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The Joyce Centre Wins RAIC Award of Excellence

mcCallumSather and B+H Architects, joint venture architects on The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation at Mohawk College, have won the coveted Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in Architecture. The $54 million Joyce Centre is the region’s first and largest net-zero institutional building, serving as a catalyst for change in Southern Ontario and beyond.

The 96,000 square-foot, all-electric building was designed with innovation at its heart. The facility generates 100 per cent of the energy required to power it, meeting rigorous net zero energy and carbon performance targets. The design celebrates sustainability, incorporating a highly expressive photovoltaic array, an iconic form that is highly visible to the community. The building’s energy budget, which was given equal weight to the financial budget in driving design, was devised at the inception of the project and, represents a fundamental shift in the design decision making process.

The Joyce Centre incorporates the latest in energy-efficient materials and processes, featuring solar-powered, state-of-the-art labs, workshops, open study spaces and flexible lecture theatres. The mechanical and electrical spaces, as well as the green roofs, are accessible to all and act as an extension to the learning environment. The facility has created a new paradigm for sustainable building and learning in North America and pioneers a cultural shift in occupant behaviour from open energy consumption to personal accountability.

In a region known for its steel-production, this achievement aligns with the re-emergence of Hamilton as a healthcare and educational hub.

Joanne McCallum, CEO mcCallumSather comments: “This project puts Hamilton on the map as a leader in sustainable design, and we are unbelievably proud to have been a part of it. The facility demonstrates a progressive opportunity where commitment, education, technology and the environment converge to create a living lab for sustainable learning and innovation.”

Lisa Bate, Global Sustainability Lead, Principal, B+H Architects adds, “The Joyce Centre is an excellent template for how we can extend the impact of our buildings beyond themselves and beyond boarders by creating a supporting educating culture to recognize and encourage innovation. The act of designing and building a sustainable facility is only part of the equation. The strategic role we all play in optimizing how the building is used and operated once it is built is vital to Canada’s leadership of a net zero carbon future.”

The building positions Mohawk College as a knowledge centre for carbon-neutral technologies and operations. In every way, the workings of this uniquely sustainable building are put on display and are used as an opportunity to grow, learn, and engage. The Joyce Centre communicates the principles of engineering by transparently demonstrating them, transforming it into more than just a building but a teaching tool. Students are given the opportunity to manage the operations of the building. Through data and analysis, they can observe, in real-time, the temperature, humidity, ventilation rates, thermal distribution and lighting performance in addition to other key building components.

The facility’s commitment to sustainability is underscored by its role in determining standards for the Canadian Green Building Council Zero Carbon Buildings Framework and its contribution to the World Green Building Council’s “Advancing Net Zero” initiative, a global project which aims to ensure that all buildings are net zero carbon by 2050, with all new buildings being net-zero carbon by 2030.

An integrated team was critical to ensuring that key decisions were made early in the process with complete understanding of the design implications. Team members include RDH Building Science, Ellis Don, Mantecon Partners, TMP and MBII.

The award was bestowed at the 2019 Festival of Architecture, President’s Dinner and Award Gala on Monday October 28, 2019 in Toronto.

Read more about the Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation