Torfocusspring 2018

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TORONTO Canada Green Building Council


ISSUE 15, SPRING 2018, Greater Toronto Chapter, CaGBC Regional Publication /

Building Resilience to Climate Change

Daniels Building and York Region Annex: Resilience Through Design East Scarborough Storefront: Community-Engaged Design Good News for Torontonians: Flood Risk Can Be Managed


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We are pleased to share with you this fifteenth Toronto FOCUS supplement produced in partnership with SABMag.

2018 is looking to be a year about climate change. Headline-grabbing weather events are sharing the stage with big announcements for projects, programs and policies (many here in the Greater Toronto Area) that are significant achievements in advancing low-carbon and climate-resilient buildings and communities. In this issue of Toronto FOCUS, we want to highlight projects and programs that demonstrate how our region is taking resilience from an academic concept to reality. It’s a celebration of local leaders who are designing and constructing for a future that’s much different than our past. The pace of change in Ontario is accelerating and the CaGBC-Greater Toronto Chapter is excited to support and encourage our local members as they embrace these new challenges.

Jeff Ranson GTA Regional Director Canada Green Building Council

Message from the Greater Toronto Chapter of the CaGBC 2018 is in full swing, with many changes for the Greater Toronto Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council. 2017 was a successful year, with our education, networking, and membership events showing the growth and continued engagement of our market. It also saw the Chapter say goodbye and good luck to several staff members as they moved on in their careers. This brings us to 2018, where in this issue you get to see the fingerprints of our new Regional Director, Jeff Ranson, our new Program and Communications Manager Paul Erlichman and Nicole Viduka, our Market Engagement Coordinator. Their energy and excitement are palpable. Join us at an upcoming event like our Hamilton Green Building Social, April’s Spring Open at EY Tower or other education events to see for yourself, and to stay at the forefront of the Green Building movement in our region. While we are proud of where we have come from, the lessons we have learned, and the progress we have made with our members, we know there is a lot to do to make every building greener. Carbon neutral buildings are at the top of our agenda and we are looking forward to sharing lessons learned with you, encouraging the next iteration of high performance buildings, and driving lasting change.

Andy Schonberger Director of Client Services Intelligent Buildings, LLC Chair, Greater Toronto Chapter Canada Green Building Council


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Join us for Canada’s premier green building event. June 5 – 7, 2018 | Beanfield Centre | Toronto, ON

Registration is now open. Early bird rates until April 3. » Industry education » Networking events » B2B meetings » Green building tours » Green Business Showcase

Visit for more details.


See a digital version of Greater Toronto Chapter FOCUS at

In this Issue SPRING 2018

10 20


7 10 13

Professional Development & Events


Good News for Torontonians: Flood Risk Can Be Managed

East Scarborough Storefront: Community-Engaged Design Modelling Weather Futures Weather: A Foundational Input


5 Things designers can do to create resilient buildings in the new climate reality

20 22

EGPs Tackle Net Zero Carbon Emissions at Hackathon

CaGBC sets 2030 Roadmap for $32B Retrofit Economy Building Resilience: Toronto’s Lower Don Lands and the Mouth of the Don River


The Lighthouse Project: Neighbourhood Community Climate Resilience Hubs


27 28

GBCI Canada opens for business

Daniels Building and York Region Annex: Resilience Through Design

Environmental savings for this issue: Toronto FOCUS is printed on Rolland Enviro 100 Satin, a 100% post-consumer fiber that is certified FSC and EcoLogo. It is processed chlorine-free,

12 trees

45,044 L water

682 kg waste

1,774 kg of CO2

FSC-recycled and is manufactured using biogas energy.

Cover: The Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Photo by Rita Wong.


Editor: Paul Erlichman, Greater Toronto Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC-GTC) A joint publishing project of the CaGBC-GTC and SABMag. Address all inquiries to Don Griffith: Published by Janam Publications Inc. | |



Attend the Awards presentation event where the 2018 winners will be announced: June 4, 4:30 - 6 pm at the Beanfield Centre, Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto.


Thank you to our 2018 jury members [L. to R.]: Heather Dubbeldam, OAA, FRAIC, LEED AP Principal of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design, Toronto. Thomas Schweitzer, OAQ, Director of Architecture, Ædifica, Montreal. Lindsay Oster, MAA, SAA, OAA, MRAIC, LEED AP Principal of Prairie Architects Inc., Winnipeg. Photos: Roy Grogan



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Upcoming Events + Workshops THE CANADA GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL – GREATER TORONTO CHAPTER (CaGBC-GTC) seeks to connect all of the GTA’s green building leaders and supporters by providing all of the latest information you need to accelerate your LEED credentials and to stay at the forefront of the green building industry. Here’s a highlight of Chapter initiatives and upcoming events and workshops. Register for these events at:



April 9, 2018 – Shawn & Ed Brewing Co., Dundas, ON

April 26, 2018 – EY Tower, Toronto, ON

This meet-and-greet event will convene key green building stakeholders in Hamilton-Burlington, and will introduce attendees to CaGBC-GTC and the organizations doing great work to grow the local green building market.

Join us at our first networking event of the year at the brand new EY Tower! The evening will kick-off with member exclusive tours and will continue with networking, complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, followed by our crowd pleasing Building-Blitz – 6 rapid-fire presentations highlighting the newest and most sustainable buildings in Southern Ontario.


