LGA in consultation with ERA Architects to lead design team for Evergreen Brick Works

Rendering courtesy of LGA Architectural Partners
Rendering courtesy of LGA Architectural Partners

Evergreen, a national not-for-profit, begins a retrofit of the 53,000-square-foot kiln building at Evergreen Brick Works, creating a space for thought leaders and citizen city builders to collaborate in building sustainable cities. The redevelopment provides a unique opportunity to test and drive change for future low carbon cities across the country.

With industry leader EllisDon, mechanical engineers Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions and manufacturing partner CRH Canada, and the design team led by LGA Architectural Partners in consultation with heritage design specialists ERA Architects, the project is one of the first in Canada to set and strive for a carbon neutral target.

“As a team, we are going to contribute a dynamic and forward-thinking thesis on what a 21st century heritage and sustainable project should embody,” said Janna Levitt, Principal, LGA Architectural Partners. “This historic kiln building produced the physical material that built our city and now, this new space will become a think tank to generate ideas about future cities, not only in Canada but around the world.”

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to create a framework for low carbon design and construction, demonstrating true leadership in advancing sustainable cities,” added Geoff Cape, Evergreen CEO. “The project will dramatically reduce carbon output during construction and operation and further establish Evergreen Brick Works as a place where citizens, public and private sectors can collaborate to create flourishing cities of the future.”

In 2010, Evergreen Brick Works became a global showcase for green design with the opening of its LEED-platinum certified building and the adaptive reuse of the former industrial brick-making factory. This new project offers a unique opportunity to catalyze more action for advancing sustainable cities by incorporating renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, geo-exchange systems and green construction practices, while preserving the heritage kilns and other features.

“This project is important, not only for its historical significance, but because it has a carbon neutral target. By incorporating social, economic, and environmental principles within this heritage landmark, Evergreen’s leadership is showcasing a new direction for integrated building use and sustainable design,” said Andrew Bowerbank, Global Director, Sustainable Building Services, EllisDon.

Some of the green design features include:

  • High performance glazing combined with natural ventilation and a passive chilled floor will minimize the use of the mechanical cooling system outside of peak summer days
  • Solar thermal system integrated with the ground source system to collect and store heat for use during the winter months
  • Low temperature radiant floors fed from the heat pump system will be the primary source of heat during winter months, aimed to increase visitor use to approximately 10 (from six) months a year
  • A high efficiency, renewable and geo-exchange system to heat and cool other buildings on site. This will ultimately further reduce use of natural gas, creating a near zero carbon campus
  • Material being used for the first time as flooring substrate will provide 20 times higher insulation results than regular substrate while the flooring lower carbon concrete mix results in 50 per cent fewer CO2 emissions from manufacturing, as well as integrating post-industrial recycled material and recycled concrete aggregate
  • A unique raised cavity floor system in combination with low impact landscape design strategies for flood and stormwater management
Heritage features and preservation:

The unconditioned kiln building, one of 16 historically significant buildings on the campus of Evergreen Brick Works, houses the tunnel drying kilns, the two brick firing and one glazing kiln. The historic kilns are currently subject to flooding and freeze-thaw cycles. Enclosing the west elevation of the building with a new window wall, and tempering the interior space, will ensure the long-term protection of the historic brick kilns while continuing to highlight the heritage features of the historic space.

The adaptive reuse of the kiln building was developed through a consultation process with the City of Toronto’s Heritage Preservation Services, Ontario Heritage Trust and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The team worked together to ensure the preservation of the building’s heritage features. The site at Evergreen Brick Works is included in the City of Toronto’s Inventory of Heritage Properties and is designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Experiential hub:

The high efficient restored kiln building will be a gathering place for interactive workshops and community programs that focus on working collaboratively to imagine and design flourishing cities of the future. The building will strengthen networks and inspire action through new and enhanced gallery and meeting spaces. The two-phase process begins today in the south section and will reopen March 31, 2017, when construction shifts to the north section through the end of the year.