2015 Award Winning Project: George Brown College Waterfront Campus

Jury comment

This highly accomplished and elegant building is notable for its strong relationship to site, its accessibility to the public and its ‘porous’ program of social space. The space flows freely between outside and inside, then through the building in a consistent and understated way. The high level of environmental performance is also achieved without overt expression of sustainable systems. A rare example of an institutional building that is also welcoming to the public and exciting to explore.

George Brown College’s new LEED Gold Certified, 47,100 sq. m Waterfront Health Sciences Campus occupies a prominent site in Toronto’s East Bayfront redevelopment precinct. The building’s design embodies an integrated approach to the delivery of healthcare education. The overarching vision of the campus is to realize an inter-professional education [IPE] delivery model whereby students from different professional programs can learn from and with each other to understand the importance of collaboration and its impact on quality of care. The campus transcends traditional concepts of building sustainability to leverage the idea of IPE as a means to support the long-term sustainability of Canada’s universal healthcare system.

GBC’s Waterfront Campus consolidates four diverse healthcare education schools. With state-of-the-art learning lab spaces for over 4,000 students and faculty, and the College’s continuing education and clinical service programs, the building is a major contributor to the animation of Toronto’s waterfront. A learning resource library, food and retail outlets, student learning landscapes and a 235-seat auditorium overlook a lakefront promenade.

Crucial to the success of the building’s place as a sustainable landmark is its green roof, energy performance, and the durability of the materials used in its construction. In addition to its LEED Gold certification, the campus meets the Waterfront Toronto Mandatory Green Building Requirements and the Toronto Green Standards.

Master Developer Waterfront Toronto [WT] set the stage for the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront, one of the largest urban brownfield remediation initiatives in the world. Sustainability is at the forefront, lifting the precinct and its projects beyond real estate development with the goal of creating green, livable, and prosperous communities while meeting key public policy objectives.
GBC’s new campus met and exceeded the strategies and targets outlined in WT’s Sustainability Framework by means of redeveloping an abandoned site, animating the public realm with a high degree of transparency at the ground floor and throughout the building’s cascading public spaces facing both the adjacent urban park and Lake Ontario.

Energy consumption was substantially reduced by incorporating a number of energy conservation measures including,  but not limited to,  improved insulation levels, reduced lighting power density, lighting controls with occupancy sensors and photocells, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, and heat recovery on air handling units.

Brownfield site contamination risk was minimized through the removal and disposal of all contaminated soil and groundwater at MOE-licensed disposal facilities. By accomplishing these goals, GBC and developer WT reinforced the sustainable community approach as well as further enabled Toronto to compete aggressively with other top tier global cities for investment, jobs, and people.

For further information on this project see the Spring, 2013 issue of SABMag, www.sabmagazine.com.

Project Credits
George Brown College
Stantec Architecture and Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Architects in Joint Venture
Engineers [structural, mechanical, electrical,civil and sustainability, energy]
Stantec Consulting Inc.
Cost consultant
Building Code
Leber | Rubes
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg Landscape Architects
Geostructural Engineer
Sherwood Geostructural Engineers
Marine Engineer
SHAL Consulting Engineers
Geotechnical and Environmental Engineer
Trow Associates
Project Manager
Terry Comeau, Nerys Rau
Construction Manager
Tom Arban Photography and Richard Johnson

Project Performance
- Energy intensity [building and process energy] =
- Energy reduction relative to reference building under MNEBC =
- Potable water consumption from municipal sources =
1628 L/occupant/year
- Potable water consumption savings relative to model building =
- Reclaimed and recycled materials content by value =
- Regional materials [800km radius] by value =
- Construction materials diverted from landfill =

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