April 11, 2018 and June 21, 2018 – Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto, ON Prepare to take your LEED® Green Associate exam and earn the internationally recognized LEED v4 Green Associate credential. CaGBC has developed this condensed 1-day course which will be delivered by highly-qualified Canadian instructors with real-life local and regional experience. This course is intended to provide you with foundational information, which will then be followed up with a post-course study plan.


September 12, 2018 – Rattlesnake Point Golf Club, Milton, ON Drive for Change is an excellent opportunity to network with fellow green building enthusiasts, win prizes, and enjoy the sun at the beautiful Rattlesnake Point Golf Club. A light breakfast, hearty lunch, and 18-hole round of golf are included.


June 5-7, 2018 – Beanfield Centre, Toronto Join us for Canada’s most important green building event. Building Lasting Change is Canada’s largest industry event known for activating connections, delivering world-class learning opportunities, and cultivating inspiration and innovation. The conference combines industry education, networking events, tours, business to business meetings, and an interactive showcase floor to create a valuable experience for attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and international delegations. You’ll see that you and your business can build lasting change.


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Upcoming Events + Workshops LOOKING FOR THE BEST WAY TO GAIN CE HOURS AND GREEN BUILDING KNOW-HOW? CHOOSE CAGBC – GREATER TORONTO CHAPTER All of our workshops are stringently peer-reviewed by GBCI for high relevance, quality and rigor, and have been deemed as guaranteed for CE hours by GBCI. We also offer a number of different webinars to share local green building knowledge and best practices.


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April 9

Hamilton Green Building Social


April 11

LEED Green Associate Exam Kickstarter

April 26

Spring Open

June 5-7

Building Lasting Change 2018

September 12

Drive for Change Golf Tournament

+ EVENTS Education Event CaGBC National Event







Networking Event


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EAST SCARBOROUGH STOREFRONT: Community-Engaged Design Community resilience is about people. When one speaks of resilience, one often refers to the ability to recover from adverse situations. The residents of Kingston Galloway Orton Park (KGO), one of Canada’s most at-risk and diverse neighbourhoods, exemplify this ability. Anchored by the East Scarborough Storefront (the Storefront), KGO is a community that focuses on creativity and collaboration in order to emerge and recover from challenging situations. Sustainable.TO has been leading the community-engaged design at the Storefront, as well as serving as lead architect. By Steve Socha

Since 2009, professional mentors have been working with the youth and community of East Scarborough to re-imagine the Storefront, their community social service delivery hub. Together, they have developed a Master Plan for re-imagining a former 1960’s police substation into a vibrant place of creativity and practicality, which better reflects the spirit of the community. The Storefront has developed a unique, diverse, and successful collaborative model to improve livability in the KGO through its ability to align multiple and often divergent partners - residents, professionals, and local property owners - to achieve collective impact on a variety of local issues, and to realize projects designed by the community, for the community. Building the capacity of residents may be the most important quality a community needs to deal with today’s economic, social, and environmental uncertainties. Unless a community develops the capacity to assess, learn, adapt, and innovate all the time, it won’t thrive, and it may not even survive.


The Storefront is bookended by 2 of the Toronto area’s nearly 2000 older high-rise rental apartment towers, and is located in a virtually unwalkable neighbourhood, where environmental factors are barriers to healthy living. The neighbourhood is full of wonderful, energetic, and optimistic people, many of whom face enormous barriers. The median after-tax income is 24% lower than in the rest of Toronto; more than 51% of residents are immigrants; and more than 33% of families are headed by single parents – mostly women. Over the past 12 years, the Storefront has been working with residents who are marginalized for various reasons including poverty, immigration status, employment status, language, and race.



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Design-thinking is an ideal vehicle to engage with youth, and thereby to engage with their parents. The conversation in a fully participatory architectural design process goes beyond the buildings themselves and explores the far-reaching social and economic effects of the changing landscape of the inner suburbs. The residents have aspirations for their community.


Until the Storefront began working with them, the residents had few ways to connect with one another, and almost no way to connect with decision-makers. Over the last decade local youth have been engaged with architects, landscape architects, planners, designers, and over 45 professionals to complete over 3,000 square feet of renovations to the existing Storefront; design a 10,000 sq. ft. addition; complete an outdoor sports court; fundraise over $2.2 million dollars; and obtain a trademark for The Sky-o-Swale® Green Roof Shade Structure. Currently, The Storefront is an integral part of a new project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The project seeks to improve the built environment for those living in apartment towers, to better support social interaction, physical activity, and to provide options for healthy eating.


This project will allow residents to have influence on the space where they live; have meaningful and engaging interactions with each other; develop positive mechanisms to facilitate communication and problem-solving with their landlords; and have shared spaces (indoor and outdoor) for creative, healthy activity. This is different from the typical “community consultation” that is too often used as lip service paid to the community after the critical decisions have already been made. True community engagement is on the ground from the very beginning, and does not dictate results. As we like to say: experts on tap, not on top. We are there to keep the ship afloat, but which direction it sails is up to the community. The capacity that inherently lies within the residents has been unlocked by this engagement process. The resiliency of KGO, is brought about by the people.


