Net-zero carbon architecture

By 2023, the Dialog architecture firm is to construct a net-zero carbon college building in Canda. Using wood and aluminium among the key materials for construction will help to reach the sustainable target.
26 June, 2020
The project, called A-Block Building Expansion, is a six-storey addition to an existing building at Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology in Scarborough, Canada. The new space will provide 13,935 square metres for academic rooms and common areas. Designed by Dialog and Ontario firm Smoke Architecture, the building will be mainly made of cross-laminated timber (CLT), a specially engineered wood made from laminated timber sections.

Using wood, which traps carbon, assists the Dialog firm in reaching their ambition to make the building carbon neutral. To achieve this, the building will also feature photovoltaic panels on its rooftop and produce enough energy on-site to offset the annual carbon emissions from the building operations.

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) will be also purchased. Moreover, project designers have carefully thought through occupancy patterns and electrical loads within the building to be able to reduce the amount of energy consumed by the building.

Apart from that, the cladding material was also chosen to be sustainable. Renderings show an L-shaped building covered in aluminium singles. Aluminium, which is one of the most eco-friendly materials in the world, thanks to its unique infinite recyclability characteristic, does not only look fancy, but can also be really functional due its light and heat reflectivity qualities.

"The design of the building is a poetic response to the pattern of seed, growth, culmination, and balance in a continuous cycle," said Dialog.

"The interplay of solid and void in the building massing allude to the drawing back of the skins over a wigwam frame in response to seasonal changes."

Craig Applegath, Project Principal at Dialog said: "This project will be a clear demonstration of how higher-education facilities can make an important contribution to reducing environmental harm by eliminating carbon dioxide emissions. Its zero carbon emissions design and its ability to store thousands of tonnes of carbon in its sustainably harvested mass timber wood structure, will be an important precedent in both Canada and around the world."

Banner image: Dialog Design