Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market

Project Overview

Project Title: Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market
Location: 1209 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS
Building Type: Commercial
Building Area: 43,600 ft2
Building Cost: 11.5 million
Date of Completion: August 2010
Building Owner: Halifax Port Authority
Design Team:
      • Architect and Ecological Design – Lydon Lynch
      • Lead Architect: Keith Tufts
      • Project Architect: Mark Atwood
      • Mechanical & Electrical Engineering: M&R Engineering
      • Lead Mechanical: Aaron Smith
      • Lead Electrical: Daniel McIvor
      • Structural Engineering: Campbell Comeau
      • Lead Engineer: Michel Comeau
      • LEED Consultant: Lydon Lynch Architects
      • LEED AP: Keith Tufts
      • Contractor: RCS


The building houses the Halifax Farmers' market, which originally opened in 1750. The original market was outgrown and an old building at Pier 20 was renovated into the new Seaport Farmers' Market, which opened in 2010.

Design Intent

The Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market was built green because the Cooperative's farmers value environmental stewardship and the careful use of limited resources. For this reason, a leading ecological architect was hired with the request of constructing an extremely green building.

Reduction in carbon emissions and designing sustainable infrastructure will save tons in operating expenses. It is expected that the operating savings will be well over $100,000 per year.

The Market supports local and organic produce to reduce the environmental impact of shipping in foreign produce, which emits carbon dioxide, and using harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The green theme of the building is appropriate as it too aims to reduce its environmental impact during its construction and operation by using green technologies. The building was designed with LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification, as the target.

Key Design Features

The building uses water very efficiently, resulting in an 80& reduction of water usage. All the water fixtures on site are low flow which helps reduce demand. Rainwater is captured and filtered and used for non-potable requirements such as toilet flushing and irrigation.

Daylighting is used extensively, and the natural light reduces the electrical demand. The natural light is also more pleasing to occupants. Motion and light sensors control the light fixtures to make sure they are only on when they are needed.

One of the largest green roofs in North America is located on the roof of the farmers market and contains native plants. Green roofs help to reduce storm water run-off by containing water on the roof. They also help provide cooling in the summer time. Local insect species make their home in the green roof as well, making it a natural habitat.

A unique green feature to the Market is a biowall. The biowall provides natural air filtration to improve the indoor air quality for the vendors and shoppers.

Sustainable wood products have been used in construction. Most wood products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and others come from other sustainable sources. Trees destroyed by Hurricane Juan have been used in the construction of parts of the stairs, handrails, counters, and benches.

Four wind turbines with a rated capacity of 2 kW each are located on the roof and provide electricity to the building. A solar array of evacuated tubes provides heat and hot water to the building. Geothermal wells are also used to provide free heating and cooling. Extra solar heat from the summer can be stored in the geothermal wells for use in the colder months. The combination of these technologies allows the building to be heated without any CO2 emissions.

The materials used in construction were obtained with the environment in mind. One third of the materials are from the region, which cuts down on shipping related energy use. Materials from outside the region were shipped using trains and boats, which use less energy than other methods of shipping. One third of the materials used came from recycled products. Existing building materials were also reused as much as possible, including parts of the roof deck, structure, and concrete. 95% of the construction waste was also recycled.

The building uses 70% less energy than a typical building. Heating requirements are reduced by high performance walls and windows, as well as heat recovery ventilators, heat pumps. The green roof helps cool the building and prevent energy from being used on air-conditioning

Post-Occupancy Performance

The building's energy, water and indoor air quality are constantly monitored, reported and controlled by the owner. The building is heavily metered and sensored to measure effectiveness and usage through various control packages linked to an Energy Management Control System, (EMCS). Individual demand and supply sources are constantly being evaluated to ensure more efficient utilization. The Owner can control or monitor the entire building over their Internet. The resource usage and savings are also publicly displayed for education purposes.