The Taylor Institute building incorporates a number of features to reduce its impact on the environment and enhance sustainability.
The Taylor Institute was constructed on the foundations of the former Nickle Arts Museum. All of the steel from the Nickle was recycled; in total, 89 per cent of construction, demolition and land clearing waste was diverted from landfill, for reuse or recycling.
The site’s native soils were preserved through an erosion and sedimentation control plan. Silt fences, silt socks and tire washes were used to keep all of the original soil on site during construction.
The building’s finishes incorporate a lot of wood, which adds warmth to the interior space. Preference was given to wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council; 99 per cent of the wood used in the building is FSC-certified and sustainably harvested.
Whenever possible, materials with a high recycled content were used in construction of the building. Recycled materials made up 14 per cent of the total cost of building materials.
The landscaped areas around the building incorporate trees, shrubs and grasses that are either native to the area or well-adapted to the local climate.
Using drought-tolerant grasses and native vegetation reduces the amount of water needed for irrigation. The choice of plants, combined with an efficient irrigation system, means the building uses 70 per cent less potable water for irrigation compared to a conventional building.
A low-energy building
The Taylor Institute incorporates a number of energy-saving features, including high-performance windows, LED lighting controlled by daylight sensors, low-flow hot water fixtures supplied by a high-efficiency water heater, a well-insulated roof, radiant heating and cooling, and sourcing energy from the campus district energy plant.
The ventilation of the building changes depending on the level of occupancy in certain areas. There are CO2 sensors located throughout the building that ensure sufficient outside air is delivered to the building occupants as needed, and saves energy when areas are unoccupied.
The roof is a light-coloured membrane that reflects more of the sun’s rays and reduces the amount of heat absorbed by the building. This lowers the amount of energy needed to cool the building in summer, and helps to minimize the urban heat island effect.
All of these features combine to reduce the building’s energy use by 71 per cent compared to a conventional building of the same size.