The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and the Canada Coalition for Green Schools named Amber Trails Community School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the winner of the annual CaGBC Greenest School in Canada competition.
Located in the heart of a new neighbourhood in North Winnipeg, Amber Trails is a 78,000 square foot newly constructed building that acts not just as a school, but as an open and accessible hub within the community.
Besides achieving more than a 50 per cent reduction in water use, the school achieved more than 68 per cent in energy savings and a lower carbon footprint with a combination of geothermal heating and cooling, radiant floor heating, low-flow fixtures and other initiatives.
Each classroom has three large windows and a partially glazed wall separating the classroom from the hallway, allowing for fresh air, outdoor views and natural light to come into the classroom. They say this has many positive impacts on the mental and physical well-being of both students and teachers.
In addition, a student-run organic vegetable farm was developed last summer, enabling students in the farming club to work together with a farm coordinator to cultivate a mixture of more than 20 varieties of vegetables, which are sold to staff and community members.
The school received LEED Platinum certification in 2016, and won the CaGBC’s Excellence in Green Building for New Construction award in May 2017.
“By weaving sustainability into the culture and curriculum of their LEED Platinum certified school, Amber Trails is teaching its students the most important lessons about our natural environment, while inspiring them to be next generation leaders,” says CaGBC President and CEO Thomas Mueller.
Amber Trails will receive a $2,000 cash award to put toward a new or ongoing sustainability project. The CaGBC Greenest School jury is comprised of green building industry experts from across the country.