The Destination Project will be designed to meet a minimum LEED silver accreditation and will continue to work towards a potential LEED gold certification. The development of the building design has been directly informed by a more thorough understanding of the local environment, as well as the building’s functional needs.

To harness the best attributes of the local climate, such as access to abundant sun and wind, and to be intelligent about how spaces within the building can relate, contribute and will support one another is a key element of the sustainable principals. Sustainability extends beyond energy reductions. It extends into the quality and comfort of a space, material choices, spatial arrangements, orientation of the building and many other design details.

Here are a few ways the Destination Project will incorporate sustainability:

Wintergarden Atrium

The Wintergarden is a critical component of the building’s passive systems and the larger global ventilation concept.

By passing fresh outdoor air through this space, the Wintergarden is passively heated by the natural solar gains, and reduces the need to condition by mechanical means. By altering or redirecting the airflow through the Wintergarden, the function of the space is altered to suit the season, or even the temperature changes over the course of the day.

In the winter seasons internal air is circulated through the space that is passively heated, and then passed along to the shared mixing plenum for use elsewhere in the building.

During the shoulder seasons, exterior air is drawn directly into the Wintergarden through operable vents, passively heated and passed along into the building ventilation system.

In the summer, the south-facing venetian blinds will be automatically deployed to keep the sun out, and the space will be used to vent hot air from the interior by opening exterior windows at the top of the south façade.

Global Ventilation Concept

The global ventilation concept combines proven highly efficient mechanical technologies for heat and humidity recovery systems, and smart ventilation paths in order to facilitate thermal comfort.

The concept is based on the idea of cascading air quality and reducing energy loss from conditioned air. These concepts have been tested and proven. While maintaining the full functionality and flexibility of all technical spaces, air used once, to ventilate offices, classrooms and other common spaces is collected and cascades through the central atrium spaces into a rooftop mixing plenum. Any additional fresh air required to meet mandated air exchange rates is added from the penthouse air handling units and then delivered to the lab spaces.

A critical aspect of the system that makes this approach viable is the integration of heat recovery systems directly into the building’s centralized air handling units. By passing warm and humid exiting air through a slowly rotating wheel of aluminum heat-absorbing matrix, up to 85 per cent of the humidity and heat energy is extracted from the air before leaving the building. This extracted energy is then used to pre-condition air entering the building. This identical technique is used to cool and dehumidify air entering the building during the summer months.

Almost all exhaust air leaving the building will pass through the heat recovery system, ensuring a high rate of recovery and dramatic reductions in energy consumption.

In order to control and isolate pollutants from the fume hoods and ventilated cabinets in the lab spaces, two separate streams will be employed for exhausting used laboratory air. One for general lab exhaust, and a second stream dedicated to fume hood and vented cabinet exhaust which will follow a slightly different procedure.


All offices facing east and west in the building employ a double façade, also referred to as a double skin.

Each office enjoys natural ventilation via a manually controlled interior window vent. Occupants open and close these windows as the environmental conditions allow. This fresh air will then move through the office, into the atrium and then into the shared mixing plenum before it is added to the lab air supply stream.


Many studies have been conducted on the impact of natural lighting on health and individual productivity. Central sky-lit atriums and shifted lab blocks ensure that interior spaces are well lit. Perimeter offices will sit at the outer edges of the lab blocks and office and lab fronts will be glazed allowing maximize daylight penetration deeper into the floor plates.


A Direct Digital Control Building Management and Control System will be used to control and monitor all mechanical equipment, and will allow communication with the existing campus automation systems. Additional Measurement and Verification measure points will be added to the system to allow for finer control of the mechanical building systems. These additional ‘points’ will also prove essential to maximize energy efficiency in all aspects of the building’s function.


Fume hoods will be designed for variable volume control, and proximity sensors will close the sash of the hood after a predetermined period of time, providing energy savings and increasing user safety.

Dedicated high-velocity fan arrays (also referred to as strobic farms) at the penthouse roof will handle exhaust gathered from the fume hoods and cylinder storage cabinets throughout the building. By ganging and staging the exhaust fans within an array, exhaust levels can be maintained at a constant negative pressure, while the number of active central fans required can be simultaneously reduced. This ‘ganging’ strategy provides substantial energy consumption reductions, and also reduces the amount of ductwork required.


A high-efficiency low-temperature loop is recommended for heating the new Science and Academic Building. Utilizing lower temperature hot water for space heating allows the use of far more efficient condensing boiler technology and more efficient heating applications.

Research benefits from different perspectives and approaches, creating opportunities for students and researchers to place their work in a greater context.

Dr. Craig Cooper | Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science