86% of construction/demolition waste diverted from landfill; salvage and reuse of existing materials onsite; landscape plants that are drought-tolerant and native or naturalized; and 35% water use reduction over baseline plumbing fixture performance.

The parties that participated in this project included: Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (client); ft3 Architecture Landscape Interior Design (architect), SMS Engineering (mechanical and electrical engineer), Crosier Kilgour & Partners (structural engineer), PCL (construction), and Demand Side Energy (commissioning).

Dakota Community Centre Fieldhouse LEED® Silver Certification

On April 13, 2020 the Dakota Community Centre Fieldhouse was awarded LEED® Canada NC 2009 Silver Certification.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Canada Rating Systems are promoted by the Canada Green Building Council to encourage and facilitate sustainable building. This project was evaluated according to the LEED® Canada-NC (for New Construction) system, organized into seven categories and then subdivided into specific credit criteria which rate the desired performance goals.

The Dakota Fieldhouse was awarded 54 points in the LEED® system which qualified it for the Silver certification based on the following categories: Sustainable Sites; Water Efficiency; Energy and Atmosphere; Materials and Resources; Indoor Environmental Quality; Innovation in Design; and Regional Priority.

The fieldhouse addition integrates with the existing building complex and site. It includes a running track, gymnasium, spectator seating, a concession, administration areas, multipurpose space, change rooms, equipment storage, other supporting spaces, and a link to the existing community centre. The new facility is highly flexible, with multiple court configurations that can accommodate tournaments as well as a variety of other community sports programs, recreational activities and non-sport events such as graduations or other ceremonies. The mechanical system consists of a dedicated variable volume high temperature perimeter radiation system, high efficiency natural gas condensing boilers, demand controlled heat recovery ventilation, and ceiling fans to prevent stratification in the fieldhouse. LED and fluorescent lighting is controlled by daylight and occupancy sensors. Natural daylight is brought into the interior of the gym via the glazing wrapped around the perimeter of the running track level. Other green building features include a landfill diversion rate of 89% for construction waste, 33.9% locally sourced construction materials, 20.1% recycled content materials, and 38.6% water use reduction over baseline plumbing fixture performance.

For both projects, ft3 compiled the data to make certification possible.

Environmentally Responsible Design

As leaders in sustainable design, ft3 brings our extensive energy efficiency and LEED® experience to our projects. Our own office is certified Gold under LEED® Canada-CI v1.0 and seven of our staff members are LEED® Accredited Professionals. We have designed numerous projects that exceed the Model National Energy Code. Concord Hall Student Residence, which we designed for the Canadian Mennonite University, was deemed by Manitoba Hydro to be the most energy efficient building in Manitoba at the time of its completion in 2005.

ft3 is a founding member of the Manitoba Chapter of Canada Green Building Council. Marten Duhoux (Principal Architect) is the Past National Director of the Canadian Green Building Council and Past Chair of the Manitoba Chapter and Jennifer Atherton is our full-time Sustainability Coordinator.

At ft3, sustainability is no afterthought; it is the intent behind our design and an integral part of our building philosophy which begins at the master planning stage, and is an essential part of the planning process from start to finish. While we champion environmentally responsible design for our clients, we subject ourselves to the same standards. The experience of incorporating sustainability from conceptual design to the construction of our LEED® Gold office facility (that we built ourselves with our own capital) provided us with an invaluable learning experience with respect to not only materials and practice, but life cycle costing as well. This hands-on process also allowed us to use our own office as a laboratory, giving us the opportunity to share the gained knowledge with our clients on their projects. Having Marten on staff permits ft3 unparalleled awareness of emerging trends in sustainable design, materials development and construction practices.

Our process integrates sustainability design goals and objectives into conventional design criteria for building form, function, performance and cost, thereby reducing environmental impact. Integrated building design strategies are considered for all aspects of green design: improving energy efficiency; planning a sustainable site; reducing water consumption; creating healthy indoor environments; and using environmentally preferable materials. We believe that all added features must have a demonstrable benefit to the client and the eventual end user.

Our methodology focuses on three aspects of sustainability: the environment, performance (or costs and returns), and people.


ft3 was one of the first firms in Canada to adopt the 2030 challenge – a path / commitment to reduce the impact of new buildings to zero carbon by 2030. This requires optimizing energy performance of the building envelope, space heating and cooling, hot water heating, and lighting systems, along with a switch to low carbon energy sources. Through the utilization of BIM in combination with energy modeling throughout the design phases and continuing through construction (the builder should have access to both!), we have found in past projects that we were easily able to meet certification targets. And in some cases (Manitoba Housing, Brandon, Thompson and The Pas which received LEED® for Homes Gold Certifications) we were even able to exceed them.


We strongly believe that projects should perform at the level that they were designed at, and for that reason we advocate for following an enhanced building commissioning process as well as M&V (Measurement and Verification) and we would suggest a Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE). When combined with the training of building operators and maintenance staff, these tools will result in high performing and sustainable building. As an example of this, ft3 has developed successful POE programs for some of its past projects in consortium with Red River College and the University of Manitoba.


The third aspect of sustainability focuses on people. With the change from LEED® 2009 to LEED® v4 certification there is already a shift to further incorporate the health and wellness of the users in the building design and construction. The WELL building standard embodies this approach.

The WELL Building Standard® ( ) is the world’s first building standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness. It marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research – harnessing the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and wellbeing.

Another building certification focusing on health and wellness is Fitwel ( Fitwel’s seven Health Impact categories address the following: Surrounding Community Health; Morbidity and Absenteeism; Social Equity for Vulnerable Populations; Feelings of Well-Being; Access to Healthy Foods; Occupant Safety; and Physical Activity. As part of our existing office renovations, ft3 is currently working towards achieving a Fitwel v2.1 rating of 2 Stars. The new office layout with active workstations, informational signage, updated policies, and healthier snack options in the ft3 canteen will contribute towards this certification goal.

Jennifer A Atherton BEnvD BEnvSc LEED® AP BD+C

ft3 has on staff, Jennifer Atherton, who is the full-time sustainability coordinator on our projects. Jennifer has 10+ years of experience working with clients designing and developing sustainable initiatives, addressing regulatory requirements, and resolving compliance issues. Her technical knowledge of standards, rating systems, principles, and practices essential for green design, construction, operation, and maintenance is extensive. She has successfully secured LEED®, Green Globes, or BOMA certification for projects in the commercial, healthcare, education, housing, and institutional sectors. Jennifer participated in CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Buildings Pilot Program and has served as a member of the Technical Support Team for the adaptation of LEED® Canada-CI v1.0. She holds Bachelor degrees in Environmental Design and Environmental Science.