Steve Socha is an architect at Sustainable.TO. SPRING 2018

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MODELLING WEATHER FUTURES Weather – A Foundational Input The fundamental purpose of a building is to protect occupants from exterior conditions. Historically, this has meant designers – architects and engineers – look at typical climate conditions in the project’s location and develop building systems to meet these conditions. In the face of climate change, however, the industry has a new challenge: designing buildings that adapt to unknown future changes in the exterior environment, while providing occupants with thermal comfort and protection against today’s elements.

25 years old. These CWEC (Canadian Weather for Energy Calculations) files are available for free download from Environment Canada. Using Toronto, Ontario as an example location, Figure 1 shows that the historical heating degree day trend has shifted an entire ASHRAE climate zone over the past 60 years. This clearly illustrates that using a weather file representing the time period from 1959-89 no longer provides a valid representation of current climate conditions in Toronto. In 2016, Environment Canada released an update to its CWEC weather files. The new files, termed CWEC2016, represent typical climate conditions over the years 1998-2014 – a more appropriate approximation of Toronto’s current climatic conditions, as shown in Figure 1. While use of these new weather files is increasing, the industry can help spread adoption by requesting that CWEC2016 be used for all new building energy models.

By Mike Williams and Jennifer Harmer

Building energy simulations estimate the annual energy performance of a proposed building design under a given set of exterior climate conditions. These simulations use a set of input climate parameters known as a “weather file.” Results from these energy models can inform the design of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, or determine the effect of different design strategies on overall building performance. Intuition coupled with recent academic research suggests that selecting an appropriate weather file is perhaps the most important foundational input into any energy performance analysis. Despite this, the most commonly used weather files for buildings in Canada describe typical climate conditions between the years 1959-89 – data over FIGURE 1: ANNUAL HEATING DEGREE DAYS (BASE 18°C), TORONTO, ON 1953 - 2016.


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Modelling the Future The implications of climate change can be seen in historical weather records. In addition to ensuring a relevant weather file is used when designing new buildings, it is prudent to explore how climate change may continue to alter weather, and how this will affect buildings moving forward. This can be achieved through climate forecasting models. We obtained data available from the Weather Research Forecast (WRF) model commissioned by the City of Toronto in 2011. A WRF simulation

is a macro-scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model completed over a geographic region – in this case, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). With the GTHA model, the years 2040-49 were simulated and hourly data for this time-period was made available for this study. In Figure 2, the forecast of heating degree days from the GTHA WRF study has been added to the historical values plotted in Figure 1. The WRF model predicts continued warming, and a shift from ASHRAE climate zone 5 to zone 4. To put this in context, Washington, D.C. is currently in climate zone 4.


Implications for Building Design We performed three sample building energy simulations, comparing the typical meteorological year (TMY) for Toronto CWEC, CWEC2016 and 2040s weather files. We studied a typical low-rise 5,200 m2 residential building, assumed to be constructed with market-typical architectural, mechanical and electrical systems. 14

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The resulting projected energy use intensities, presented in Figure 3 by fuel-type, shows the reduction in total energy use is minimal. This makes sense considering the increased demands for cooling energy (electricity) will be offset by decreased demands for heating energy (natural gas), driven by the much warmer summers and milder winters predicted by the 2040s weather file.

However, the number of “unmet cooling hours” predicted by the 2040s TMY simulation is a serious concern. When a model shows an unmet cooling hour, it indicates the mechanical cooling system is unable to meet a cooling demand and ultimately that occupants will experience discomfort. The model predicts 712 unmet cooling hours in the 2040s’ scenario. This is likely to occur during the middle eight hours of the day, equating to 89 days — or three full months annually — where building occupants will be too hot. Such conditions are unacceptable to occupants who, in the best case, would be unproductive and, in the worst case, at health risk. Remedies to this situation would likely include modifications such as windowmounted air condition units. Such “tack on” systems are unattractive and inefficient, resulting in increased electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions.


What to do? Ensure the weather file you use for building design and performance simulations is an accurate representation of the current climate in your project’s geographic region. Run additional simulations of future scenarios to test potential implications to building performance objectives and occupant comfort. Although building designs need to be based on current weather conditions, it is possible to include provisions to adapt the building, allowing it to continue to perform in the future. Examples of adaptable design include: structures that can accommodate the addition of external shading devices in the future; phase-changing glass; and implementing high-performance passive solutions, rather than mechanical systems, to meet occupant comfort requirements. For a full summary of this study’s findings, refer to the White Paper Modelling Weather Futures, available to read at


Mike Williams is Technical Director and Principal at RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists. Jennifer Harmer is Project Coordinator, Sustainability at RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists. References ARCC. (2014). A review of downscaling methods for climate change projections. Burlington, Vermont: African and Latin American Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC). Environment Canada. (2010). Canadian Weather Energy and Engineering Data Sets and Canadian Weather for Energy Calculations - Updated User’s Manual. Ottawa: Government of Canada. Huang, Y. J., Su, F., Seo, D., & Krarti, M. (2014). Development of 3012 IWEC2 Weather Files for International Locations (RP-1477). ASHRAE Transactions, 120(1), 340-355. Jentsch, M. F., Bahaj, A. S., & James, P. A. (2008). Climate change future proofing of buildings Generation and assessment of building simulation weather files. Energy and Buildings, 40(12), 2148-2168. SENES Consultants Limited. (2011). Toronto’s Future Weather and Climate Driver Study. Richmond Hill: City of Toronto. UCLA Energy Design Tools Group. (2016). Climate Consultant [Computer Software]. Los Angeles, CA: University of California, Los Angeles. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. (2016, 12 5). WRF Model Users’ Page. (National Center for Atmospheric Research) Retrieved 12 12, 2016, from http://www2.mmm.


