GOOD AS GOLD
The five-storey, 10,220-square-metre Environmental Science and Chemistry Building (ESCB) at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
One of its most significant features is an extensive ‘earth tube’ system which draws fresh air from the outside to ventilate the air within the building, reducing overall energy consumption.
The structure, designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and delivered with design-build construction partner EllisDon, also accommodates a geothermal heat pump system that uses more than 60 boreholes that extend 210 metres into the ground to heat and cool the building.
Other features include a high-performance building envelope, storm water capture and recycling via large underground cisterns, a green roof which is also solar renewable-ready, and LED lighting throughout.
The glazing on the exterior of the building uses thermal breaks to reduce solar heat gain, while high-performance lab ventilation systems monitor air quality and equipment energy consumption – and only materials low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) were used in the construction of the building interior.
The combined benefits of all these features is an annual energy reduction of 54 per cent compared to standard buildings.
The Dhs184 million ESCB added 1838 square metres of research laboratories and 1052 square metres of teaching laboratories to the campus.
University of Toronto Scarborough Principal Bruce Kidd said: “It’s a tremendous source of pride that our building dedicated to research on the physical environment has achieved LEED Gold.
“The ESCB represents our commitment to the environment and to the benefits of using sustainable design elements.”