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Sustainability Features

Lawson Centre for Sustainability

Schematic to illustrate the sustainability features for the Lawson Centre for Sustainability

Schematic to illustrate the sustainability features for the Lawson Centre for Sustainability. See the Sustainability Features section below for details.

A Commitment to Sustainability

߲Ƶ’s new Lawson Centre for Sustainability (opening fall 2025) will achieve boundary-pushing sustainability, serving as the leading example of what is possible to achieve in the built form.

It will serve as the central vehicle for sustainability on Trinity’s campus, shaping everything from teaching and academic research to energy use and carbon footprint, to user experience, and in turn, shaping the values of those who pass through our doors—most importantly, the students who come to here to learn.

The Lawson Centre for Sustainability is pivotal to the realization of Trinity’s new Integrated Sustainability Initiative. Through the provision of experiential learning opportunities through the Community Kitchen and George and Martha Butterfield Rooftop Farm, it will foster and catalyze academic community and countless synergies, collaborations and learning opportunities at Trinity, within the University of Toronto, and the broader community—all centred around leading-edge sustainability.

Provision of food is a big part of what we do at Trinity and through the Lawson Centre for Sustainability, Trinity will become a leader in urban agriculture food production, inputting hyper-local industrial-scale food production into the College’s food services.

The importance of fresh, nutritious food, and the urgency of addressing food insecurity, particularly in urban centres, will be integral values associated with food provision at ߲Ƶ, and experienced first-hand by our students, community members, and even outside guests.

Sustainable Building Certifications (upon completion and building commissioning)

  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum
  • Canadian Green Building Council Zero Carbon Building Standards

Sustainability Features

Materials & Resources

  • Hybrid mass timber that prioritizes locally sourced timber (Ontario) and sequesters carbon
  • Hyper-local (Ontario) compressed brick and limestone building cladding
  • Durable materials with renewable and/or recycled content
  • LEED compliant building site and materials waste management
  • Provision of recycling depots for source-separation of waste throughout the building to meet the needs of the University’s recycling and waste reduction programs and vehicular access to these sites
  • Rooftop farm for industrial-scale food production, education and research opportunities

Energy Efficiency

  • Geothermal-source heating and cooling with distributed chilled beams/radiant heating and cooling
  • Rooftop photovoltaic array (solar panels)
  • High-performance building envelope designed to achieve efficient thermal and airtightness operating targets
  • All-electric cooking equipment (including residence kitchen lounges, Community Kitchen, and industrial food service kitchen)
  • Low-use systems for flushing toilets and urinals, including the use of collected grey water for toilet flushing in common public-facing areas
  • Water-efficient fixtures and combined water fountains/bottle-filling stations

Environmental Improvement

  • High-efficiency and highly effective ventilation system for maximum Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
  • Energy-efficient lighting and controls, coordinated with natural light wherever possible
  • Energy-efficient equipment and fixtures
  • Flexible building automation systems (with occupancy/occupant load sensors to moderate HVAC and lighting levels)
  • No toxic materials or volatile organic compounds
  • Fully barrier-free design
  • Exposed wood design, large windows and proximity to nature to promote health and wellness
  • Low height, generous and open stairwells to encourage using stairs over elevators

Climate Mitigation & Stormwater Management

  • Extensive planted green roofs and landscaping designed to feature drought-tolerant and native species that encourage biodiversity
  • Generous bicycle parking, including an indoor facility with showers and lockers
  • Close proximity to public transportation
  • Below-grade (underground) cistern for rainwater collection and reuse