Centennial College expansion project achieves Zero Carbon certification

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Centennial College’s Block A expansion project, one of the first mass timber, net-zero carbon post secondary education facilities, has recently been certified zero carbon under the Canada Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building Standard v1, according to EllisDon.

The addition includes 150,000 sq. ft. of space for academic rooms and common areas to house the college’s School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science programmes (ICET). The adjacent structure will also be renovated and link to two levels of the new building.

centennial inside

As the design-builder of the contemporary six-story building, EllisDon’s team designed and constructed the facility “as an example of excellence in architecture, sustainability, community building and higher education”.

The building draws from Indigenous principles and references nature and designs from Indigenous Peoples.

centennial long shot

It’s a low carbon, highly energy efficient, mass timber building constructed with a combination of cross and glue-laminated locally-sourced Canadian timber.

EllisDon’s internal Sustainable Building Solutions team is managing sustainability targets, which include certification under WELL V2 and LEED V4. RDH Building Sciences Inc. was brought in to help manage the Net Zero Carbon features and has been instrumental in the project achieving Zero Carbon certification. The LEED and Net Zero Carbon features of the project focus on high-performance building enclosure to reduce heating and cooling loads on the building, efficient mechanical system design in order to provide exceptional occupant comfort as well as renewable energy integration (i.e. 5% onsite renewable energy generation) to supplement building energy use with clean power.


EllisDon also conducted a life cycle assessment to evaluate the embodied carbon footprint of the project, estimate the embodied carbon, identify impact reduction measures, quantify potential savings, and benchmark against the CaGBC Zero Carbon certification requirements. This assessment, conducted only on the design’s primary material assemblies (foundation, structure, and enclosure), contributed to the project’s overarching low carbon sustainability goals and toward the Zero Carbon certification and reduced the total amount of carbon offsets to be purchased.


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