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Green Design at Evergreen Brick Works

Published on June 04, 2012

EBW seen from the Weston Family Quarry Garden. Photo: Tom Arban.EBW seen from the Weston Family Quarry Garden (Photo: Tom Arban)

When Evergreen first set out to create Evergreen Brick Works, it was always with the aim of LEED Platinum certification, showcasing the very best in green design, technology and sustainable construction principles.

Today, EBW is a bustling community centre that has earned accolades from across the industry––so much so that last fall it was the focus of a full-day workshop during the international Green Build Expo and will host the Canada Green Build Council’s annual general meeting next week (June 11, 2012).

As part of our commitment to sharing ideas and encouraging innovation, we developed an on-site Green Design Exhibit to highlight the many innovative features of this site. We’re excited to announce that you can now view it all online, through a multi-faceted, interactive tour.

Below is a snapshot of Green Design at EBW, highlighting the five basic principles of sustainable building. Be sure to visit our website for the full tour.

Screen shot of Adaptive Reuse featuresScreen shot of Adaptive Reuse features

Adaptive Reuse
A key principle in truly sustainable city building, Adaptive Reuse requires developers and architects to creatively reuse and upgrade existing infrastructure. The benefits of this include saving costs associated with complete teardowns and re-builds to preserving heritage features to reducing waste. Creative thinking was also needed when it came to dealing with hazardous building materials and contaminated soil—requiring careful digging and delicate handling.

Screen shot of Brownfield Remediation featuresScreen shot of Brownfield Remediation features

Brownfield Remediation and Resource Conservation
One of our early challenges at EBW was in dealing with the contaminated soil and groundwater left after decades of industry and neglect. We also had a commitment to protect the integrity of the Don River watershed and floodplain, on which the site stands. Our solution was to incorporate greenways, stormwater ponds, rainwater cisterns and permeable surfaces, allowing water to flow freely through, under and around the site—weaving EBW into the network of streams and creeks that feed the river and Lake Ontario.

Screen shot of Heating and CoolingScreen shot of Heating and Cooling features

Building Envelope and Heating and Cooling
The only new building at EBW is the Centre for Green Cities. It is the focal point of the site, housing the Young Welcome Centre and the Evergreen national offices, as well as other eco-conscious NGOs. Every effort was taken to create a LEED Platinum building. Smart lighting systems, solar chimneys, a greenroof and solar thermal water heaters allow for maximum energy savings. Inside, the team was sure to source the best examples of sustainable design and creatively recycle materials for unique shelves, room dividers and meeting spaces.

We hope that through Green Design at EBW, you’ll be inspired to take these principles to other projects, whether in your home or on a larger scale, and continue to share, create and innovate towards a sustainable future for all.