CIVIC + GOVERNMENT
Civic and government buildings were often the first public spaces constructed in cities and towns in order to support and build the local economies, establish the identity of the city and instill a sense of community. Since many of these historical buildings are still being used today, it has become necessary to refurbish them so they are more energy efficient for the future. Careful planning goes into maintaining the historical integrity of a building, yet modernizing it to the extent that it seamlessly integrates with the surrounding landscape and improves sustainability. The Elgin County Courthouse is an excellent example of a refurbished project that CGI has assisted on. Located in St. Thomas, Ontario, the courthouse achieved LEED Silver standards by using environmentally sustainable construction practices and energy efficient design. The Elgin County Courthouse was a finalist for "Best Designed Project" in the P3 Awards 2015.
New builds are just as critical to the identity of a city as are historical buildings. As the face of the urban landscape continues to change, new civic buildings are being constructed with an approach to community and sustainability. Glass curtainwalls are commonly used in the construction of sustainable buildings and one of the best examples that CGI assisted on, is the new Halifax Central Library. Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this modern design merges art, light, commercial space, community and the environment into one centralized location. Having already won the "Lieutenant Governor’s Design Award in Architecture" in 2014 and now shortlisted for "World Building of the Year Award 2015", the Halifax Central Library stands as an excellent example of sustainable civic development.