Architects: Montgomery Sisam Architects
Location: Toronto, Canada
Principal in Charge: Santiago Kunzle
Project Manager: Geordon Green
Collaborator: Leslie Parker
Project area: 12,000 sq. ft.
Project year: 2007
Photographs: Tom Arban
The Restoration Services Centre was the first building in Eastern Canada to be certified LEED Platinum. The workshop and office responds to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s mandate to facilitate a broad understanding of integrated approaches to sustainable living.
The design focuses on using simple, low-cost solutions to drive high performance sustainability outcomes. For example, a careful analysis of the building’s orientation influenced basic design decisions. The east/west orientation of the building maximizes the benefits of north and south exposures. The deep, south facing porch shields the windows from hot summer sun but allows the winter sun, which is lower in the sky, into the building. Low occupancy areas, such as the workshop and change rooms, were located at the west end of the building to further shelter the office space from harsh afternoon sun. This, in addition to generous north facing windows and a narrow floor plate, provides for abundant natural light, substantially lowering reliance on artificial lighting and cooling.
The building’s long vestibule ensures that the exterior door has closed before the interior door is opened, preventing the outside air from rushing into the building. The long brick wall that lines the entryway were constructed of brick salvaged from a demolished older building.
Within the main double height space, much of the structure has been left exposed to promote a better understanding of the building’s construction. Through the use of a ground source heat pump, occupancy and photocell sensors for artificial lighting, heat recovery and passive tempering of fresh air, a high level of energy efficiency was achieved. Composting toilets, waterless urinals and ultra low flow faucets and shower heads drastically reduce potable water consumption.