A cistern harvests rainwater, which is redirected to the building’s toilets. Such measures are expected to reduce consumption of drinking water by 55% and of wastewater by 58%.
Waterless and low flow plumbing
To prevent leaks and reduce water consumption, the low flow faucets are equipped with infrared sensors for automatic shut-off during soaping and after rinsing. Dual-flush toilets use 3.4 litres for a quick flush, 4.8 for a full. The waterless urinals also save significant amounts of water.
A 400-plant colony vertically mounted on a 5-storey wall over a duct that “inhales” air so that microorganisms living on the roots can feed on pollutants in the air, acting as a natural air filter.
Toxic emissions (VOC and formaldehyde)
The Centre for Sustainable Development is aiming for four LEED credits for low-emitting materials: adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, flooring systems, and composite wood and agrifiber products. The low gloss paint used in the Centre contains no more than 50 g/l of volatile organic compounds (VOC). Conventional paints of a comparable type can contain four times that amount.
Choice of Ecological Materials
Supplemental cementitious materials (SCMs)
De 10 à 20 % de la masse du ciment The Portland cement used to make the building’s concrete contains 10% to 20% fly ash, a residue recycled from coal-fired power plants. The building also features two experimental concrete slabs (fitted with monitoring equipment) made in part with powdered glass from recycled bottles.
FSC-certified wood (Forest Stewardship Council)
The Centre for Sustainable Development is aiming for the LEED credit requiring that at least 50% of the new wood used in the building comes from FSC-certified forests.
Materials with recycled content
The Centre for Sustainable Development is aiming for the two LEED credits requiring that at least 15% of the materials used are made from recycled content. The drywall is made from 99% recycled materials and the fiberglass wool insulation from 70%. The counters of the building’s five kitchenettes are made from 93% recycled glass.
At least 90% of the construction waste was diverted from landfills.
Wood reclaimed from rivers
Log driving has harmed many of our rivers, littering the bottoms with sunken logs. Some companies now make it their mission to clean rivers by retrieving the logs for resale. The yellow birch used to cover the railings on the staircase in the atrium and on the 2nd floor walkway come from the bottom of the Georgian Bay.