Hamilton, ON

The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation

The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation at Mohawk College is the first institutional building in Canada to be awarded Zero Carbon Building – Design certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

The building was one of 16 projects participating as a pilot project for the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative and World Green Building Council (WGBC) Advancing Net Zero Initiative. Funded studies, from design through construction to post-occupancy evaluation, will illuminate the implications of net zero construction in new, large-scale, high-volume developments and will inform future processes in the collective move toward net-zero construction for all new buildings by 2030.

New construction projects earn Zero Carbon Building – Design certification by modeling a zero carbon balance, highly efficient envelope and ventilation systems to meet a defined threshold for thermal energy demand intensity, and onsite renewable energy systems capable of providing a minimum of 5% of building energy consumption. Project teams are required to evaluate energy use holistically, including impacts on peak electricity, and determine the GHG emissions associated with structural and envelope materials. Both new and existing buildings can obtain the standard.

Sustainable Architecture

The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation is Mohawk College’s next milestone in its vision for a more energy efficient future. Mohawk College is a committed leader in sustainability and conducting business in ways that positively impact students, the environment, and the broader community.

The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation represents a cultural shift in thinking for Mohawk College, its staff, and students—from free access energy to individual accountability for resources consumed. The design prioritizes the end-users, Mohawk’s students, and staff, creating a social learning environment that will become a driver of innovation. There are three main public amenity spaces: the Students Community Court; the West Entry Plaza; and the Sunken Garden.

The design incorporates high-capacity teaching spaces grouped together around a social hub atrium, converging to allow the flow of students to interact around a café, informal lounge spaces and more private study areas. The laboratories will be flexible and modular, allowing them to develop over time – in tune with advancing technology. Additionally, the laboratories will engage industry leading companies for innovative partnerships to harness collaboration between students and industry.

The Joyce Centre’s technology includes:

• A high-performance building envelope which maximizes natural light in the building and significantly reduces the building’s heating and cooling loads
• Solar photovoltaic panel arrays generating 721,000 kWh of clean, renewable electricity per year
• A solar thermal system that provides heat for the domestic hot water system
• 28 geothermal wells
• A variable refrigerant flow heat pump system
• Storm water harvesting of up to 228,000 litres
• Sensor-controlled LED lighting
• A green roof with extensive planted areas
• High-efficiency plumbing fixtures

Performance Facts

  • The 8,981 sq.m. building generated 620,600 Kwh of renewable energy and consumed 537,000 Kwh in the same period (October 2018 – October 2019), producing 115.5% of the energy required for its operation.
  • The generated green power created a surplus equivalent of 154,196 kg CO2e (the amount of CO2 that would have the equivalent global warming impact) while registering indirect emissions of 12,305 kg CO2e, keeping the equivalent to 141,891 kg of carbon dioxide from entering the environment.
  • The peak energy demand for the building was 296 kW in one day.
  • The Joyce Centre uses no natural gas onsite – the all-electric set up allows for the easiest way for most buildings to reduce their carbon consumption.