Humber Cultural Hub achieves Zero Carbon Building Design Certification 

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Chin, Communications Director

David Dow, Principal

April 25, 2024

Toronto, ON – The new Humber Cultural Hub (HCH) has been officially certified under the Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard v1 by the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC).  

Spanning 325,000 square feet, the HCH will provide a new home for Humber’s award-winning Faculty of Media and Creative Arts and create a new 318 bed student residence. The space which will be equipped with the latest creative technology will provide opportunities for the community to engage with high-quality performances outside of the downtown core.

A zero-carbon building is highly energy-efficient and minimizes greenhouse gas emissions from building materials and operations. CAGBC’s Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) Standards are a made-in-Canada framework that establishes carbon as the new measure of building innovation. 

Key design features of the HCH which lead the Zero Carbon building certification included:

  • Full Electrification: No natural gas in the building eliminates combustion and the associated on-site carbon emissions. 
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps: Efficiently providing heating and cooling to the building, these heat pumps contribute to minimizing carbon emissions linked to the electrical grid during operations. 
  • Energy Efficiency: Targeting a total annual Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of 75 kWh/m2, the best-in-class energy performance reduces strain on provincial electrical grids as the broader economy transitions from natural gas to electricity. 
  • Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction: Incorporating mass timber as part of the structure reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with extracting, producing and transporting building materials, as mass timber has a lower embodied carbon footprint compared to concrete and steel. 
  • Photovoltaic Solar Panels: Strategically installed on the roof, these panels serve as a renewable energy source, reducing carbon emissions associated with the electrical grid during the building's operations. 

The HCH will be the largest zero-carbon design certification development for a university or college institution in Ontario. 

“We want to push the boundaries of sustainable architecture and redefine the way we think about educational and cultural spaces,” says Aman Hehar, associate director, Energy & Climate Change. “Receiving Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard certification for the Humber Cultural Hub is a recognition of our commitment to sustainable practices, innovation, and the future well-being of our planet.” 

Read more about Humber Cultural Hub’s ZCB Certification here.