Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning

The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning is a leader in medical research and education with facilities scattered throughout Downtown Toronto. To stay at the leading edge of research, SickKids™ is consolidating research and education in a new 21-storey, 750,000 ft² state-of-the-art facility. Approximately 2,000 staff was relocated to the new facility when it opened in the spring of 2013.

The $400M high-rise tower includes 17 floors of lab space with high-tech equipment to aid in their breakthrough research and progressive learning. Different areas of research are reflected in seven “neighborhoods” of science that span two to three floors and are connected by atrium spaces to encourage cross-collaboration. The tower also houses new learning and teaching facilities for SickKids™ Learning Institute including a 250-seat lecture theatre, flexible learning spaces, and display area. The facility also includes tele-education area, meeting rooms, two new pathways to connect the Research and Learning Tower to SickKids™ McMaster and Atrium buildings.

Integral Group has been retained as a consultant for sustainability, Energy Modeling to predict anticipated building performance, and LEED Consulting & Facilitation services. Since research laboratories usually expend large amounts of energy, extensive planning was required to reduce energy consumption. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of lab ventilation systems was performed to demonstrate viability of displacement and variable refrigerant flow ventilation systems in labs. By using these innovative ventilation systems, energy efficiency was significantly increased.

Integral Group in collaboration with its partner BuildingWise has also provided LEED EB:O+M & LEED CI consulting services. As part of the process, our team connected on a regular basis with the occupants to establish required policy & procedures to meet the minimum sustainability, energy & water use reduction requirements outlined by the Hospital.

The project comprises a number of sustainability initiatives including energy recovery systems, the use of low emitting materials, bike racks and showers to encourage commuting, and rainwater harvesting to reduce the demand on the municipal infrastructure system. The incorporation of a high performance envelope in order to reduce the overall size of the mechanical cooling & heating systems – a demonstration of addressing energy consumption by passive rather than active means. The building is also designed to connect into the local district steam energy system, further enhancing energy efficiency.

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