Canada is home to many buildings with a strong commitment to sustainability—and Manitoba Hydro Place in Winnipeg is no different

Opened on September 29, 2009, and designed by KBMB Architects, this 64,590-square-metre building uses 70 percent less energy than its office tower counterparts.

In May 2012, it was awarded a Platinum certification for meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards by the Canada Green Building Council.

Like other LEED-certified buildings, it has a number of systems in place, both passive and active, that makes it a sustainable structure, including south-facing winter gardens, natural daylight, and a solar chimney that all take advantage of the environment to reduce energy usage. Similarly, active systems like dimmable or programmable lighting help maximize the effectiveness of passive systems and supplement them where needed.Manitoba Hydro Place stairsKPMGThe sustainable initiatives help create not just a LEED-certified building, but a healthy and productive workplace. This is thanks in part to spacious, open workspaces and raised flooring, which improve air quality and allow flexibility in where you work.

Staircases encourage guests and staff to walk to adjacent floors and minimize travel distances, while accessible rooftop terraces are used as meeting places on a seasonal basis.

The interior looks and feels fresh and welcoming. A highlight of the building are the two small waterfalls in the main gallery that mimic the spillway of a hydroelectric generating station.

The main gallery provides ample gathering space for corporate events, and there is plenty of fresh air throughout the structure, thanks to conditioned water that runs through tensioned stainless steel cables before being drawn into the office’s raised floors. This feature humidifies the ambient fresh air in the winter and dehumidifies it in the summer.Manitoba Hydro PlaceKPMG