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Environmental Science experts to teach and train in environmentally-friendly, sustainable building

The Environmental Science and Chemistry Building is aiming for LEED gold certification with sustainable features that include geothermal boreholes, an Earth Tube system to supply 100 percent fresh air to the administrative wing and unique fritted glazing to minimize solar heat gain. (Photo by Ken Jones)

Government and University of Toronto dignitaries joined today in celebrating the groundbreaking of UTSC’s technologically advanced Environmental Science and Chemistry Building (ECSB).

The new building will be a science education and research hub on UTSC’s north campus complementing development that already includes the Instructional Centre and the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre that is currently under construction.

"As a graduate of UTSC, I have experienced first-hand the commitment to excellence that this school has and the new Environmental Science and Chemistry Building will be no different," says the Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "The University's choice of a cutting-edge sustainable building design is just another sign of the innovative spirit of this campus and its students."

The 110,000-square-foot (9,290-square-metre) facility will utilize innovative design solutions for a sustainable and highly flexible research and study space. It will house two disciplines in the Department of Physical and Environmental Science with research and teaching laboratories, an analytical instrumentation centre, office and meeting space.

“Not so long ago this wonderful location was the site of a parking lot. In about 18 months, it will be the site of another beautiful new building, designed to support the excellence of our faculty, staff, and students at UTSC,” says University of Toronto President David Naylor.

The building is targeting LEED Gold certification with sustainable features that include geothermal boreholes, an Earth Tube system to supply 100 percent fresh air to the administrative wing, unique fritted glazing to minimize solar heat gain, all LED lighting fixtures and a high performance curtainwall. Once completed it would become the first new building at the University of Toronto to receive LEED Gold certification.

“The Department of Physical and Environmental Science is a powerhouse, with a great story of innovation and discovery,” says UTSC Principal Franco Vaccarino.  “That story can now continue to unfold and be celebrated in this exceptional new facility as it becomes home to the faculty and staff of the Environmental Science and Chemistry programs, and almost 200 graduate students in U of T’s Environmental Science professional master’s and PhD programs.”

The facility will help train the next generation of experts to address the scientific challenges presented by environmental issues such as groundwater pollution in urban settings, restoration of degraded environmental systems, climate change and rising sea levels. It will also include student study space, a librarian office, a police office, seminar rooms and multi-purpose space.

The building is scheduled to open in July 2015; total project cost for this own funds building is $65.1 million. 




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