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GOOD NEWS FOR TORONTONIANS – Flood Risk Can Be Managed There is good news regarding means to limit flood risk that might otherwise plague Torontonians. However, before turning to solutions, let’s first consider the threat.

By Dr. Blair Feltmate

THE PROBLEM: For Toronto homeowners – and indeed all Canadians from Halifax to Victoria – many have experienced the impact of flooding. Punctuated by a major 2013 summer storm, and followed by a plethora of smaller events since, the un-insurability of Toronto’s housing market is spreading, irrespective of whether the source of flood water is from sewer back-up or overland sources. With the average cost of basement flooding in Canada at $43,000 per house, how would a homeowner without insurance cope? And remember, raw sewage is often in the flood mix, so a homeowner must deal with their flood situation within a day or so following an impact, or leave their home. With limited or no flood insurance, it would be difficult for homeowners to meet this challenge. To illustrate, as of 2017, the Canadian Payroll Association reported that almost half of working Canadians are living month-to-month, with 47 percent indicating that it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paycheque was delayed by even a single week. Consequently, there may be an emerging risk facing the Canadian mortgage market due to flood-induced mortgage defaults.

Despite this current stress, severe weather is nonetheless predicted to become more challenging going forward. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects substantial warming and increased frequency of heavy precipitation events globally in the 21st century, with Canada warming faster than the global average and experiencing more frequent and intense severe weather. Similarly, Environment and Climate Change Canada predicts growth in the frequency and severity of extreme events in Canada. Consistent with these predictions to date, the attached figure profiles catastrophic insurable loss claims (i.e., events bearing claims in excess of $25 million) to 2017 – note that insurable claims averaged $200-450 million per year from 1983 - 2008, whereas for the past eight of nine years leading up to 2017, extreme insurance payouts exceeded $1 billion annually. The insurance gap in Canada is also significant – for every dollar of insured loss in Canada, three to four dollars in damage remain uninsured.



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THE SOLUTION: Climate change and associated extreme weather and flooding explains part, but not all, of the escalation in catastrophic loss claims. Confounding factors such as population densification, aging municipal infrastructure, aging houses, reduced surface water permeability (as cities are paved over) and more basements converted to living space, all contribute to increasing flood costs. In recognition of these additive or multiplicative flood threats, there are activities underway that will alleviate flood risk to homeowners and communities. A complementary set of Flood Risk Standards are being created in Canada, through coordinated efforts of the Standards Council of Canada, National Research Council, Canadian Standards Association and the Intact Centre. To illustrate, in 2018, the Canadian Standards Association will release a Standard to guide residential basement flood protection – the directives outlined in this Standard will offer guidance to home inspectors, for example, to give them added insight to identify deficiencies that might otherwise cause basement flooding. Accordingly, during the buy/sell, corrections can be made to homes that will lower basement flood risk. Relative to new residential communities, a new Standard will focus on 20 key characteristics that can be factored into new housing developments that will limit the probability of future flood risk. Key amongst these directives will be the need to avoid building on flood plains.

Regarding existing communities in Canada, another new Standard will focus on how, for example, berms, diversion channels, dry ponds, cisterns, bio-swails, permeable surfacing, etc., may be deployed to mitigate community level flood risk. As a next step, the various flood Standards that are being developed in Canada, to limit household and community flood risk, could be similarly developed for the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) sector. The creation of such a Standard, to completion, would require about 18-24 months. Relative to gaining financial and political support to create adaptation Standards – independent of whether they are directed to flood risk or other stress factors – two key points should always be highlighted: - Adaptation is the Gift that Keeps on Giving – once an adaptation design feature is in place, for every extreme weather event that follows, savings will accrue in perpetuity; and, - Every $ Invested in Adaptation Delivers Local Benefit – unlike GHG emission efforts, where the benefits are borne by the global commons, efforts to adapt to risk (e.g., building a larger diameter storm sewer pipe) provide immediate and local on-the-ground benefit. As a precautionary note, there is a broadly held belief in Canada that adaptation is costly to implement. Nothing could be further from the truth. The cost of building right, under the umbrella of adaptation, is about the same as the cost of building wrong – however, if we build wrong, and then have to retrofit or rebuild to accommodate adaptation, costs will needlessly soar. The need to develop nationally vetted adaptation Standards, that anticipate future climate change and extreme weather-induced stress, cannot be overstated. Simply stated, every day we don’t adapt is a day we don’t have.

Dr. Blair Feltmate is Head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo.


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5 THINGS designers can do to create resilient buildings in the new climate reality By Michelle Xuereb 1. Know the local risks In 2011, The City of Toronto’s Future Weather and Climate Driver Study was commissioned. The forecast for 2050? Hotter days, more of them, more of them for extended periods, and more rainfall in single storm events. Extreme weather events in Toronto have historically happened in tandem with power outages.

2. Understand the goals and key concepts The main risk to building occupants in the past was fire, and as such existing building codes prioritize the goal of maintaining life safety systems for long enough to evacuate (a couple of hours). How would design change if the goal was “sheltering in place�? For people to shelter in place, the building must maintain critical system functions and maintain liveable temperatures without power, heat and water for at least 72 hours. These key concepts are passive survivability and thermal resilience, respectively.

