Courthouse workers get $5M green terrace

The roof of the Ottawa courthouse is green in more ways than one.

With 70,000 sq. ft., it’s energy efficient, will improve air quality, and protects the building’s structure from the elements.

The new digs also cost a lot of green, coming in with a $5 million price tag.

Minister of infrastructure and transportation Bob Chiarelli dubbed the project a “win-win.”

“We get the best value for taxpayer dollars while helping the environment and helping keep people healthier,” Chiarelli said during the unveiling of the fourth floor terrace Friday.

A conventional roof costs about $2 million and lasts 20 to 25 years.

Green roofs last at least twice as long.

“You’re looking at a very significant savings of capital costs. In addition, there’s approximatley $1.3 million in energy savings that will come as a result of this roof being in place,” he said.

Annual savings of $23,000 in energy costs are anticipated by reducing summer cooling and winter heat loss by 26%.

There are 26 separate green roofs on multiple levels, with 60 varieties of plants.

“We took the opportunity in 2007, when it became obvious that the old roofing system needed to be replaced, to consider a greener alternative,” said Infrastructure Ontario’s vice-president of asset management Stephen Emery.

The project is the first of its kind in Ontario and supported about 85 jobs.

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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