The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre in Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ont. is the first in Canada to achieve Living Building Challenge certification.
The global sustainability standard puts the York Region structure among only 21 buildings worldwide to meet this criterion.
Located in the York Regional Forest Hollidge Tract, the centre is used to educate students, industry professionals and the public about sustainability related to environmental design, construction and operation, states a release issued by the Regional Municipality of York.
The status of Living Certified, granted by the International Living Future Institute, is considered the most rigorous green building standard in the world based on sustainability requirements. Buildings are evaluated in seven categories referred to as “petals” including site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty.
In addition to meeting stringent environmental design requirements, buildings must demonstrate net zero energy and water performance over a 12-month period to earn the energy and water petals, adds the release.
Green features include:
- Site: facility helps restore a healthy co-existence with nature through its natural setting and provides a place for people to learn and connect with the natural environment;
- Materials: all materials sourced from responsible industry or sustainably produced;
- Equity: facility designed to be accessible to all visitors in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and facilitates access to nature through the surrounding forest including an adjacent accessible trail; and
- Beauty: the facility inspires visitors and the design reflects and enhances the surrounding natural landscape.
Among other awards and certification, the centre has achieved LEED Platinum Certification, a Forest Stewardship Council Leadership Award and Public Project of the Year by the Ontario and American Public Works Associations.
Source: Daily Commercial News