The Canadian Museum of History has several architectural design features that have provided environmental sustainability since its opening in July 1989. The building’s heating and cooling system, which makes use of river water, was one of the first geothermal applications in the National Capital Region. The entire heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems were designed to recycle energy as much as possible. They are controlled by an energy management system that ensures they operate within strict energy conservation parameters. Automatic lighting controls, dimming systems and low-energy light bulbs ensure an energy-efficient use of lighting throughout the building. Although the Museum of History building has a very large interior space that requires constant temperature and humidity conditions year-round, it is still more energy efficient than most commercial buildings today. The Museum recycles paper, glass and plastic, and it makes use of recyclable construction materials such as recycled carpet.
The Canadian War Museum which opened in May 2005 has several building design features that provide environmental sustainability. The grass roof covering over 75% of its entire surface provides natural cooling during the summer eliminating the heat island effect typical of most black roofs. It provides additional thermal insulation to the building and also provides an effective storm water management system. River water is used as a source of building cooling and the waste cooling water is recycled to flush toilets as a non-potable water system. Automatic lighting controls, dimming systems and the installation of low energy light bulbs throughout the building ensure the most energy efficient use of lights. The building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were designed to recycle as much energy as possible and they are controlled by a building energy management system that ensures that they operate with strict energy conservation parameters. For a large institutional building that is required to maintain its interior space at constant conditions all year long, the War Museum is still more energy efficient than most commercial buildings today and is even more energy efficient than the Canadian Museum of History built in 1989. The Museum recycles paper, glass and plastic and utilises recyclable construction materials such as recycled carpet.