The Arbour: Ontario’s First Tall Wood, Low Carbon Institutional Building

Integral Group is excited to announce that our Toronto studio is part of the winning team that has been selected to design The Arbour, a state-of-the-art educational facility set to be situated on the George Brown College campus in Toronto, Ontario. Our studio will deliver mechanical, electrical, energy modeling and LEED consulting for this leading tall wood project.

In the pursuit to find the right candidates for the job, George Brown College held a competition seeking design ideas from various internationally recognized architectural firms. Four finalists were selected, and the winning team was Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects, for which Integral Group is a subcontractor.

The Arbour, anticipated to become Ontario’s first tall wood, low-carbon institutional building, will bring a unique deep green element to the George Brown College waterfront campus. The 10-storey structure will revolutionize Toronto’s building landscape and advance Canada’s sustainability agenda by becoming the first Tall Wood Research Institute in the country, with materials sourced nationally. A net-zero energy target has been set by George Brown College in their commitment to sustainability.

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.

Moriyama & Teshima and Acton Ostry Architects’ proposed design pays homage to Canada’s signature wood-framed single family housing, with mass wood and pitched roof components. Occupant wellness and comfort were 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.

Congratulations to the remaining three finalists, Patkau Architects and MJMA, Shigeru Ban Architects and Brook McIlroy, and Provencher Roy and Turner Fleischer Architects. Each design presented a unique facet of aesthetics, sustainability and innovation.