In 2005, the EAC bought a 130-year-old house on Fern Lane in Halifax’s North End. It took ten months and hundreds of volunteer hours to make it a beautiful home and a public demonstration of a green office building. Our showcase building inspired hundreds of property owners and builders to make greener choices. Almost a decade later, we outgrew our home. The number of staff, volunteers and members at EAC more than doubled, and our need for more space became urgent!
In 2013, we began carefully considering options for growth. We soon reaffirmed our commitment to Fern Lane and to continued investment in this neighbourhood, this building and this community. As a result, we decided to embark on a major renovation and expansion project. In addition to creating a larger working space, a considerable part of the project focused on energy efficiency upgrades.
In September 2014, we began working with Solterre Design and Tekton Design + Build on designs for the renovation. After investigating multiple construction and design solutions, we decided to build a third storey (!) on our existing building, upgrade our foundation, change the layout of our main level to gain a more welcoming street level presence, and make improvements to the entire building's exterior shell to increase efficiency and comfort.
We began construction in May 2015 on this extensive renovation that blended new construction. In April 2016 – on Earth Day - we had our triumphant Grand Opening! We welcome visitors during our office hours and can also offer tours of the space. Advance notice preferred: firstname.lastname@example.org
A FEW OF THE FEATURES:
Energy Efficiency is top priority for green renovations. Energy consumption from buildings is a big contributor to global warming. EAC’s renovation adds 50% more space but is projected to have a 22% reduction in energy use.
Natural Plasters – 100% of the walls feature natural wall finishes that are made with local materials including clay, sand and straw. These finishes are beautiful, functional, and free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Thanks to training from local experts much of this work was done by teams of volunteers.
Salvaged Materials – We have salvaged an interesting array of materials including 400 steel door cut outs for use as insulation, floorboards from the existing building which became a feature wall in the boardroom, beautiful old doors and light fixtures from former Dalhousie residential buildings that were being demolished.
Volunteer Engagement – Over 1,800 hours of volunteer time has been donated to this project thanks to an extraordinary community of supporters passionate about the environment. Volunteers have helped with everything from demolition to painting and clay plasters.
History of EAC homes:
Private house on Carleton St. (1971)
Forrest Building, Dalhousie University (’71)
The Roy Building, Barrington St. (fall '86)
Veith House, North End Halifax (April '89)
1553 Granville St. (early '95) (just across from current MEC)
1568 Argyle Street (June '96) (Pizza Corner)
2705 Fern Lane (April '06)