Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology receives an OAA Design Excellence Award and the Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award

The Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology (CUE) has won one of 15 Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) Design Excellence Awards, and the Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award for Architecture. The awards were presented to architects Taylor Hazell Architects Ltd., Architects Alliance and gh3 inc. at the 2010 OAA Conference.


The Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology, completed in the fall of 2007, is LEED Gold certified building where students and adults learn and promote ecological stewardship. One of the ways they do this is through the Centre’s demonstrated commitment to sustainability by meeting high design, construction and performance standards. The Humber Arboretum, which is a joint partnership of the City of Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and Humber College.


The Centre for Urban Ecology features the following green technologies and design elements: passive solar heat recovery and high performance windows; vegetated roof for storm water management and passive cooling; on-site biofilter system for treatment of sewage and grey water; cistern to collect roof water for landscape irrigation; thermal chimney for passive ventilation, in lieu of air conditioning; automatic windows for ventilation; radiant heat flooring; high performance mechanical systems; shaded outdoor classroom for use in all seasons.


“As architects we embraced the challenge of designing a signature building, on a small footprint within a sensitive eco system. The enthusiasm of Humber College and the Humber Arboretum stakeholders inspired us to create a building that is a lasting image of the value of architecture, engineering and landscape design, creating a sustainable indoor setting for appreciation of the outdoor world,“ said Jill Taylor, principal, Taylor Hazell Architects. These awards are in addition to a Design Excellence Bronze Award from the Design Exchange.


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