Waterfront Toronto announces selection of Steven Holl Architects to design District Energy Centre

    TORONTO, March 12 /CNW/ - Waterfront Toronto today announced the
selection of Steven Holl Architects to design the District Energy Centre in
the West Don Lands, which will provide centralized heating and cooling to the
first new waterfront neighbourhoods.
    "With the creation of the West Don Lands District Energy Centre,
Waterfront Toronto is introducing this highly-sustainable technology to Canada
in a visible and striking way through an iconic architectural expression of
energy generation," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront
Toronto. "This building will make a positive statement about the role of
district energy in protecting the environment and educating the public about
Waterfront Toronto's efforts to build a green city."
    Steven Holl Architects (SHA) is internationally-honored with
architecture's most prestigious awards, publications and exhibitions for
excellence in design among which are two recent recognitions in the '10 Best
Architectural Marvels' of Time Magazine's December 2007 issue.
    Steven Holl Architects was selected for the District Energy Centre
because of their design ability and their philosophy that sustainable building
and site development is fundamental to innovative and imaginative design.
Incorporating green roofs, double walls, and advanced mechanical systems,
Steven Holl Architects constructed the New Residence at the Swiss Embassy
according to Swiss "Minergie Standards," higher standards than the U.S.
Council for Green Building's LEED standards for minimal energy consumption. In
2007 the Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park was chosen as one of the
exemplary Top Ten Green Projects by the American Institute of Architects'
Committee on the Environment. The Whitney Water Purification Facility and Park
(2005) features the largest green roof in Connecticut, zero off-site storm
water discharge, expanded wetlands for biodiversity, and geothermal heating
and cooling.
    Steven Holl states: "The 21st century presents us with one-third of the
earth already developed, much of it in sprawling waste. A fundamental change
of attitude, a revisioning of values must take place. We hope to make the
District Energy Centre a cultural and global symbol of sustainable development
through an architecture that enacts the authentic connection of nature,
society and humanity. The building will be inspiring in its design and
excellent in its technical functioning."
    As part of its mandate to make Toronto a global leader in sustainable
development, Waterfront Toronto has committed to meeting all of the heating
and cooling demands of its new waterfront neighbourhoods through a centralized
district energy system. An interconnected network of underground pipes will
extend to every development parcel in the new waterfront precincts, and all
new buildings will be required to rely on this system, and will not be built
with their own independent heating and cooling systems. Although initially
these plants will be natural-gas fired, they will be designed for eventual
conversion to alternative fuels when they become approved for urban use.
Creating the centralized system now will, thereby, "future proof" the
waterfront by allowing entire neighbourhoods to be easily switched to more
efficient and sustainable sources of energy. While such district energy plants
are common in parts of Europe and Scandinavia, they have not been introduced
on a large urban scale in North America.
    Chris McVoy, Senior Partner at Steven Holl Architects, states: "We are
excited by the opportunity to weave public green space and sustainable
infrastructure together as a new urban prototype."
    The District Energy Centre is expected to go into construction by the end
of 2008 in order to be ready to deliver heating and cooling to the first
buildings by the beginning of 2010.

For further information:

For further information: Marisa Piattelli, Waterfront Toronto,
mpiattelli@waterfrontoronto.ca, (416) 214-1476

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