Green architecture – Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa
Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa is a part of the scenic Victoria B.C., and its LEED Platinum certificate and 5 Green Key Rating (out of 5) prove it was built green from the ground up. The building is situated just one block from the Victoria Conference Centre and two blocks from the Inner Harbour and Provincial Legislative buildings, and its location is steeped in history and culture.
The hospital foundation who owned the property began to sell off two thirds of the land to finance their new extended care facility. Its owners decided to convert the former site of St. Joseph’s Hospital to a boutique resort hotel. The old St. Joseph’s building, although a grand character building filled with charm and potential, provided more challenges than opportunities in its potential conversion to a fine resort hotel property.
The Hulbert Group International Inc. provided the architect for the project and the interior designer was from The Interior Design Group. The concept was to design a building which would fit aesthetically with St Joseph’s and the surrounding neighborhood, and would be integrated as a modern variation of Victorian architecture. This 8 storey mixed-use development features a glass-enclosed winter garden lobby. Amenities include a spa and a resort-style health center with on-site physicians.
Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa uses a 259,300-litre (68,500-gallon) storm water tank collection system for non-potable irrigation purposes throughout the resort. Storm water treatment removes a minimum of 80% of total suspended solids (TSS). Water-saving plumbing fixtures have been installed in all common washrooms and change rooms, including waterless urinals, dual flush toilets, low flow showers and aerated faucets with sensors.
All water features throughout the resort are ozonated, including the pool and hot tub. Ozonation reduces the use of chlorine by 90% and is both an environmentally-friendly and healthy alternative to conventional chlorine by-products found swimming pools. Ozonation helps to reduce indoor chemical and pollutant sources and promotes better drinking water.
The beautiful and diverse plant species that were once housed at the original Crystal Garden were stored and saved and are now part of the indoor botanical garden in the resort’s atrium. More than 50% of Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa’s total site area, including the rooftop gardens, has native or adaptive vegetation. Water-efficient gardening and landscaping measures, including the use of native and drought-tolerant plants throughout the gardens and other areas of Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa eliminates the need for potable water irrigation.
Indoor air quality is monitored through the use of CO2 sensors that adjust incoming outdoor air as required. Zero use of CFCs and HCFCs in HVAC systems contributes to efforts to reduce ozone depletion that contributes to global warming and climate change. None of the cooling, refrigeration or fire suppression systems contain HCFCs. Smoking is prohibited on the property and within 7.5 meters (24.5 feet) of entries, operable windows and air intakes.
All of Parkside’s suites feature luxury furnishings, fabric and décor made from low-emitting, non-toxic and recycled materials. Natural and long-lasting flooring and counters are made from natural materials such as limestone, slate and granite.
During the construction, waste and materials were diverted from landfills at a rate of 92.3%. Building and construction materials used throughout the resort contain recycled content and have been extracted and manufactured regionally. A dedicated underground area has been allocated for the collection and storage of materials for recycling. Recycling bins are also located in all guest suites.
Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa is striving for environmental excellence in its operations and employs green housekeeping practices. It also features parking spaces with electrical charging stations, 46 bicycle racks and adjacent change rooms and a total of 19 bus routes and 13 bus stops within a 150-metre radius of the building. The whole parking at Parkside Victoria Resort & Spa is underground, reducing impermeable paved surfaces and, in turn, the urban heat island effect.