Educating Through Innovation

Bird Construction is the general contractor for the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario's new headquarters. The facility is targeting the highest level of LEED certification, LEED Platinum. 

As Originally Seen in Sustainable Architecture & Building Magazine [SABMag] : www.sabmagazine.com



The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario [ETFO], an organization representing over 76,000 teachers and education workers in Ontario, plays a critical role in recognizing that the people who teach our children are pivotal in building our future. To this end, the new ETFO head- quarters is conceived as a pinnacle of sustainable building practice with goals for a minimum 60% energy reduction over the Model National Energy Code for Buildings [MNECB] and LEED NC Canada Platinum certification. ETFO presented the design team with a formidable challenge: design a light filled, glassy and at once highly sustainable building on an extremely tight downtown lot. The ambition is to be the greenest, and most energy efficient commercial office building in the City of Toronto, which ETFO hopes will be a model for others to follow.

CLIENT The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
ARCHITECT  KPMB Architects 
PROJECT MANAGER Turner & Townsend cm2r Inc.
GENERAL CONTRACTOR Bird Construction
MECHANICAL ENGINEER Integral  Group 
ELECTRICAL  ENGINEER Smith + Andersen Consulting Engineers 
CIVIL  ENGINEER SCS Consulting Group Ltd.
LANDSCAPE NAK Design  Group
SUSTAINABILITY/LEED/ENERGY CONSULTANT CDML Consulting Ltd.

Achievements by Numbers
  • Targeting 56 LEED Points
  • > 45% open  space
  • 100% reduction, potable water required for irrigation
  • > 50% reduction, in-building potable water use
  • > 60% energy cost reduction over  MNECB baseline
  • > 95% construction waste diverted from landfill
  • > 21% recycled content in building materials
  • > 39% regional content in building materials
  • > 81% FSC wood materials
  • 100% adhesives, sealants, paints,  coatings, carpets and composite wood comply with LEED’s stringent toxicity requirements

Innovative Features
  • Fully automated exterior solar shades [and additional interior roller shades for occupant control] reduce glare and solar heat gain, reducing energy consumption while increasing occupant comfort.
  • Opaque operable vents use parallel hinges  to deliver fresh air close to floor level in conjunction with displacement ventilation system; vents  incorporate an electronic signalling and locking system that works in conjunction with the Building Automation System (BAS),  providing a connection to the outdoors for occupants while minimizing potential for condensation issues.
  • 100% fresh air, low  velocity, low volume displacement ventilation delivered via raised floor plenum helps create a healthy environment.
  • Daylight and motion sensors control lighting levels to reduce energy consumption.
  • CO2  sensor controls ventilation levels to ensure optimal indoor environment for occupants while reducing energy consumption.
  • Electric vehicle charging stations and indoor bicycle storage complement easy access to Toronto’s subway and bus systems provides ETFO an array of sustainable transportation options.
  • 68% of the roof is covered with a green  roof system. The green roof system pretreats rainwater, the majority of which is captured in a cistern and reused  for landscape irrigation. rainwater runoff from the ballasted penthouse roof is captured in a second cistern and reused  for toilet flushing.
  • Space heating and cooling is delivered radiantly through the hydronic ‘capillary matt’ system: thousands of small polyethylene tubes are installed above a dropped ceiling system and convey hot or cold water to add or remove heat as required.
  • The majority of the demand for heating and cooling is met by high efficiency heat pumps that use a large geothermal field of eighty-four approximately 150m [500 feet] deep wells below the building.
  • Floor to ceiling glazing for most regularly occupied spaces maximize daylight penetration and a full height atrium allows daylight to enter  into  the building core.
  • Careful siting and the implementation of best management practices during construction ensured that large  existing trees were  retained onsite.
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