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One of Canada’s most “eco-efficient buildings” will be ready for students in September

“There are so many interesting elements to this building”

June 1, 2023  By  Anthony Capkun

June 1, 2023 – Pomerleau and the University of Toronto-Scarborough (UTSC) announced that one of Canada’s most “eco-efficient buildings”—the Scarborough Campus Student Residence building—will be ready to welcome its first students this September.

Pomerleau was awarded the contract to help achieve the sustainable architectural design and energy efficiency standards required for Passive House certification. Construction commenced in July 2020.

The residence features numerous low-energy design elements, including high-efficiency insulation and windows, as well as building systems that reduce energy consumption by 40% to 60% compared to conventional buildings, says Pomerleau.

“There are so many interesting elements to this building,” said Michael Faustini, project director, Pomerleau.

“The mechanical system is designed to recuperate heat and energy. We have a pit in the basement that captures all the hot water from showers and uses it as a heat source, and the heat from the commercial kitchen in the cafeteria is also captured and reused,” Faustini said, adding that the construction of the building envelope was so detailed “that an onsite mockup was built to ensure the process was clear to all parties prior to final installation”.

SEE ALSO A pinnacle of passive design: U of T Scarborough’s new 750-bed student residence (November 2020)

“We needed to build a new student residence and, whenever we do new projects on campus, we’re always looking for innovative ways to incorporate sustainability,” said Andrew Arifuzzaman, chief administrative officer, UTSC. “The Passive House standard represents an optimal way to build healthy, climate-resilient, affordable, and energy-efficient buildings through all stages of design, construction and livability.”

The project not only serves as an example of what is possible from a sustainability perspective, says Pomerleau, but also in terms of informing the local construction industry on best practices.

In partnership with Pomerleau, U of T has developed a network of designers, contractors, and subtrades that have hands-on experience working on a Passive House project… sustainability knowledge they can apply to other construction projects.

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