Forestry center achieves historic certification for Canadian region
Photo courtesy of YorkRegion.com
The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre opened last year in Ontario, Canada, to rave reviews. And it continues to garner attention.
Touted as an environmentally sustainable structure, the center recently received LEED platinum certification, reports the website York Region. The facility is the region’s first to achieve such status, local officials said.
“This … demonstrates our dedication to sustainable forest management and public education,” York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson said. “This recognition aptly captures the innovation, beauty and spirit of the Forest Stewardship and Education Centre.”
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, green building program is an internationally recognized rating system marking excellence for design, construction and high-performance green buildings.
The education center’s green features include net zero energy use. Through solar panels, the building will generate more energy than it uses.
There is also net zero water use, which is achieved via storage tanks on the roof. The tanks gather rainwater and snow melt to service the bathroom facilities.
The facility was built almost entirely out of wood, which was sustainably harvested or recycled.
There is a green building and forest education program through classroom learning, tours and events hosted at the facility. Also, around 94 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill during construction.
The exterior walls are made of salvaged wood from destructed buildings in Toronto, while the interior walls are all natural wood and held together by glue. Ash has been used for the front desk and boardroom podium from trees that fell victim to the emerald ash borer.
“York Region continues to support LEED-level certification in new building developments,” Vaughan Regional Councilman and Chair of Environmental Services Mario Ferri said. “The result is a Forest Steward and Education Centre, which is an inspiring and enduring place of learning that promotes York Region’s natural heritage.”
The LEED platinum certification isn’t the only award the region has received for the building. The facility also received the 2016 Ontario Public Works Association Project of the Year in the area of historic restoration and preservation for the centre.
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