architectsAlliance’s first project with York University was the test case for York University’s new ‘green’ design agenda. As the first green building in Ontario, it demonstrated for the first time that a sustainable approach could succeed in a cold climate.
Undergraduate and graduate labs, classrooms, offices, and a 950-seat lecture hall complex are housed in a highly functional, flexible building that provides a transparent, animated and welcoming presence on Campus Walk, the University’s main pedestrian thoroughfare.
Every aspect of the building minimizes environmental impact: a highly efficient passive ventilation system, organized around ‘thermal chimneys’ and a bamboo-planted atrium; recyclable and low embodied energy materials; sun-shading devices on the south and west façades; and an extensive planted roof.
With energy consumption at 50% below conventionally built equivalents, the CSEB is a resounding success. The project, which aA completed with Busby Perkins + Will, has received international recognition in the design and popular press.