Albion community hall is planned for 104th Avenue. (THE NEWS/files)

Albion community hall is planned for 104th Avenue. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge gets grant for energy efficient Albion centre

Trying for building that uses no energy

Maple Ridge has been able to get some federal funding to try to build a greener Albion community centre.

The city is receiving $21,300 that will be used to see if it’s possible to build a centre, on 104th Avenue, that is net-zero energy in its operations.

The goal is to design the building to achieve energy savings of 70 to 90 per cent – then use renewable energy options that will offset the remaining demand for energy in the operation of the new centre.

Maple Ridge’s senior recreation manager Don Cramb said that the money will be used to pay for about half of the cost of consultants’ fees that will recommend what energy efficiency measures to pursue. That consultant’s report is due at the end of September and will recommend whether to follow the LEED standards in energy efficiency or try to meet Step 4 of the B.C. Energy Step Code.

Some of the features of the building that will reduce energy use include putting part of the building into the hillside, which will reduce heating and cooling costs. Thicker walls, a green roof, which also reduces heat build up during the summer and heat loss in the winter, are other possible features.

“If feasible, photo-voltaic panels on the roof,” said Cramb.

Solar-thermal cells to allow pre-heating of water for the building could also be included, if there is enough room on the roof, Cramb added.

Ground infiltration of rainwater on the site will ensure that that from the roof or parking lot doesn’t rush into a nearby stream, but is discharged gradually into the groundwater system.

Once the consultant makes the recommendations, staff will present a final report to Maple Ridge council.

“Really, we’re just waiting for 100 per cent of the design to be complete.”

Construction is to start in a few months, said Cramb.

“We’re hoping to get into the ground early in the new year.”

He added that the same construction manager is overseeing both the construction of the $10-million community centre and the $24-million school, resulting in cost savings for both.

But completion by next September for both buildings is doubtful.

“It will be tough for both sides.”

François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Vicki-May Hamm, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, announced the $21,300 in funding Tuesday, part of more than $2 million that will be alloted for 41 new initiatives across Canada.

The money is being offered through three programs: the Green Municipal Fund, the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program and the Municipal Asset Management Program.