Government of Canada


Nanaimo, BC

The age of a building is not always the best indicator of how the building is performing. Recently, the Nanaimo’s Government of Canada Building (GOCB), built in the 1950’s to accommodate new government services for a growing population in the area, achieved one of the highest certifications available from the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). Prism’s Energy and Sustainability teams supported the property manager, BGIS, in preparing the building for certification and managing the certification submission, which resulted in the building being certified as Gold using the newest version of the BOMA BEST program.

BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings is a Canadian green building certification that recognizes excellence in energy and environmental management in the commercial building sector. By earning a Gold level certification, the Service Canada Center in Nanaimo was required to demonstrate compliance with sixteen best practices as identified by the program. Additionally, the building had to achieve at least 80% on a detailed questionnaire related to ten sustainability categories – including energy, waste, water, health & wellness and others.

Achieving the BOMA BEST certification was a great opportunity to help our client working towards the Greening Government Strategy and to recognize the efforts and innovations implemented in the building. Completing the facility survey and achieving all best practices were valuable learning tools. Specifically, the waste diversion survey highlighted the ongoing effort from the tenants in ensuring proper waste management.”– BGIS Team

Despite its age, the Nanaimo building performed well in both the energy and water performance sections of the questionnaire. This is in part due to recent equipment upgrades including installation of air handling units at Variable Frequency Drive (AHU VFSs) and semi-condensing boilers, ongoing maintenance of existing equipment, and good communication with building occupants about conservation opportunities. To earn even more points on these sections of the BOMA BEST questionnaire, Prism conducted a detailed energy and water audit in the building to identify additional measures and opportunities for savings.

Additionally, Nanaimo GOCB conducted a waste audit on site and was able to demonstrate a waste diversion rate of 77%. That means that 77% of all discarded waste is being diverted from landfill through the implementation of reuse and recycling programs – an impressive figure for a building of this type.

If you’re interested in pursuing a BOMA BEST certification for a single building or a portfolio of buildings, Prism’s Sustainability Team can help you achieve the highest level certification possible. Contact us for more information.