3. Prioritize passive design solutions Imagine unplugging your building: how can we design it to perform? Highly insulated walls with minimal thermal bridging will maintain more consistent temperatures. Orientation, window area, and properly designed wall assemblies control solar losses and gains. Strategically located projections and planting will passively protect. Keep key infrastructure dry to minimize service interruptions.


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4. Create an “area of refuge” Design an area of refuge with dedicated back-up power, where people can go to warm up/cool down, charge communication devices, and keep critical medications cool in the event of an extended power outage.

5. Create opportunities for social connection Knowing your neighbours is key in an emergency. Create complete communities where building residents can get to know one another by spreading amenities throughout the towers and creating shared spaces like stairwells that are desirable to use. Tightly-knit communities are more likely to be resilient in the event of unexpected disruptions.

When it comes to addressing climate resilience, the key is engaging in the conversation. Quadrangle takes our projects through Enbridge’s Savings by Design program because it presents a great opportunity to introduce new concepts, such as the ones noted above, and dialogue holistically about the building’s design. To find out how you can participate in an upcoming charrette visit

Michelle Xuereb is a Senior Associate and Sustainability Strategist at Quadrangle.


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EGPs Tackle Net Zero Carbon Emissions at Hackathon On September 16th, 2017, Emerging Green Professionals (EGPs) from all over the GTHA set out to tackle the challenge of net zero carbon emissions at the first Greater Toronto Emerging Green Professionals Hackathon. By Kaitlin Carroll

In a charette style, interdisciplinary teams were given one day to create a net zero carbon emissions retrofit design solution for a Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) 3-storey elementary school case study. This was not only challenging, but also meaningful in the context of the CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standard and the City of Toronto’s own 2050 emissions reduction goals. After nine intense hours, all seven teams produced amazingly innovative and inspiring projects. Their solutions were presented as 5-minute pitches to a panel of esteemed judges including David MacMillan (City of Toronto, Energy & Environment Division), Holly Jordan (B+H Architects), and Vera Straka (Ryerson University). Ideas were assessed based on five criteria: energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable materials, cost, and creativity, as well as effectiveness of their pitch. Hackathon participants found this aspect both challenging and exciting, keeping with the fast-paced nature of the day.

Third Place Project The third place design came from the team of Tony Ferguson, Shishir Handa, and Khan Rafsanjani. Their retrofit plan incorporated lighting upgrades, glazing and envelope upgrades, the introduction of a 95% high efficiency boiler, and even went as far as to consider cradle to cradle certified materials for proposed changes and new installations. In fulfilling the renewable energy component, this team chose to opt for three 10kW wind turbines, which would be located on the school’s roof to provide renewable energy for building functions. A rooftop solar hot water heater was also introduced, reducing water heating costs by 35%. The total calculated carbon emissions reductions for the proposed design was 1kg of co2e/sf/yr.


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Second Place Project The second place design was created by Mariem Khadim, Francisco Contreras, Jordan Singh, and Jelena Madzarevic. The design focused on reducing energy loss by upgrading the existing windows, retrofitting existing lighting, and completely overhauling HVAC systems. The latter was done by introducing more efficient electric boilers, zoned demand controlled ventilation, and introducing energy recovery ventilators. Moreover, keeping true to the zero carbon goal, the team completely eliminated natural gas from the fuel breakdown and introduced a large solar array to the rooftop. A key innovation of this design was the conversion of atrium windows, previously inoperable, into operable, motorized windows which would be used to produce a stack effect creating passive ventilation during the warmer months. This was an excellent use of the existing design, elevating their retrofit plan to the next level. Lastly, the team tied all the interventions together by proposing “sustainable education tools” planned around the building’s new features, to help teach the students about their building as well as to help develop more sustainable and responsible behaviours within the school. The proposed design resulted in a 60% reduction of yearly energy use, and an 83% reduction in co2 emissions.

Winning Project The winning design was developed by Deva Veylan, Daniel Carey, and Yazan Zafar, and proposed a strategy which was based upon environmental justice, wellness, and resiliency. Their ideas were greatly influenced by existing building certification programs such as the Living Building Challenge (International Living Future Institute, 2016).

The team’s first goal was to reduce existing loads through simple building envelope upgrades, lighting retrofits, and demand-controlled ventilation. Renewable technologies were the highlight of the winning design, including both an extensive roof-mounted solar PV array as well as a 192kW ground source heat pump system. Solar thermal water heating was proposed to handle the building’s hot water needs. In addition, the proposed design employs a DC microgrid, which will improve on-site electricity generation by 10%. The DC microgrid system provides additional reliability in the case of extreme weather events, as well as a way to provide stored energy from the solar PV system back to the school during peak hours. These solutions reveal how integral renewable energy technologies will be for reaching any future emissions targets that are set out for our cities.

Moreover, multiple renewable energy systems will need to function in tandem to create a holistic solution to a building’s energy requirements, which includes making use of available thermal energy sources. The winning team was awarded the EGP Hackathon Award at the CaGBC – Greater Toronto Chapter Gala and Awards on October 12th. The team also received time in Ryerson University’s Clean Energy Zone, a business incubator and research hub for clean technology. Event organizers would also like to acknowledge Clean Energy Zone for serving as the Hackathon’s Food Sponsor. Keep an eye on for news about upcoming EGP Hackathons.

