Hello everyone! Today I am writing about green buildings, and about one building in particular, the Gaynor Family Regional Library in Selkirk, Manitoba. The Gaynor Family Regional Library is one of the many green buildings in Manitoba. It is actually still being built and due to open in December this year! When the Library Board was looking for support and funding they were very clear that this amazing venture must be as green as possible and that they would be applying for Green Globes Certification environmental design. What I found really cool is that; a green building is actually being environmentally responsible and resource responsible for the duration of a buildings entire existence. Which in other words means it is “green” from the very first bit of the design through the construction, the materials used, maintenance of it over time and to its demolition and last days on this earth, green buildings are committed to not harm earth! A good example of a building product that helps and allows a building to be green is to have a white roof; this enables the sun to be reflected off a building to make it more energy efficient.

Green Globes for new construction, like our library is actually a green building assessment and certification option that helps building owners, construction professionals, architects, engineers and facility managers in evaluating and improving the environmental of new construction projects. It is also a less expensive alternative to LEED which is the International Rating and Certification System. Apparently there is a new generation of Green Globes; ANSI/GBI 01-2010 that will be coming to Canada in the near future which is supposed to be the most scientifically advanced and holistic green building rating system available. I am just glad that my community is a part of this important system.

This new 22,000 sq. ft., $7 Million library is very exciting for our community, not only is it “green” it’s going to be so multi use and fun. From moveable, changeable furniture and computer controlled lighting. It will have an Outdoor Reading Terrace, Campfire Circle, Small Theatre, Coffee Shop, and Meeting Rooms. There will be awnings and windows to passively keep heat out in the summer and heat in during winter. There will be as many local materials used as possible like the local reclaimed wood for special features and beautiful tyndal stone from nearby Tyndal Manitoba. Rain runoff from the roof will be recycled on the property through something called ‘bio-swales’ which are very shallow ditches that carry water where you need it to go.

A very amazing system that is being used to heat and cool the library is something called ‘closed loop geothermal’ recycling. A fancy way to say that the energy works by bringing the heat created within the Earth to the surface.

Geothermal energy is considered an environment friendly alternative to fossil fuel like gas and they produce very few greenhouse gases compared to older heating and cooling systems, the EPA calls geothermal systems the most energy-efficient and environmentally safe technologies available today. Very cool! The closed loop part is interesting, there is piping that goes vertically deep into the ground and loops back in a closed system carrying fluid to and from the geothermal unit in the building. The deeper you go, is cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Fun Fact – there are 27 heat pumps that will be used! There is so much more that I want to tell you about, like Phase II, but you’re just going to have to check out another one of my blogs for that.


To see the site plan for the new Library as well as the Planning Board, Visit the Interlake Today Newspaper website.

I can hardly wait to check out my first book in my new library!

Written by: Elexis Wadden

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