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Courtesy of aodbt


Built in 1965 as a women’s correctional facility to accommodate 52 female offenders, the Pine Grove Correctional Centre, located in Prince Albert, serves the entire province of Saskatchewan. When it came time to modernize, the type of project it is presented a unique challenge for Saskatchewan Government Services (SGS), which owns the building, as they have a commitment to sustainable building design with a mandated minimum of LEED Silver for all government buildings in the province. The resulting project is now the Saskatchewan Government’s first LEED Gold certified facility called the ‘Tamarack Building’; a one-story living unit which provides additional secure bed spaces, improved security and increased programming space. 

As traditional correctional facility design does not lend itself well to daylighting, water savings and controllability of systems, the design team was extremely innovative in the approach to LEED certification for this building. 

Human health was an important factor on this project, and can be observed through the design of cells and common areas that have included access to as many daylighting techniques as the nature of the facility will allow. The building features in-wall radiant heating in the cells where occupants have individual control over systems, with a central override to meet corrections requirements. 

Other green operations and sustainable design highlights include the use of low VOC paints, coatings and finishes and environmentally preferred cleaning products. Construction materials used contained 32 per cent recycled content and 87 per cent of the waste from construction and demolition was recycled. [1]

The new Living Unit provides an additional 60 beds, improved security, and increased programming space. The opportunity to promote life skills was a strong rehabilitation component of the facility goals, which was a driving force behind the Living Unit design concept. Pine Grove Correctional Centre is the only correctional centre specifically for women in Saskatchewan. [2]

The construction of the new building implemented several systems and practices aimed at reducing energy and water consumption. Water saving techniques included a special rainwater collection system that stores and uses rainwater for toilets and irrigation, encouraging the reprocessing of available water and reducing the use of fresh water for the facility. The use of water efficient fixtures and features has reduced the use of potable water by 49 per cent compared to the LEED baseline. 

When it came to energy savings, the team implemented energy efficient features that allow the facility to use 56 per cent less energy than the LEED baseline and renewable energy resources that will meet 71 per cent of the buildings electrical requirements for the following two years. Translated into everyday usage, the energy savings achieved is equal to the annual energy usage of 30 Canadian homes. [1]


[1]      Pine Grove Correctional Centre. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://www.cagbc.org/Archives/EN/CaGBC_Green_Building_Case_Studies/Pine_Grove_Correctional_Centre.aspx.

[2]     “Pine Grove Correctional Centre New Living Unit.” aodbt architecture + interior design. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://aodbt.com/project/pine-grove-correctional-centre-new-living-unit/.

Additional information:

News. “Pine Grove Building Gets Green Thumbs Up.” paNOW. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://panow.com/2016/01/26/pine-grove-building-gets-green-thumbs-up/.

“Project Database.” Canada Green Building Council. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://leed.cagbc.org/LEED/projectprofile_EN.aspx.

“Saskatchewan Brings Home Environmental Gold.” Government of Saskatchewan. Accessed June 23, 2021. https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2016/january/22/leed-certification-for-pine-grove.

Project Title: Pine Grove Correctional Centre, New Living Unit
Artists:  aodbt architecture
Year: 2016

Place: Spruce Home, SK

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