A peek into the layers beneath the kiln building's new concrete floors/Brian McBurney

Flooring that is ground-breaking

A look at - and underneath - Evergreen’s new floors at Evergreen Brick Works

With the redevelopment of the historic kiln building, Evergreen is transforming one of the original structures of the former Don Valley Brick Works into a year-round hub where citizens, public and private sectors can collaborate to create flourishing cities of the future. The project — the first of its kind in Canada to strive for a carbon neutral target — is also laying a foundation for what is possible in greener building design.

The story starts from the ground up with Evergreen marking its first milestone — the completion of the concrete flooring, incorporating some of the most innovative materials and technologies to cover the 53,000-sq-ft space.

Have a look down – this is not your common concrete floor.

The concrete floor being poured in the kiln building at Evergreen Brick Works.

The materials: First off, it incorporates recycled materials. Evergreen and its manufacturing partner CRH Canada introduced a new concrete flooring that integrates post-industrial recycled material and recycled concrete aggregate. The flooring substrate, used for the first time, provides the same insulation value as regular substrate, while a low-carbon concrete mix results in 25 per cent fewer CO2 emissions from manufacturing. What’s more, the concrete mix also incorporates responsibly-sourced materials from a Cornerstone Standards Council-certified aggregate site adhering to the highest environmental and social standards.  

The layers beneath the concrete in the kilns building.

The layers: A unique raised cavity floor system called Cupolex allows water to flow underneath, mitigating flood damage and managing stormwater. A low-temperature radiant flooring fed by heating and cooling pipes connected to a heat pump system will be the primary source of heat conditioning the building

Rail tracks in the floor of the kiln building.

The history: Be sure to look closely as you’ll notice a nod to the past with a design feature showing the heritage kiln track systems.

Curious about how it’s done? Please watch the concrete dry – the process is anything but boring!

Photos and video by Brian McBurney unless noted otherwise.