Education centre is Canada’s greenest building

An education centre planned and built to educate York Region residents about the importance of natural resources and forest ecosystems is the first in Canada to achieve Living Building Challenge certification.

The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre is also among just 21 buildings worldwide to achieve the International Living Future Institute certification, which is widely recognized as the most rigorous green building standard in the world based on sustainability requirements related to site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty.

These seven categories are named Petals in the challenge. In addition to meeting stringent environmental design requirements, buildings must demonstrate net zero energy and water performance over a 12-month period to earn the Energy and Water Petals.

“This is an outstanding achievement for York Region,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “The project demonstrates the Region’s commitment to innovation while leaving a lasting and sustainable legacy for the community. This centre provides opportunities to help residents and the extended community learn about the importance of our natural resources and forests.”

Located in the York Regional Forest Hollidge Tract in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, the centre was built in 2015 using local and recycled materials. It’s used to educate students, industry professionals and the public about leading-edge sustainability related to environmental design, construction and operation.

Bill Fisch was Chairman and CEO of York Region from 1997 to 2014. Among other awards and certification, the centre has achieved LEED Platinum Certification, Forest Stewardship Council Leadership Award and Public Project of the Year by the Ontario and American Public Works Associations.

York Region photo.

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