Investment highlights company's commitment to environmental conservation
STONEY CREEK, ON, Oct. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Union Gas and the community of Hamilton are celebrating the official opening of a new office and training facility - built on a recovered brownfield site - that showcases a number of energy-efficient technologies, including a green roof and a solar wall.
Union Gas executives and employees were joined by provincial and municipal representatives and other project and community partners today at the official opening of the company's Hamilton District Office and Technical Training Centre, a two-storey, 54,000 sq-ft facility designed to use 45 per cent less energy than a conventional building of the same size.
Reflecting the company's ongoing commitment to environmental conservation, the building is on target to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Gold certification, the fourth new Union Gas office building to do so since the company undertook a comprehensive long-term facilities strategy several years ago. LEED is an international designation that recognizes sustainable building design and creates a cleaner and healthier work environment for employees.
"We took a sustainable approach to site, building and systems design because one of our key commitments as a company is to be a leader in environmental conservation. We're especially mindful of this because nature provides the fuel that we deliver to our customers," Mike Shannon, vice president of distribution operations at Union Gas told guests before the official ribbon cutting and luncheon today. "The result is a spectacular facility that is our most energy-efficient new build to date, and one in which our employees will be happy and proud to work every day."
The company's commitment to environmental conservation began from the ground up, with the redevelopment of a former brownfield site, supported by the city of Hamilton. This included demolishing existing buildings, remediating soil and preparing the site for new construction. Regional materials were used as much as possible, including limestone manufactured in Ontario and metal cladding materials purchased from a local distributor. Surrounding gardens were designed to incorporate drought-resistant and native plants as well as ponds and pre-existing trees that were preserved during construction. Employees and the broader Hamilton community can enjoy the redeveloped site on a new half-kilometre walking path.
"This new facility represents a significant investment in our community and has brought a former brownfield site back to life," said City of Hamilton Councillor Maria Pearson, who joined today's celebration. "The city of Hamilton was proud to support this project, which illustrates that Union Gas is committed to being a good community partner for many years to come."
"As someone born and raised in Stoney Creek, I'm thrilled to see it become the home of a facility that showcases the best in environmental design and execution," said Paul Miller, MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, who also took part in today's event. "This project illustrates how much can be accomplished when companies focus on infrastructure investment that benefits not only their employees, but the broader community as well."
Other highlights of the facility, which will be home to 80 employees include:
- Access to daylight from more than 90 per cent of the occupied spaces.
- An innovative solar wall on the south side that supplements the building's heating system and a green roof above the cafeteria, which reduces space cooling loads.
- A water management system that uses about 70 per cent less water than a conventional building.
- Automated building control systems that manage heating and cooling, lighting, security and plumbing systems for maximum efficiency, shutting down unnecessary power when a building is unoccupied.
- A leading-edge technical training centre to train and educate employees using the latest practical and theoretical learning tools.
"We're long-standing members of the Hamilton community and we're committed to continuing to make it an even better place to live and work," said Mark Egbedeyi-Emmanuel, Union Gas' district manager for Hamilton/Halton. "This new facility will help our front-line employees get the technical training they need to continue to deliver the best service to our customers, and it will also make an important contribution to the local economy. Most days of the year, we'll have people from across our organization taking part in training courses here, often spending a night or two in local hotels, eating in local restaurants, and contributing to the community in other ways."
About Union Gas
Union Gas Limited, a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company, is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with 100 years of experience and service to customers, assets of over $5.8 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. The distribution business serves about 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in more than 400 communities across Ontario. Union Gas is one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2011, 2012 and 2013. For more information, visit uniongas.com or find us on Twitter: twitter.com/uniongas, Facebook: facebook.com/uniongas and YouTube: youtube.com/user/uniongas.
About Spectra Energy
Spectra Energy Corp (NYSE: SE), a FORTUNE 500 company, is one of North America's premier pipeline and midstream companies. Based in Houston, Texas, the company's operations in the United States and Canada include more than 22,000 miles of natural gas, natural gas liquids, and crude oil pipelines, approximately 305 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas storage, as well as natural gas gathering and processing, and local distribution operations. The company also has a 50 percent ownership in DCP Midstream, the largest producer of natural gas liquids and the largest natural gas processor in the United States. Spectra Energy has served North American customers and communities for more than a century. The company's longstanding values are recognized through its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes and the CDP Global 500 and S&P 500 Climate Disclosure and Performance Leadership Indexes. For more information, visit www.spectraenergy.com.
SOURCE: Union Gas Limited
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Union Gas Limited
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