This project, winner of an Ontario Concrete Award for Sustainable Concrete Construction in 2007, will soon be the first mixed-use building in Canada to be LEED Gold certified.

The Currents is an environmentally sensitive project near the Ottawa River that combines a high-rise condo with a new theater. The 21,429-square-foot building houses 10 stories of condominiums and the Great Canadian Theatre Company. Soon it will become the first mixed-use building in Canada to achieve LEED Gold status. (Final certification is pending.)

Concrete played a significant role in the design and sustainability of the $13.5 million project. Its strength and versatility allowed architects to design a 250-seat theater with open, column-free spans, which support the condo above.

With LEED Gold certification in mind, concrete producer Canada Building Materials (CBM) tested various mixes to maximize the amount of recycled content used in the project. Ultimately, the project team was able to achieve 49.55% post-industrial recycled content. This was especially difficult, as much of the structure was erected during the winter. The project earned LEED points for using regional bulk materials, including aggregates, cement, and slag.

Supplementary cementitious material played a dual role. It allowed designers to control the heat of hydration on a structural suspended slab supporting the floors of condos above the theater. Portions of the slab were up to 5 feet thick. The high percentage of post-industrial materials also contributed to the project's Innovation in Design credit.

By adding a corrosion inhibitor to the building's concrete parking deck, the project team earned a Durable Building credit. In total, the project's 6760 yards of concrete contributed to five of the project's LEED credits.