Page E1.1 . 03 April 2002                     
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    Cool and Green

    by Albert Warson

    "Green" buildings can be built in any climate. They can be kept within a reasonable budget, and they don't have to sacrifice architectural grace in favor of functional, environmental, and sustainable factors.

    Proving these claims is the recently completed Computer Science Building on the suburban campus of York University, Toronto. It is believed to be the most comprehensively green building in Ontario.

    It was designed by a joint venture of Vancouver-based Busby + Associates Architects, and van Nostrand DiCastri Architects. (The latter practice has since merged with Wallman Clewes Bergman to become Architects Alliance, based in Toronto.)

    The 102,250-square-foot (9500-square-meter), three-story building is composed of striking elements: precast concrete cladding, fully-glazed walls, aluminum sunshades, copper fin walls, and a rooftop garden with cisterns to reduce storm water loads.

    Continuing that theme inside the building are natural and/or sustainable interior finishes such as wood, painted concrete, clear and sandblasted glass, ceramic tile, and linoleum. Operable, floor-to-ceiling fabric-clad wood louvers provide acoustic buffering and allow classrooms to be darkened during presentations. It all combines to relieve the bleakness and austerity inherited from earlier university administrations' indifference to campus architecture.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    The Computer Science Building enhances the pedestrian nature of Campus Walk while giving York University a new sense of transparency.
    Photo: Steven Evans

    ArchWeek Image

    The atrium introduces natural light into the administrative "courtyard building" from the basement to the third floor.
    Photo: Steven Evans

     

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