The Centre for Green Cities at Evergreen Brick Works has received LEED Platinum accreditation, the highest measure of efficient building status available in Canada. Almost 14 years after the revitalization project began at a derelict brick-making factory, Evergreen Brick Works has become a bustling community environmental center, and an award-winning destination highlighting sustainable building in the city of Toronto.
This is the first ever LEED Platinum accreditation in North America granted to a community center on a heritage site and floodplain, joining around 100 buildings that have obtained the label’s top certification. The next challenge for the project is to optimize maintenance and management of the building’s systems to eke out maximum efficiency from the Centre for Green Cities.
Efficiency is aided by R40-rated insulation for walls and also a wall-to-window ratio of 40:60 which maximizes natural light but also enables efficient control of heated or cooled air egress from the building envelope. Computer-assisted climate control obtains readings for wind speed, rain, temperature range and humidity and factors this data in to determine the optimal use of ventilation. The climate control system uses an Internet-based tool so that adjustments to building settings can be made from off-site. The building uses natural ventilation up to 24-25°C when humidity is lower than 70%. Sensors also dim lights when daylight is available, using a system that mimics the natural ability of the iris to open and close.
Visitors and employees are encouraged to dress according to personal comfort needs: wearing sweaters in winter and cool, loose-fitting clothing in summer allows a greater variation of temperatures within the building and thereby reduces energy demand. Electrical charging stations for cars on site are supplemented by solar panels that generate electricity back into the site grid.See more
The one new building in the Evergreen Brick Works project is the 5,000m2 LEED Platinum candidate Centre for Green Cities (CGC). The building was recently awarded one of seven 2012 Canadian Green Building Awards (SAB). The high-performance envelope of the CGC not only reduces energy costs for the buildings lifespan, but also improves occupant comfort. The jury praised the combination of various passive design strategy, most notably the innovative approach to natural ventilation, where heating and ventilation are decoupled – contributing to a 50% reduction in gas and electricity consumption.
2012 Canadian Green Building Awards jury citation
The Canadian Green Building Awards (SAB Awards) recognize excellence in the design and execution of Canadian residential and non-residential buildings of all types, including new construction, renovations and interior design projects. A jury consisting of Helen Goodland (Brantwood Consulting), Stephen Teeple (Teeple Architects) and Eric Pelletier (Eric Pelletier Architects) selected the Centre for Green Cities (CGC) at the Evergreen Brick Works along as one of seven winning entries from 56 submissions.
This is a fine example of the reclamation and remediation of a large industrial site that successfully integrates architectural and environmental concerns. The retention and reuse of a disparate collection of existing structures gives the redevelopment a rich and unique character reflective of its industrial heritage. The new Centre for Green Cities building successfully combines a variety of passive design strategies most notable of which is the innovative approach to natural ventilation.
Evergreen Brick Works officially opened in 2010
The Evergreen Brick Works project transforms an abandoned industrial site in Toronto’s Don Valley into an environmentally-themed community landmark that engages visitors in diverse experiences connected to nature and the city.
Evergreen Brick Works was officially opened in September 2010 as Canada’s first community environmental center. It is a place for people to share ideas and explore best practices related to sustainability: bringing together nature, culture and community. In addition to revitalizing the heritage buildings, Evergreen’s headquarters in the newly constructed Centre for Green Cities (CGC) is designed to become LEED Platinum certified.
The venue enables the exploration of global issues, including the green economy, urban ecology, transportation, water, energy, waste management, agriculture and food, building design and land-use planning. The site’s use of a wide range of green technologies will help make it a national hub for urban sustainability. For the family and community, Evergreen Brick Works offers year-round programs and activities that include a sustainable garden center, a farmers’ market, demonstration gardens, and kitchens, conference and event facilities, youth leadership and children’s camps, community bike space, family programming and programs for youth.
The project was financed via the Evergreen Brick Works USD 54 million capital campaign, a contribution of USD 20 million from the Government of Canada, and a further USD 10 million through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund and the Government of Ontario.
