The Banff Gondola takes its position as a leader in mountain tourism seriously. When we set about designing the new Summit Experience at the Banff Gondola, ecology was front of mind.
“We want to be leaders in sustainable tourism and we take stewardship seriously,” says Luke Sunderland, General Manager of Banff Attractions for Pursuit and Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. “With the giant process of reconstructing the Gondola’s Upper Terminal, we were really striving to honour this incredible place that is Banff.”
When we set about designing the new Summit Experience at the Banff Gondola, ecology was front of mind. Here are some of the ways we’ve implemented an environmentally-forward concept.
2016 Upper Terminal Renovation: The all-new building was constructed on its existing footprint to avoid disturbing a larger site. During the demolition, 312 tons of concrete and 149 tons of steel were recycled. 79 tons of construction debris was sorted and over 75% was able to be recycled.
Rainwater Collection system: The Banff Gondola facility has limited water resources, so an implemented rainwater collection system is used for all the toilet flushing on site. This water is held in 3 tanks located in the basement. All water collected is naturally filtered before it is stored and utilized.
Low-flow fixtures: All fixtures that have been installed are designated as low-flow, water saving fixtures. For instance, there are waterless urinals in the men’s bathrooms and low-flow toilets in the women’s bathroom.
Solar hot water tubes: Solar collection tubes have been installed on the upper terminal roof to capture the sun’s rays. This heat is transferred to the water system passively, so that less energy is required to heat the water to required temperatures.
Daylighting/energy efficient light fixtures: The new glass windows have a special coating that allows for daylight to penetrate, while keeping out as much solar heat gain as possible. When there is enough daylight inside, the light fixtures are equipped with a sensor that turns them off automatically.
LED only: The Banff Gondola is equipped with LED light fixtures, using less energy overall than conventional light fixtures.
Natural ventilation: Fresh air is important in buildings and we are able to provide this with operable windows throughout the new glass window system.
Water Bottle Filling Station: In an effort to reduce single-use plastic, the Banff Gondola offers several water bottle-filling stations.
Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk: The boardwalk that exists at the summit was constructed to protect vegetation, wildlife and erosion.