By Heather Gunn
Featured Photo by Caleb Fox
Across from the MacEwan City Centre campus in downtown Edmonton, there is a tall building made almost completely of glass that has been under construction for over a year. The building’s odd narrow shape has confused students and others who frequent the downtown area, many wondering if it will be used for condos, workplaces, or something else entirely.
Recently, the building (which is inching closer to completion) has been making news for a sustainable surprise; the south side of the building is being fully covered in 500 solar panels. Revealed as an office and commercial building, the space will be very environmentally friendly with its north wall of windows, to allow for maximum use of natural light, and south wall of solar panels, which will provide 80 per cent of the building’s power. The unique project is the brainchild of Gene Dub, a well-known Edmonton-based architect of Dub Architects.
The look of the building, even though a bit unusual, was designed to blend in with the surrounding buildings. According to the Dub Architects website, “East and west ends of the building feature generous balconies that complement the balconies of the adjacent loft buildings to the south.” The site also notes that building will have an interesting viewpoint when looked at from down the street, “The design is characterized by its slim slab proportions, especially when viewed along 104 Avenue.”
While the project isn’t completed at this point, it will be a great sustainable addition to Edmonton’s downtown core when it’s finished, hopefully setting a tone for more sustainable buildings of all types to follow.