World Environment Day host city headquarters
The center was honored to be the headquarters of the host city of Toronto for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) World Environment Day 2011 in North America. Evergreen was selected as the headquarters and events were held in celebration on June 5-7.
Holcim Canada contributes to sustainable construction through the Evergreen project
Holcim Canada has been involved with the project since the “Evergreen Brick Works Site Revitalization Project” won an Acknowledgement prize at the 2008 Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects and visions. “The Brick Works was essentially a quarry and this transformation demonstrates how such sites can be rehabilitated to create an ecological and community legacy,” said Paul Ostrander, Holcim Canada President and CEO.
All three of the site’s parking lots were built by Holcim Canada’s subsidiary, Dufferin Construction – two using conventional concrete while the other is made of a specialized pervious concrete that is porous. The pervious concrete allows storm water to filter through more easily, and thus enables groundwater to be replenished. Recycled concrete aggregate was used as base material for the parking lots and backfill around the rest of the site.
Holcim Canada supplied the materials and services for the construction of large concrete planters that provide the public with shade and seating, in addition to the foundations for the newly-built Centre for Green Cities, several of the restored buildings and the base of the Evergreen Garden.
Sustainable City Innovation Network
Investing in the development of clean technology will help Ontario continue to turn the corner, help economic growth and create the next generation of jobs. The Evergreen Brickworks as part of the Sustainable City Innovation Network supports the Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan to get Ontario off dirty coal-fired power and replace it with cleaner sources of electricity – like wind, solar and bio-energy.
The new Sustainable City Innovation Network will:
The revitalization of the Don Valley Brick Works in the industrial fringe of Toronto is an initiative of a Canadian charity, Evergreen, that aims to engage citizens in restoring degraded and abandoned urban places through active participation. The project consists of the revitalization of an industrial heritage site as an education center focused on sustainable cities.
The key issues to be developed and communicated to the broad public encompass environmental and community health, “brownfield” redevelopment, heritage conservation, sustainable design and the need for innovative public-private partnerships. This very broad approach to the complex task of urban transformation combined with an efficient management of the urban metabolism, driven by a strong partnership between citizens and authorities are the outstanding merits of this project.
(Source: SABMag Jul/Aug 2012)
A submission from Toronto received an Acknowledgement prize for its innovative approach to sustainable construction. An urban sustainability education center on the site of an old brickworks by Canadian charity Evergreen led by urban planner David Stonehouse was applauded for its thorough approach to revitalization. The center in Toronto will promote environmental and community health, “brownfield” redevelopment, heritage conservation, sustainable design and public-private partnerships.Top sustainable construction projects in North America honored »
Revitalization of the Don Valley Brick Works is an initiative of a Canadian charity, Evergreen, that aims to engage citizens in restoring degraded and abandoned urban places through active participation. This speciﬁc project consists of the revitalization of an industrial heritage site as an education center focused on sustainable cities. The key issues to be developed and communicated to the broad public encompass environmental and community health, “brownﬁeld” redevelopment, heritage conservation, sustainable design and the need for innovative public-private partnerships.
The altered and upgraded buildings hosting classrooms, exhibitions and various social services will comply with today’s requirements regarding resource and energy consumption. This very broad approach to the complex task of urban transformation combined with an efﬁcient management of the urban metabolism, driven by a strong partnership between citizens and authorities are the outstanding merits of this project.See more
With the project, Evergreen Brick Works heritage site revitalization, an abandoned factory site is reborn – incorporating an education center, exhibition spaces and diverse social services focused on promoting sustainable cities. Heritage conservation is coupled with energy and resource efficiency in a project made possible by active citizenship.Download project entry poster (PDF, 2.82 MB) »
Project authors Joe Lobko, Principal architect, du Toit Allsopp Hillier & du Toit Architects, Toronto; and David …
Former winners from Canada discuss the positive impact that winning the Holcim Awards competition has created for their …
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