Ontario’s First Mass Timber, Net-Zero Carbon Institutional Building Taking Shape at Centennial College

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First Mass Timber, Net Zero Carbon Institutional Building in Ontario Coming to Scarborough

Construction is underway on Ontario’s first mass timber and net-zero carbon institutional building. The A-Block expansion program at Centennial College’s Progress Campus in Scarborough began in November and progress is already visible at the site. The expansion includes a 136,000 square-foot extension of the existing A-Block Building, using FSC certified black spruce from Northern Quebec, which has been cross-laminated and glue-laminated. The installation includes a total of 1057 individual pieces of timber.

Centennial College requested wood as the primary building material for sustainability purposes. The use of wood, which traps carbon, will play a role in making the building carbon neutral. To fully achieve this goal, the building will also boast photovoltaic panels on its rooftop, which will produce enough energy to offset the annual carbon emissions associated with its building operations.

Another one of Centennial’s goals is to honor the Indigenous land that the new building is built on. The project is seen as a significant first step towards realizing the goals outlined in the Indigenous Framework of the college and advancing its commitment to truth and reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

As a result, the six-story structure will reflect both Indigenous and Western cultures, having been designed by Toronto-based DIALOG and Smoke Architecture of Hamilton, a firm that focuses on First Nations and Indigenous spaces. These firms are working with EllisDon on the project, in addition to workers from the Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program.

Substantial completion is anticipated by early 2023, and building occupancy is scheduled for middle of 2023, for the start of the 2023 Fall semester.

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