World Green Building Council: ‘Building a Better Future’, produced by BBC StoryWorks

November 20, 2020, Toronto, ON – World GBC’s ‘Building a Better Future’ collective of films explores the profound effect buildings have on the quality of people’s lives and the role the green buildings movement can play in tackling the climate emergency. The intention of ‘Building a Better Future’ was to look at case studies and projects occurring within organizations that translate rhetoric into action. By shining a light on the most interesting examples of best practice from across the sector, the series hopes to increase awareness and understanding, and drive change in the ways in which buildings are designed, built and operated.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) involvement in the ‘Building A Better Future’ highlights how TRCA’s overall work in the larger community in combination with the effort to achieve a more sustainable new administration building. Over the course of the summer and fall, TRCA staff worked closely with the BBC StoryWorks production team to produce a short film that tells the story of the work that TRCA does within the watersheds of the GTA with a particular focus on how the new administration building will showcase the use of mass timber as a way of making the building more sustainable. The film is now completed and has been launched on the BBC StoryWorks website:

“I am very pleased that TRCA’s new administrative building is being featured in World Green Building Council: ‘Building a Better Future’, produced by BBC StoryWorks.  The short film tells the story of the work that TRCA does within its communities working with industry, residents, community members, and government partners within the watersheds of the GTA with a particular focus on the new TRCA administrative office building which showcases the use of mass timber, leading edge water and energy efficiency systems, and ecologically sensitive design measures as a way of leading by example towards achieving more sustainable communities.”

– Jennifer Innis, Chair TRCA Board of Directors

“I applaud TRCA and local municipalities for their innovation and ability to work together to protect, restore and enhance natural resources within the Greater Toronto area, while supporting the local economy. This sustainable building project is great example of the kind of excellent work that TRCA does every day to deliver important programs and services to the communities it serves.”

– Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

TRCA’s administration building project continues to meet the highest standards in sustainability and design:

  • LEED Platinum
  • WELL Silver
  • Zero Carbon Certification
  • Toronto Green Standards Tier 2

The project design team led by ZAS Architects and Bucholz McEvoy Architects in joint venture have produced a truly innovative building that is both technically innovative and aesthetically sophisticated. Despite the challenges of schedule, budget, and approvals, the project is meeting the original goals enumerated in the concept design process:

  • Architecture to respond to ravine context, mission of TRCA
  • Adaptability, durability, flexibility critical aspects of design
  • Physical and visual connection to nature important
  • Sustainable design to be demonstrated throughout
  • Architecture to facilitate internal collaboration, and allow open welcoming interface with public
  • Ground floor uses to be public in nature
  • Upper office floors to be interconnected visually and physically to encourage daily physical activity
  • Workspace design to adhere to current best-practices while accommodating a range of working styles (open office, private rooms, meeting rooms and lounge areas)

Features that the design team have brought to the project include:

  • Passive heating and cooling through a double layer of glass and operable windows
  • Four “Waterwalls” delivering tempered air through a raised floor plenum
  • Two large atria spaces delivering natural light to interior spaces and fresh air
  • Ceiling mounted radiant hydronic panels efficiently providing additional heating and cooling
  • Exterior window blind system to dramatically reduce solar gain and therefore the need for costly air conditioning
  • A landscape and stormwater management design that dramatically reduces water egress from the site adjacent to a ravine

The new building, which is funded by all three levels of government, will accommodate more than 400 employees in 2022. It will enable TRCA to consolidate its staff now working in multiple facilities at a central location, reducing travel times and costs, and creating operational efficiencies that will help the organization deliver the best possible customer service and support.

TRCA is excited to share the final film with you today and hope you take the time to see how our organization is perceived internationally.


About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)

With more than 60 years of experience, TRCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of watershed communities through the protection and restoration of the natural environment and the ecological services the environment provides. More than five million people live within TRCA-managed watersheds, and many others work in and visit destinations across the jurisdiction. These nine watersheds, plus their collective Lake Ontario waterfront shorelines, span six upper-tier and 15 lower-tier municipalities. Some of Canada’s largest and fastest growing municipalities, including Toronto, Markham and Vaughan, are located entirely within TRCA’s jurisdiction.

Media Contact:

Michael Tolensky
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
416-706-9093 |