The Art Gallery of Windsor has made a long-term commitment to implementing a number of eco-friendly strategies for economic and environmental sustainability. Two major projects are now complete with more initiatives planned.
The Green Roof Terrace
Before the renovation, the potential of this space was not realized. Thanks to a $59,000 grant from The Ontario Trillium Foundation, this underutilized terrace, located at the southwest stairwell, has been transformed to complement the AGW's award-winning architecture and riverfront views. The design, construction and landscaping work harmoniously to provide visitors with a range of social, aesthetic and environmental benefits within downtown Windsor. This tranquil space is open to enjoy during public hours and provides another dimension to the Gallery experience.
Green Roof Terrace Facts
• Location: third-floor terrace located at the southwest stairwell
• Completed September 2011
• Total area is 576 square feet, with plants covering nearly 50% of this area
• The original tar and pebble roof was replaced with cutting-edge technology using eco-friendly materials. Empire Roofing installed Firestone TPO 80 mil roofing membrane insulated with ridged Polyiso board insulation with an R-value of 20.
• The Gallery contracted LiveRoof, green roof system specialists, to grow the plants from selected sedums and grasses in a specially-designed modular growing system
• The main criteria for the plants selected were:
i) Minimum upkeep with maximum coverage
ii) A variety of colour and heights, including Red Ice, Coral Carpet, Wild Cherry, Summer Glory, and Chives
iii) Creating a winter presence with a selection of red foliage and evergreen sedums that will stay visible throughout the winter months
• Instead of using traditional concrete pavers, the Gallery purchased cost-effective and eco-friendly Envirotile made from recycled rubber tires that will not deteriorate
• To ensure a natural wood look with a low-maintenance factor, the Gallery selected composite wood for both the decking area and benches
• The contemporary design included two custom-made benches allowing visitors to enjoy both the riverfront and city views. Constructed of composite wood and stainless steel, the benches are the perfect place to sit, reflect and enjoy the view.
A special thanks to The Ontario Trillium Foundation for their financial support of this project. The AGW would like to recognize the work and craftsmanship of Empire Roofing, LiveRoof, Distinctive Woodwork, ADA Architects, Lekter Mechanical and AGW staff Catherine Wilson, Project Manager, who together helped bring this project to life.
Our thanks to the Windsor Family Credit Union for their support to develop this indoor Eco-Space as part of the Green Roof Terrace experience.
Show Me the Money!
AGW Going Green = Results in energy and finanical savings
Major retrofits at the AGW have led to unprecendented energy savings. Thanks to a $150,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant in 2008, the Gallery has completed a number of upgrades to the its heating and ventilation systems resulting in lowering energy and water consumption while maintaining the institution's Category 'A' Canadian museum status.
The changes to our systems has resulted in greener and more economically sustainable operations. The savings are remarkable and have already surpassed the value of the Trillium grant. Proving its viability, the additonal financial investment made by the Gallery has already begun to pay for itself through these savings, which is approximately $8-$12,000 monthly.
The AGW has achieved three main objectives:
Energy Efficiency: The installation of the new energy efficient boilers with a feed water recovery tank has decreased the consumption of chilled water (produced by electricity), hot water (produced by natural gas), along with reducing the chemicals required to treat the water.
Stability of Environmental Controls: In the past the AGW has experienced difficulty in maintaining consistent humidity and temperature controls. By retrofitting the existing HVAC system, the Gallery has been able to stabilize the levels and maintain temperatures of 20 degress celsius and 50% relative humidity on a continual basis.
Financial: The savings have helped to reduce facility costs which are the second major expenditure of the AGW.
This significant reduction in energy consumption has helped the Gallery reduce its carbon footprint while creating financial gains and stability for the AGW on a long term basis. The energy costs are a major component to the institution's budget, the reduction in these costs have resulted in long term viability.
The AGW commissioned an Energy Audit through Integrated Designs Inc. that resulted in fifteen separate recommendations, April 4, 2007.