Kaitlin Carroll is currently pursuing her Masters of Building Science degree at Ryerson University, and is a member of the Emerging Green Professionals Committee. She is passionate about creating lowimpact, resilient, and beautiful cities.


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The simple nature of these activities manifests as resilience before, during, and after emergencies. Resilience depends on local relationships and communications channels that enhance the response of external support systems. Social scientists, academics, security experts, and those who have lived through disaster share this view: people are resilience’s greatest resource.


The Lighthouse Project: Neighbourhood Community Climate Resilience Hubs People count on buildings to keep them safe. But this past year saw TV images of turgid brown water spreading mud and debris; floods that poured into basements and reaching as high as roofs. Of fierce winds that toppled trees and hydro wires. Landscapes devastated by fires that invaded towns and forced evacuation. People told of racing through their homes to grab what they could carry. The newscasters’ words that accompanied these reports were rife with warning: Unprecedented. Dangerous. By Sheila Murray In 2017, Toronto Islanders became those images as they worked, exhausted, to protect their homes with sandbags. The Islanders toiled alongside each other, with welcome help from volunteers and outside experts. Together they established lasting networks and are preparing for the next event. The world’s weather extremes are unpredictable and unstoppable, but a deeply human response, formed through personal relationships, can restore a sense of safety and awaken optimism. Faith & the Common Good (FCG) is an interfaith network that inspires spiritual groups of all backgrounds to create sustainable communities. FCG understands that community resilience is about people. It is built through everyday conversations and planning meetings. It grows as neighbours learn about the resources and skills that are present in all communities. It is about shared information and training that prepares ordinary people for what may come.


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In a 2015 pilot, FCG asked what supports Toronto faith groups would need to become emergency resilience hubs. What was learned formed the basis of its new GTHA pilot, The Lighthouse Project, which considers two distinct processes. In Brampton (with interest from other GTHA towns and cities), it is documenting how different faith groups and their volunteers can enhance the capacity of municipal emergency managers. In Hamilton and Toronto, it is learning how multi-stakeholder neighbourhood networks form around faith sites and what faith groups can offer their neighbours. The pilot’s local resilience animators come from Brampton’s Emergency Management Office, Environment Hamilton, and in Toronto, Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW), which is also the project’s manager. The School for Social Entrepreneurs is a valued contributing partner. Places of faith are critical “third spaces” in Canada’s built environment. Even those who have never entered their neighbourhood faith buildings consider them to be prominent cultural, social, and spiritual landmarks. Local places of faith are also invisible social safety nets—housing soup kitchens, homeless shelters, community gardens, and work spaces for other charities and non-profits. The Halo Project (www.haloproject. ca/calculator) confirms what is already understood in the US: “For every dollar in a religious congregation’s annual budget, a city gets an estimated $4.77 worth of common good services.” The Lighthouse Project asks people to imagine a more connected way to live. Strong human relationships are resilience—a response not only to the anxieties that plague 21st century urban lives, but also to the loneliness experienced by so many. This is not just a co-benefit of preparing for the future, it is a way to look forward to that future with optimism.

Sheila Murray is a co-founder of Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW), and project manager for Faith & the Common Good’s Lighthouse Project pilot.



INTRODUCTION Climate change is introducing today’s buildings to ever more strenuous natural hazards, as well as creating uncertainty in the design process over how best to approach these changing demands. Designing buildings that are sustainable, in that they better protect their interiors from the elements, have a lower reliance on energy and external resources in general, and re-use and re-adapt existing materials, in turn allows these buildings to foster more resilient operations that are less susceptible to the effects of climate change. The following case studies are just two examples of projects in the Greater Toronto Area where structural and building envelope considerations in collaboration with a like-minded team contributed to a sustainable and innovative building.

DANIELS FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE Located at the historic One Spadina Crescent, the new Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design (DFALD), designed by NADAAA with Adamson and Associates serving as Executive Architect and E.R.A. Architects as Heritage Architect, presented a unique sustainability challenge both from a building envelope and a structural perspective. Phase One of the project was the rehabilitation and retrofit of the existing historic building, formerly Knox College, which ties into the adjacent Phase Two new construction. The first challenge was the adaptive re-use of existing materials to suit the new structural and building envelope demands placed on the building. Structurally, historic mass timber trusses throughout the existing building were assessed for their capacity and generally reinforced for new loads and new spans.

By Matthew Smith


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From a building envelope perspective, the challenge was upgrading the envelope to meet current performance goals while respecting the historic context of the existing architecture. The envelope of the existing building was “buttoned up” throughout, while extensive coordination and mock-ups of windows ensured the gothic revival architecture was maintained and still had concealed, modern detailing. Moving the envelope of the building from the floor of the attic up to the gabled roof allowed for a fully conditioned and partially occupied attic space while also improving the performance of the building. Phase Two of the building incorporates extensive areas of green roofs which can also be accessed by students. The upper floor of the new building is dedicated to reconfigurable studio space. Key to the aesthetics and energy efficiency of this space was opening the roof to provide natural daylight throughout. This was achieved through an intricate structural steel roof of “bow-tie” trusses with glazing within the webs of the trusses. These trusses thus serve to meet the sustainability goals of the building while also achieving world-class architecture. The Daniels Building received the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction Award of Excellence, an achievement which the grand roof surely contributed to.



