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Case Studies  > York University, Computer Science Building
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The Computer Science Building at York University in Toronto, Ontario is the province's first institutional project to incorporate a sustainable design philosophy. 

This building is designed to function at a 50 per cent energy reduction of AHSRAE 90.1. Key design strategies include an efficient envelope, the building shape, external shading, and an accessible thermal mass. The design employs natural ventilation airpaths (openings, atria, stacks, operable windows, relief hoods). Interior thermal zones capture the energy from programming uses.

For example, computer laboratories are placed on the north façade to capture efficiencies in energy consumption and communications. A sod roof was installed to provide evaporative cooling during the summer, added insulation during the winter and storage for stormwater.

As a result of the high-performance envelope, heating and cooling loads were significantly reduced, which led to a 50 per cent reduction in mechanical equipment compared to a conventional building. Over a 75-year lifespan, this building is expected to expend $50 million in operating and maintenance costs, whereas the baseline reference building was projected to incur $125 million. Over its 75 years, it is also predicted to produce 85,700 tonnes less in greenhouse gas emissions than a standard building.
Other notable green features include permeable walkways, a green roof, 50% recycled content for concrete and 100% recycled content for reinforcing steel.

Project Team
Owner: York University
Architect: Busby and Associates / Van Nostrand di Castri Architects
Structural Engineers: Yolles Partnership Ltd
Mechanical Engineer: Keen Engineering,
Concrete Construction: Use of high volume flyash (50% range) in cold climate
Ready-Mix Supplier: Ontario Ready-Mix, Etobicoke, ON.
Concrete Placer: Forma-Con Construction, Toronto,ON.
Cement Supplier Essroc Italcementi Group, Mississauga, ON.
Flyash Supplier: Lafarge Canada, Stoney Creek, ON.

Credits: Busby & Associates ( and
Ecosmart™ (