by Brian Libby
Although the last two decades have seen Vancouver, Canada, grab more attention for its elegant forest of tall, slender, glassy condominium towers, the city's smaller neighbor, Victoria, is making some waves of its own. The comparatively sleepy British Columbia capital, with a population of just under 80,000, is home to one of the most ambitious sustainable development projects undertaken in Canada.
Dockside Green is a mixed-use neighborhood of residential, retail, office, and light industrial uses on 15 acres (six hectares) along the city's inner harbor. A redevelopment of former industrial land owned by the City of Victoria, the project will eventually comprise 26 buildings and over 1.3 million square feet (120,000 square meters), and house about 2,500 people.
The development's first phase recently received LEED Platinum certification and, with 63 points, set a new record for the highest number of points achieved in the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating system.
That's one clue that Dockside Green seems to be meeting the triple bottom line of environmental, economic, and social performance that the City of Victoria called for in its original request for proposals. The goal of developers Windmill West and Vancity Enterprises is to achieve LEED Platinum ratings for every building in the development, which would be a North American first. Dockside is also a pilot project for the new LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system.
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