FortisBC introduced the public to its new environmentally sustainable area operations centre in Langford Nov. 5.
About 50 staff work at the 21,000 square foot building, which includes both office and warehouse space. The building, which is located on Langford Parkway, is the regional headquarters for Vancouver Island.
FortisBC is a power, propane and natural gas company that serves over one million customers in more than 135 communities, according to its website.
The building features many environmentally-minded components and an application is in to achieve a rating from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Among notable features is in-floor radiant heating that distributes heat evenly throughout the building, the use of rooftop solar panels for energy and a maximization of daylight. Many regional materials were used in construction as well, with builders using materials grown or extracted, processed and manufactured from within 800 kilometres of Langford when possible.
John Walker, president and CEO of FortisBC, came over from the Lower Mainland to speak at the opening.
“It’s very important for us that we be able to support the communities in which we operate and serve,” Walker said. “This facility being located here in Langford, which is a fast-growing area here on the Island, puts us in the middle of that.”
Walker also spoke of an application now before B.C.’s utilities commission to bring all customers across the province under one rate structure. If approved, Walker said there could be a significant reduction in rates for Vancouver Island residents.
Also in attendance were Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgen and Langford Acting Mayor Lillian Spzak.
“This area we have been working very hard at energizing, and that’s not a play on words, but you have really energized this area by bringing this beautiful building here,” Spzak said.
The building is also pre-piped for a natural gas fueling station, something Walker hopes will be needed soon as the use of natural gas fueled vehicles increases.