2013 Miss Teen Canada – World Blog Network Assignment Number One

Have you ever heard of Mountain Equipment Co-op?



Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is an outdoor sporting goods store that began operations in Toronto in 1985. Upon deciding their facility was not energy efficient enough, they moved to a new location on King Street in 1998. There, they built the first retail property of its kind, a “green building,” making them one of Canada’s most environmentally conscious retailersA green building uses eco-friendly construction practices and materials and saves money while trying to preserve natural resources. Their new 42,000 square foot facility was built using 55% recycled materials, a great eco-feat! These materials included wood recovered from Montreal’s Marconi building and from the bottom of the Ottawa River!

DID YOU KNOW… MEC meets LEED standards and has two certified retail stores in Canada, in Montreal and Winnipeg?

Here is a picture of the MEC in Winnipeg, Manitoba! It is LEED certified!

Mountain Equipment Coop, green building in TorontoLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a third party certification program that has been around since 2002 and is internationally recognized as an accepted standard for greenbuilding certification. They provide owners tools to measure their buildings environmental impact, positively influencing eco-consciousness within communities. MEC are so eco-oriented, they are LEED certified!

Did you see that flat white roof on the Winnipeg image? Now that’s going above and beyond! You too can conserve energy, like MEC, by implementing Tiocoat flat roof solutions, a LEED certified green buildings product company and they make white roof or rubber roof coatings that reduce energy costs.

As you can see in the diagram above, when the heat rays from the sun hit a white, coated roof, the majority of the heat from the rays is reflected away which results in lower A/C costs! Not to mention, they guarantee their roofs for the life of the building!

The Toronto MEC has several architectural features that make it unique!

Here is a granulated pile of Blast furnace slag!

1. It is composed of clay brick, concrete block, and Owen Sound natural stone. In addition to all materials coming from local suppliers in order to reduce transportation costs and energy, the timber used was recovered from buildings and log booms.

2. Also, to divert waste from landfills, the concrete contains 50% blast furnace slag, a by-product of steel manufacturing that is not typically reused. This type requires 75% less energy during production than regular cement.


3.The wallboard is also made up of a product that would otherwise be landfilled, Desulphogypsum (DSG) is a by-product of coal-fired thermo-electric power stations.

4. Building walls and the roof are insulated with Rockwool that has 50% recycled content. It is made of fibres spun from melted minerals and bonded with various binders. This Rockwool provides insulation above the Model National Energy Code standard.


5. The Maple flooring used is sourced from a supplier certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, using ecologically and socio-economically sustainable harvesting methods.

6. Wood and concrete floors are exposed because minimal floor and ceiling coverings reduce material consumption. Where carpet is typically used, there is sectionally replaceable tile, placed without adhesive. Instead of paints, finishes, and adhesives MEC uses non volatile organic compounds.

7. A roof garden is planted with meadow plants, flowers, and grasses that don’t need much watering. The plants offset Carbon dioxide (C02) generation while carrying out photosynthesis and the soil helps insulate the building to reduce heating requirements.

8. Skylights run the length of the building to  reduce the need for energy-consuming artificial lighting.

9. Energy efficient windows are double glazed. A microscopic metallic coating on the glass surface between the panes reduces radiant heat transfer, saving energy in air conditioning, similar to the Tiocoat flat roof solutions.

11. To raise awareness of renewable energy, a 1kW photo-voltaic electrical generation system is installed on the site.

A photovoltaic system, a.k.a. solar panels. They work by harnessing photons (light energy particles) and turning it into energy we can use!


12. Energy consumption is minimized through the use of natural ventilation. To optimize airflow, clerestory windows (the ones above eyelevel) are electronically operated.

13. Fluorescent lighting uses photocell sensor controlled electronic dimming ballasts that increase or decrease light depending on the amount of natural light available. EXIT signs are lit with high-efficiency LEDs, and the lighting in washrooms and offices are only activated when the occupancy sensors control is stimulated.

14.Covered bike parking encourages the use of bikes for trips to MEC.


15. Water consumption is reduced through low-flow, pressure-assisted toilets and faucets and other appliances.

16. Planters on the second story terrace contain are watered with an efficient subsurface drip system.

17. MEC plants trees outside the store to increases urban green areas and capture water to reduce demand on urban infrastructures.

So, on the contrary (to all you  Kermits,) it is easy to be green! Kudos to you Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and your wonderful store in Toronto! Way to be a responsible supplier!

(Click here to find a store location near you!)




Written by: Bianca Carelli

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