Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s New Headquarters to “Set the Standard” for Sustainable Commercial Building Design

The construction of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TCRA) new $65 million (CAD) headquarters, a structure that is being made almost entirely of wood, is well underway. Construction starts in January 2020 and occupancy is anticipated in September of 2022. The mid-rise office building is begin touted as one of North America’s most sustainable buildings. The building was designed by Peter Duckworth-Pilkington, principal at ZAS Architects, along with Bucholz McEvoy Architects (BMCEA).

Jed Braithwaite, TCRA project manager said that the building will “set the standard” for sustainable commercial building design and showcase appropriate development within a watershed. In an interview via email, Braithwaite said that the “The 8,100-square-metre, (~87,200 sq ft) four-story mass-timber office building will act as a living laboratory for developers, professionals, researchers, and students, as well as accommodate over 400 TRCA staff and provide development planning and permitting services for TRCA’s regulated areas. The building is also adjacent to York University campus and will provide unique learning and partnership opportunities for York’s faculty, students as well as facilities staff with a focus on campus planning, design and construction, and energy management.”

Braithwaite noted a “major focal point for the employee and visitor experience is four waterwalls” in the atria. “Encased in glass and extending the height of the building, the waterwalls serve a dual function, symbolizing TRCA’s role of safeguarding the GTA’s watersheds while also being an integral part of the building’s HVAC system,” he said. “The waterwalls are lined with metal mesh that distributes water that tempers air that is then distributed throughout the building in the raised floor plenum.”

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Toronto Conservation Authority's new headquarters will 'set the standard' for sustainable development