This story has been updated to reflect an approved budget for the new facility of C$86.3 million, not $40 million.
Ontario’s first net-zero emissions community centre will include a space for aquatics, a particular point of pride for the firm that designed it since pools are notoriously difficult to heat, dehumidify, and decarbonize.
Slated to open in Scarborough in the fall of 2024, the North East Scarborough Community and Child Care Centre will be net-zero thanks to some “fully integrated air source heat pumps, as well as both photovoltaic (PV) and photovoltaic thermal hybrid panels (PVTs) to generate electricity and heat,” writes Sustainable Biz.
The path to net-zero for the C$86.3-million, 95,000-square-foot centre was also enabled by a “very passive design,” some “very aggressive energy-saving measures,” and a determined effort to source sustainable construction materials, said Zeina Elali, senior sustainability advisor at design firm Perkins+Will.
The biggest design challenge was to build an energy-efficient aquatic centre and cope with the energy demands of heating the water and dehumidifying the air. Skipping the pool wasn’t an option for a facility meant to meet community needs.