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Photo credit: Murdock Boyd Architects


Over the holidays, when most Maritimers are battling the cold and dark with hot chocolate and festive sweaters, they’ve come to expect their fair share of gifts, everything from the latest gaming console to corny coffee mugs. What they don’t expect is a hyper-efficient LED lightbulb thrust into their hands by an elected representative or member of municipal staff, as though it were candy or holiday cheer. But such is life in the Town of Quispamsis, New Brunswick. 

 For this headstrong community of 19,000 and counting, there’s no efficiency or sustainability initiative too small to be taken seriously. Every April, municipal staff, the mayor, and councillors wade into community ditches to wrest garbage from the mud; the community holds prize draws for water barrels so winning residents can store rain water for use in their gardens; and yes, instead of caroling through the streets on Christmas, the public servants of Quispamsis hand out hundreds of LED lightbulbs, sidestepping the messy business of efficiency subsidies and empowering residents directly to cut their energy use, however marginally. 

While most of their moves have been modest to date, and not always related directly to carbon, some initiatives have been both bold and consequential. [Enter] the so-called Quispamsis QPlex, a state-of-the-art community facility completed in 2011 which has since won LEED Gold certification for its creative use of resources. [1]

As a signature building, the Qplex is intended to create an exciting and playful environment that encourages physical activity and unifies the community as a whole. The design respects the idea of sustainable development and the ecological integrity of the natural environment, while complementing the natural beauty of the Kennebecasis Valley. The project has been designed to LEED “gold" standards from the Canada Green Building Council. The facility includes a year-round NHL size ice surface, outdoor family leisure and junior Olympic swimming pools with a combined capacity for 370 swimmers, conference centre, three lane indoor walking track, 1-acre fenced in dog park, and YMCA/YWCA child care facility. [2]

The interior and pool are heated geothermally, toilets flush with rainwater collected on the roof, its urinals do away with water altogether, the hockey arena is maintained by an electric Zamboni (these are typically diesel powered), lighting is operated by motion sensors and the facility is surrounded by 80 acres of public land supporting community events and multiple walking trails for exercise and active transportation. The QPlex was a $24 million project. [1]


[1]      Vitello, Connie. “No Project Too Small: Quispamsis Pursues Efficiency Everywhere.” The Environment Journal, July 1, 2021. https://environmentjournal.ca/no-project-too-small-quispamsis-pursues-efficiency-wherever-it-can-be-found/.

[2]      “Quipasmis QPlex.” Murdock Boyd Architects. Accessed July 15, 2021. http://www.architects.nb.ca/projects/qplex.html.

Additional information:

“About Us.” qplex, March 8, 2021. https://qplex.quispamsis.ca/about-us/.

“QPlex Arena Project.” Stantec, n.d. https://www.stantec.com/en/projects/canada-projects/q/qplex-arena-complex-project.

“QUISPAMSIS PRESENTATION CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS.” Quipamsis . City of Quipamsis, September 2019. http://quispamsis.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Quispamsis_ClimateChangePresentation_Generic_2019.pdf.

“Quispamsis Q-Plex Sports and Wellness Centre.” Green Building Audio Tours – Quispamsis Q-Plex Sports and Wellness Centre. Accessed July 15, 2021. https://www.greenbuildingaudiotours.com/buildings/quispamsis_qplex_sports_and_wellness_centre.

Whalen, Ed. “Project Profile: Multi-Coloured Cladding Adds Cheer to This…” CSSBI. Accessed July 15, 2021. https://cssbi.ca/blog/project-profile-qplex-quispamsis-nb.

Project Title: QPlex Sports and Wellness Centre
Artists: Murdock Boyd Architects
Year: 2011

Place: Quispamsis, New Brunswick

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