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Cascadia goes natural with Rosemont public washroom project

By Contributor
March 7th, 2012

The local Kootenay/Rockies branch of the Cascadia Green Building Council has designed a new public washroom building for the City of Nelson, to be constructed at the Art Gibbons Memorial Park in (Rosemont) Nelson.

The goal of this project is to construct a demonstration net-zero energy ‘natural building’ showcasing local, healthy, low-embodied-energy materials and alternative building methods.  

The building will be integrated into the landscape with curved walls constructed of natural clay and wood-chips, a vegetated green roof, and covered seating around the exterior of the building. 

Local construction services and materials will be used throughout the project including FSC-certified timber structure and roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels with a net-metering system to achieve a net-zero energy building.

The City of Nelson has commissioned the new washroom building which will be constructed by local contractor Ellenwood Homes and local volunteers through volunteer-parties and workshops. 

The solar panels will be donated by Omineca Solar Designs.  Construction is set to begin in April, 2012 and is scheduled to be completed by September, 2012.   

Cascadia is providing public education about natural and green building methods through a series of introductory seminars, weekend workshops held throughout the construction, and a green building fair planned for September 2012.  Introductory seminars will be held on Wednesdays at The Seed, 607 Front Street, starting at 7 p.m. 

Dates include:  Net-meter Renewable Energy Systems (March 28), Wood-chip Clay Wall System and Natural Plaster (April 18), and Vegetated Green Roof (May 16).

On site workshop schedule:
    •    Wood-chip Clay Infill & Clay Brick Production (June 2-3, 2012)
    •    Vegetated Roof Plantings (June 16, 2012)
    •    Wood-chip & Clay Brick Wall Construction (July 14-15, 2012)
    •    Natural Plaster (July 28-29, 2012)
    •    Renewable Energy Systems and On-Demand Hot Water (September 16)
Please register for seminars and workshops at the Building Tree, 621 Herridge Lane, Nelson, BC (, 250.352.7933).  For more information, contact Shari Imada at

Please visit for more information on your local green building council.

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