Tundra Oil & Gas Place celebrates LEED® Certification

At a ceremony on July 11, Tundra Oil & Gas Place was recognized as a complex built to high standards both environmentally and with human health in mind. Some 40 people attended the unveiling of two brass plaques and a glass emblem stamped LEED® Silver 2017.

Virden Mayor Jeff McConnell said, “Coming back to day to celebrate the fact that Tundra Oil & Gas Place is constructed to a LEED Silver standard gives us all a chance to reflect on the job we did, all of us did.”

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Seven years ago, on June 18, 2011, the Virden complex was filled with enthusiasm at its grand opening, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the ‘green building’ certification finally came through.

LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. In order to receive Building Canada funds for the regional facility, it had to be built to LEED® standards, an international mark of excellence.

Environmental savings

 Jennifer McMillan, Sustainability Project Manager, (Integrated Designs) spoke about LEED ® certification and explained that Virden site preparation and construction was well done.

“So, we have some pretty cool re-uses. Two buildings were completely removed and put onto brand new sites and re-purposed.

 “That is one of the most notable accomplishments. It takes more time, it may cost more and you have to have the interest on the other side (to reuse a building).”

Town CAO Rhonda Stewart said race track buildings were repurposed as a canteen and washrooms for the Ag Society arena. Some wood was recycled for WDFD to use in training exercises.

Community building

Participating in the celebration were many who envisioned this building - the planners, builders and the fundraisers. Virden Mayor Jeff McConnell invited Terry Johnson (representing the former council) to help him draw back the black curtains on the striking brickwork arch.

McConnell pointed to the events the regional complex has brought to Virden.

“We have a competitive CJHL hockey team - just this past year they made it all the way to the finals. We have had Olympic figure skaters train here, we have Manitoba’s best rodeo, we have banquets that have managed to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for community organizations.

“Everything I’ve talked about has helped build our community even more.

“One thing I never expected, we have funerals here. So, Tundra Oil & Gas Place helps build Westman.”

How Virden built TOGP

McConnell explained that when the multi-purpose centre was in its infancy, the Richardson Foundation (Tundra Oil & Gas charitable organization) announced a grant toward the project.

“That announcement, combined with the Canada Building Fund dollars ensured that this building was going to go forward. Tundra’s commitment was more than the million and a half dollars, which was exceedingly important, but the other commitment was all the people who work for Tundra who volunteered to help us out as well.”

The energy company has a large presence in Virden and area. They directly employ about 200 people and indirectly many more.

Speaking for Tundra, Vice President of Development Operations Eric Bjornsson told the crowd the company is proud to have their name on this building. He was involved in the corporate fundraising, and at that time, he saw it as an ambitious project.

MP Larry Maguire applauded the regional complex saying, “It’s created not just the environment to enjoy sports and entertainment and opportunity in this community, but it’s also been a great economic boost to the region as well.”

McConnell acknowledged a few problems the building has had, that have been addressed, but this was a day to celebrate and recognize the accomplishment. 

David Poole, involved early in the planning stages, took the microphone. “There were a couple of things that struck me at a very early stage about this project relative to ones I have had the opportunity to work on over my 20 plus-year career.”

Poole noted the dedication of council and volunteers to “the commitment to build to the highest standard possible and with the most forethought and planning.”

The brickwork designed to display the plaques, being one example of the planning.

The brass plaque on the left is inscribed with the names of local people who worked to make the rec centre a reality, including two mayors and council.

More about the history of the building process is inscribed on the plaque to the right, along with acknowledgement of the professionals involved and the government funding.

About LEED®

•           Green buildings create a healthier indoor environment for occupants through better air quality, and more natural daylight. They also reduce waste, conserve energy, decrease water consumption, and drive innovation.

Tundra Oil & Gas Place had many notable accomplishments in their LEED® Silver certification:

•           Diverted over 89% of construction waste from entering the landfill. This included re-purposing and re-locating two whole buildings that were originally on the project site

•           75% of the wood in the project is Forest Stewardship Council certified, (forests responsibly managed)

•           16% of materials (by cost) contain recycled content

•           22% of materials sourced locally (reduce transportation and support local economy)

•           Adhesives, paints and coatings used were low-VOC to reduce indoor contaminants and promote air quality

•           No permanent irrigation systems on site (no potable water is used for irrigation purposes)

•           The project achieved 38 out of a possible 70 points to earn Silver (Gold certification begins at 39 39 points)



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