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community. There, bioswales andconstructed wetlands will better filterand cleanse storm water, and raingardens and pathways will encourageactive living.
In schools it’s building across the
province, Alberta Infrastructure
calls for natural light and ventilation,
acoustic walls to isolate noise, and
low-emission carpeting, paint and
sealants to keep air fresh. The result,
says Ray Danyluk, the minister of
Infrastructure, is healthier schools
“that are bright, welcoming spaces . . .
and buildings that work for students,
teachers and the entire community.”
The new South Health Campus
in Calgary, also built by Alberta
Infrastructure, is designed as a
healing environment to promote
faster recovery and support patients,
families, staff and physicians. Soft
colours, natural lighting and outdoor
views help reduce stress, while green
spaces, courtyards, wetlands and
walking trails also nurture healing.
The campus’s Wellness Centreoffers information on all aspects ofhealthy living, while an onsite YMCAcomplements its community, health,recreation and wellness focus.
In Cochrane, the CommunityHealth Centre features an innovativemodular interior by Alberta-basedDIRTT (Doing It Right This Time)
Environmental Solutions. DIRTT usescustom pre-manufactured componentsand efficient energy and technologynetworks that can be easily puttogether and taken apart (again andagain) with little disruption or mess.
“All of our finishing materials andadhesives are water-based and nontoxic,” explains Julie Pithers of DIRRT.
The company’s Breathe system, whichuses plant walls to clean the air, wasrecently installed at the University ofAlberta’s Living Atrium Wall.
To bring Albertans even morecreative solutions for healthybuildings, post-secondary institutionsare working with the province’sconstruction industry. Two examplesare SAIT and its Green BuildingTechnologies Applied ResearchProgram, and the University ofCalgary’s Faculty of EnvironmentalDesign.
These and many other initiatives aremaking health and wellness a biggerpart of individual and community lifein Alberta.
— Deb Smith