The Arbour Receives Azure Best in Concepts: Unbuilt Buildings Award


One of Toronto’s most revolutionary developments – The Arbour – has recently been awarded the Best in Concepts: Unbuilt Buildings Award from the AZ Awards 2019. Otherwise known as George Brown College’s new School of Technology and Canada’s first Tall Wood Research Institute, The Arbour impressed with its low-carbon building model and cross-laminated timber design. Integral Group worked alongside Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects to deliver the award-winning project, incorporating sustainable designs such as solar chimneys and smart building systems.

The AZ Awards are an annual international design competition recognizing the best projects, products, and ideas from around the globe. Submissions are judged by four criteria; aesthetics, function, creativity, and social and environmental responsibility. The Arbour won the best Unbuilt Buildings Award from the Concepts category.

Currently, the province of Ontario is amending it’s building code to accommodate this most innovative wooden building in the history of the country. Targeting a height of 12 storeys, The Arbour is skyrocketing past the six-floor limit imposed by the Ontario Building Code, instigating the province to amend its restrictions and paving the way for future tall timber structures. This makes it the first Tall Wood Research Institute in Canada.

The building will serve as an educational hub—housing research, teaching and learning—as well as a child care facility to accommodate the rapidly growing local community. The proposed design pays homage to Canada’s signature wood-framed single family housing, with mass wood and pitched roof components. Occupant wellness and comfort was a priority in design, as the facility features breathing rooms with solar chimney systems for sustainable, natural light and ventilation. Expandable and contractible walls will allow for flexibility of learning spaces when required. In addition, a smart building system will equip the building with integrated, intelligent and adaptable technology throughout.

In addition to its significantly ambitious wood design, The Arbour is also pursuing a high level of sustainability. The record-setting timber giant will be built with all nationally sourced materials, as well as target a Net Zero Carbon and Toronto Green Standard (TGS) V3 Tier 4.

Integral Group is providing mechanical and electrical engineering as well as LEED/TGS consulting for this project. The project was also previously awarded the Canadian Architect Award of Excellence, and was featured in our Insight: Wood You Believe It? Advancements in Mass Timber Construction.


To see a complete list of winners, visit Azure Magazine 2019 AZ Award Winners.

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