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YORK REGION ADMINISTRATIVE ANNEX North of Toronto in Newmarket is another sustainable and resilient building under construction. The York Region Administrative Centre Annex designed by WZMH Architects will be an eight-story building that houses York Region’s public services and a Provincial Offences Act courthouse. The building has been designed to ensure the highest interior quality for guests and employees while being highly energy efficient. Central to the building is a full-height atrium framed in green walls and a feature staircase.

Foundation walls adjacent to the river have been designed to be water-tight even during the worst-case flooding. A pedestrian bridge crossing the creek has piers that would be submerged during extreme flooding and have been checked for impact loading from floating debris, as have the foundation walls. Lastly, a standalone back-up generator building adjacent to the Annex and away from potential flood areas increases the resilience of the Annex.


While flooding is often a hazard associated with coastal areas, local topology and hydrology can make it a risk in many areas. Such is the case for York Annex, located within the Western Creek floodplain and directly adjacent to a creek. Extreme flood scenarios have been modelled and show that flood waters can rise to just a few meters below the first floor of the Annex.


The above two case studies have briefly demonstrated how sustainability and resilience can be incorporated in new and existing buildings, a mindset we must incorporate in all our projects given the ever-changing climate around us. The existing building stock in Canada and abroad represents a huge opportunity for sustainable retrofits which can be done efficiently and discretely. In today’s market, resilience is a key driver

for buildings to attract quality tenants as they become increasingly aware of the risk climate change poses and how this can impact their business if not proactively considered. These case studies have focused on the structural and building envelope aspects of the projects, however resilience is not something can be achieved by any one consultant. The teams on both projects collaborated from the onset to ensure resilient and sustainable solutions were implemented throughout and across disciplines.

Matthew Smith is a Structural Engineer at Entuitive.


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CaGBC sets 2030 Roadmap for $32B Retrofit Economy A February 2018 report published by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) sets out a series of comprehensive actions for industry, non-profit organizations, and governments to build a world-leading retrofit economy by 2030 that improves the performance of existing buildings and creates new economic opportunities for Canadians. CaGBC’s A Roadmap for Retrofits: Building Strong Market Infrastructure for the Retrofit Economy, was released in conjunction with a roundtable policy discussion hosted by Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, CaGBC and Econoler in Ottawa. The Report states that the environmental and economic potential of Canada’s retrofit economy cannot be developed by governments alone – it requires industry leadership and innovative market-based mechanisms to generate and sustain results. The roundtable convened a diverse range of stakeholders to discuss how to develop the policy, financing, human capital, business practice, and information market infrastructure to build and sustain a robust retrofit economy. “Through Canada’s national energy dialogue, Generation Energy, Canadians made it clear that the transition to energyefficient buildings is necessary for Canada’s low-carbon future,” says Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr. “Together with industry and the provinces and territories, we developed Build Smart: Canada’s Buildings Strategy. This strategy involves working with organizations like CaGBC to turn big ideas into real actions Canadians can take and we look forward to working together on climate change, through significant, long-lasting improvements to the buildings sector, both now and for the future."

The Report calls on private financiers, pension funds, insurers, and other financial intermediaries to develop retrofit lending products (like the Investor Confidence Project) and standardized commercial contracts that foster building owner and financier confidence in deep retrofit projects. The Report also encourages building owners to proactively disclose building energy and carbon performance, and to share data on the performance of their retrofit projects in order to help the retrofit economy evolve. “The CaGBC’s report recommendations are unique in endorsing a move away from a solution based on government grants and rebates, and instead focuses on leveraging market-based mechanisms developed through private, public, and nonprofit collaboration,” says Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the CaGBC. The Report calls on governments at all levels to leverage their own significant building portfolios to demonstrate the value of retrofit projects, co-invest in education and training with industry to build skills, and undertake smart regulatory and program interventions to attract private-sector capital to projects. The CaGBC will work with government, industry and financial leaders to support the introduction of key market infrastructure that will drive an acceleration of retrofit activity proposed in the Roadmap. The full A Roadmap for Retrofits: Building Strong Market Infrastructure for the Retrofit Economy report is now available on the CaGBC’s website (


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BUILDING RESILIENCE: Toronto’s Lower Don Lands and the Mouth of the Don River

Over the next seven years, Toronto will witness an unprecedented example of resilience planning and flood-resilient design with the creation of a 3-tiered river valley system through a former industrialized area, the Port Lands. The Port Lands Flood Protection and Enabling Infrastructure Project, which combines the Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project with the Lower Don Lands Master Plan, is one of many initiatives that will address future climate-related weather conditions and build resilience in Toronto’s infrastructure. By Ken Dion and Christine Furtado


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Despite global commitments under the Paris Agreement, the climate will continue to change and associated extreme weather events, such as floods, will follow. Recent events, such as the flooding of the Toronto Islands in the spring and summer of 2017, the rain storm on July 8, 2013, and the December 2013 ice storm, demonstrate the importance of building cities that are more resilient to a changing climate. Since 1980, insurance payouts from extreme weather have more than doubled every five to 10 years (IBC, 2016). In order to address the evolving impacts of climate-related weather and get “ahead of the storm,” flood risk-reduction practices that integrate resilience planning into the life cycle of a project are required (OCCIAR, 2015). Conservation Authorities in Ontario have spent several years working with municipalities to monitor, mitigate and prepare for variable and extreme weather patterns, storm surge flooding, destruction of aging infrastructure, and exposed property in flood-prone areas. The Port Lands Flood Protection and Enabling Infrastructure Project will build on several years of research, technical studies and environmental assessment projects to protect ~240 hectares of land from risk of flooding, including parts of Riverside, Leslieville, south of Eastern Avenue and the Unilever Site. Construction on this project began in 2017 and is expected to be completed by 2023. Waterfront Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the City of Toronto and the Toronto Port Lands Company established a framework with multiple layers of adaptability. The following key points summarize how the project builds resilience: • Flood protection standards in Ontario exceed other jurisdictions in North America - if the city experiences extreme weather and flooding (similar to the water levels experienced during Hurricane Hazel), the new river valley system will be able to convey these extreme flood waters with an extra 50cm of depth. Flow volumes under a Hurricane Hazel event far exceed the 1 in 100 year return storm, which many jurisdictions use as a standard. • Active and passive design elements help direct where flood waters will go under varying Lake Ontario water levels – Water levels in Lake Ontario fluctuate up to 1 metre above and below the average lake level conditions, and are expected to continue to do so into the future. Through detailed computer simulations, the river has been designed to direct storm flows into the three separate valley segments.


This splitting of flows is important to minimize the amount of damage that would occur if too much water went into any single valley segment. Weirs included in the design will help maintain the appropriate flow split even during high and low lake levels. • Providing wetland diversity improves ecological resilience – Given the range in Lake Ontario water levels, wetlands will be constructed with a range of elevations to ensure that a diversity of habitat is available at any given time for fish, birds and wildlife in the future mouth of the Don. If uniform grades were utilized, large swaths of habitat could become inhabitable for many species during extremes of high or low water levels. • Monitoring programs allow for the project team to change the valley system as needed – in the event that the City experiences a cumulative impact of extreme weather or lack of water (low lake levels), a monitoring plan will be in place to adapt to such changes. The goal of the Port Lands Flood Protection and Enabling Infrastructure project is to establish and sustain the form, features and functions of a natural river mouth within the context of a revitalized city environment, offering flood protection for existing and planned structures. City services will be protected (transit, roads, water and wastewater) from future flood risk and new ecological design features will connect the city back to its river and waterfront. The newly revitalized community will in turn unlock economic potential, support job growth, enhance the shoreline, and provide natural habitat, ultimately contributing to biodiversity and building a resilient Toronto.

Ken Dion is Senior Manager of Special Projects at TRCA. Christine Furtado is Project Coordinator of Special Projects at TRCA. Waterfront Toronto also contributed to this article.


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GBCI CANADA OPENS FOR BUSINESS On February 27th, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) announced the launch of GBCI Canada. This joint venture was formed to accelerate green building market transformation and impact in Canada, which is the second largest market for LEED outside of the United States. GBCI Canada enables the Canadian industry to leverage new opportunities to validate enhanced building performance and increase emissions reductions, operational savings and human health benefits. GBCI Canada exclusively administers project certifications within the framework of the LEED green building rating systems, as well as the WELL Building Standard, the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) for land use, Parksmart for parking structures, TRUE Zero Waste, Investor Confidence Project (ICP) for energy efficiency retrofits, and the GRESB benchmark, which is used by institutional investors to improve the sustainability performance of the global property sector. GBCI Canada will be led by CaGBC President and CEO Thomas Mueller, who will manage both organizations to ensure seamless integration.


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“The emergence of Canada’s low-carbon economy has greatly accelerated progress toward achieving CaGBC’s longstanding mission of mass market transformation,” says Thomas Mueller, President & CEO, GBCI Canada and CaGBC. “With over a decade of LEED experience, the Canadian industry is well positioned to work toward more energy efficient and low-carbon buildings, as well as health and wellness, and zero waste goals. GBCI Canada has been established to support industry efforts to scale-up by providing expert service and online delivery platforms for a broader suite of complementary green building standards.” “GBCI Canada’s charge is to accelerate green building and business market transformation,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, GBCI. “CaGBC has been a leader in the global green building movement. With this new venture, we will be able to take it to the next level with additional GBCI programs that can help the Canadian market realize the economic and environmental benefits associated with green building, as well as improve quality of life for residents.” Nellie Cheng will also join GBCI Canada as its Managing Director. Cheng brings three decades of experience, including working with GBCI, the World Green Building Council and the Vancouver Economic Development Commission. CaGBC will continue to engage and support the Canadian green building industry, its members and stakeholders through education and training, advocacy and research, business events, and a range of other activities. It will also continue to provide certification reviews and market support for LEED Canada, and to deliver and support its new Zero Carbon Building Standard.


The key attributes of enhanced architectural & structural resiliency are:

· · · · · ·

Resistance to disasters Short-term recovery from a crisis Longevity (long service life) Life safety Durability Adaptability for reuse

Maple Avenue Condos & Parking Garage, Barrie, Ontario Architect: Turner Fleischer Architects Inc. | Engineer: Hanna Ghabrial & Associates Ltd Owner: Auburn Developments

.ca Visit to download your free copies of the Mitigate and Adapt Building our Communities in the Age of Climate Change brochure and the Structural Solutions technical publication.

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