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First phase completed for LGA’s Evergreen Kiln Building redevelopment


May 29, 2018
by Canadian Architect

Today, Evergreen celebrated the completion of Phase I of the Kiln Building Redevelopment, an ambitious project that strives to create one of Canada’s carbon neutral sites. This morning, Evergreen CEO Geoff Cape, joined by Mayor John Tory and the project’s partners and patrons, marked this milestone with an unveiling of the future City Builders Gallery located in the now fully-enclosed historic kiln building at Evergreen Brick Works.

The retrofit of the historic 53,000-square-foot kiln building at Evergreen Brick Works began in March 2017. Since its initial stages, the kiln building has become a test site to advance and accelerate the shift to more sustainable construction design and practices. Evergreen and its partners – including construction lead EllisDon, manufacturing partner CRH Canada, and the design team led by LGA Architectural Partners in consultation with heritage design specialists ERA Architects – have worked together to offer new possibilities for developing sustainable cities while ensuring that the historic features are preserved. Upon completion, the project will be one of the first carbon neutral sites in Canada.

Kiln Building, Evergreen, LGA Architectural Partners, ERA, EllisDon, Future Cities Canada

A rendering of the completed Kiln Building. Image via LGA Architectural Partners

“The Kiln Building Redevelopment is not your typical retrofit,” said Geoff Cape, Evergreen CEO. “Working closely with our construction and design partners, the project is leading the way in creating inclusive, low carbon flourishing cities of the future. We are grateful for the generous and ongoing support of our partners in further establishing Evergreen Brick Works as the destination for urban innovation in Canada.”

The transformation of the historic kiln building will be home to the new global demonstration hub, a dynamic year-round innovation and training centre where urban thought leaders and citizen city builders from across sectors can gather to co-create, test and prototype solutions for building inclusive low carbon cities. The project is part of a $30 million campaign to create the Future Cities Centre and its related programs. With $2.25 million secured from a group of Canada’s leading city builders, the campaign reaches an important milestone of $20 million.Kiln Building, Evergreen, LGA Architectural Partners, ERA, EllisDon, Future Cities Canada

The Kiln Building – the site of the Future Cities Centre – will be the national hub for Future Cities Canada, the new city-building initiative launched earlier this month. The unique collaborative brings together people, ideas, platforms and innovations from across sectors to find new ways to address the challenges facing cities. As one of the founding partners, Evergreen, an organization dedicated to making cities flourish, is providing the foundational leadership and support in the coordination of Future Cities Canada and its programs.

To mark the occasion, project partners and patrons, including 30 members of the new City Builders Gallery led by Ken Tanenbaum, Chairman of Kilmer Developments, and Geoff Smith, CEO EllisDon, unveiled the future gallery space. Located within the former drying kilns, the City Builders Gallery will host exhibitions exploring the past, present and future of cities beginning in fall 2018. For the unveiling, guests had a sneak peek of Urban imaginaries by Toronto artist Ferruccio Sardella with Nathan Whitford of Urban Visuals.

Phase 1 Highlights:

  • All-season use: enclosure of kiln building with a custom retractable wall of high-performance windows and new raised floor that incorporates in-floor heating and cooling. Installation of core elements of an advanced and innovative geothermal and solar system.
  • Flood mitigation: reclaimed rooftop rainwater used for toilets and irrigation, new network of greenways to channel water away from building, and raised flooring (by two-feet) with an innovative cavity floor system. For extreme flooding, a network of recesses will allow Evergreen to quickly insert and activate portable pump systems exactly where needed.
  •  Celebrating heritage: new steel inlays and sandblasted lines trace the historic kiln car tracks, sections of tinted concrete represent the footprint of historic kilns. Only one small area altered and meticulously cut to create the City Builders Gallery.
  •  Contemporary additions: new service station for catering activities and a free-standing bank of washrooms, featuring 21 gender-neutral stalls making it one of the largest of its kind in Ontario.

Phase 2 construction continues through 2018 with the completion of exhibition spaces and collaboration studios and the installation and integration of solar panels with the geothermal heating and cooling system. While some public events will be scheduled during this construction period, the public is invited to discover Canada’s leading example of adaptive reuse and low carbon innovation through Evergreen’s tour program. The official public opening is scheduled for spring 2019.



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