Halifax Office Renovation Receives National Green Building Award | Ecology Action Centre

Halifax Office Renovation Receives National Green Building Award


K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – The Ecology Action Centre (EAC) has received a national building award. Tonight, the Nova Scotia based environmental charity and architecture firm Solterre Design were presented with a Canadian Green Building Award from Sustainable Architecture and Building Magazine (SAB) during an award ceremony in Toronto.

Nine awards are handed out annually, recognizing projects across the country for excellence in sustainable design and construction.

The EAC renovated their office, a 1915 Saltbox style home, in 2016. The renovation increased office space by 50 per cent while reducing energy consumption by 65 per cent.

As of 2017, it is considered to be the most energy-efficient commercial office retrofit in Canada.

Emma Norton, Energy Conservation Coordinator at the EAC, says creating a showcase of what is possible in an ecological renovation was at the heart of the renovation. She is excited for the attention the award will bring to what is possible through deep energy retrofitting.

“There’s a lot that can be learned from what we did with this renovation,” Norton says, “By the time our solar panels are up, we will have reduced our energy consumption by 89 per cent, and will be using just 3 per cent of what the average office building uses. Those numbers seem impossible until you see it done.”

The EAC is planning to install photovoltaic solar panels on their roof later this year, as part of a pilot program for generating solar electricity on community buildings.

Jordan Willett of Solterre Design, the architecture firm that designed the transformation of the EAC offices, says the renovation readied the 100-year-old building for the next 100.

“Much of the building’s success stems from the incredible commitment of the organization to practice what they preach. The environmental and community values of the EAC are evident throughout this building, and I feel that is what is being recognized,” Willett says.

Norton and Willett were on hand to accept the award, along with Patrick Jardine of Tekton Design-Build Inc., and Maggy Burns, EAC’s former Managing Director, who oversaw the 2016 renovation.

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NB: The original release incorrectly stated that the awards were part of the Canada Green Building Council’s Building Lasting Change Conference in Toronto. It was updated June 5.


Image credit: Acorn Art Photography / Architect: Solterre Design. More images available upon request. For further information, please contact:

Emma Norton
Energy Conservation Coordinator, EAC

Jordan Willett
Solterre Design Halifax

Maggy Burns
Managing Director, Emeritus