The Allsteel/Gunlocke Resource Center, located in the historic 1899 Toronto Carpet Factory Boiler House, has earned LEED Canada for Commercial Interiors (CI) Gold certification. The showroom is only the second facility in Toronto to earn the gold-level certification using the Canadian system, and represents the sixth LEED-certified showroom housing the two sister companies.
"The first time I saw the Boiler House, I couldn't wait to apply the LEED system to the redesign of such an amazing historic building," says Keri Luly, LEED AP, Allsteel's manager of sustainability programs. "The blending of dramatic design, heritage preservation and environmentally smart initiatives was certainly challenging, but the reward lies in the great experience that visitors have when they walk into the showroom."
The 7,965-square-foot space was transformed by the Toronto-based design firm, figure3, into a stunning showcase reflecting the distinct personalities of both brands, while respecting the building's historical past. The juxtaposition of exposed brick walls, steel architectural elements, 50-foot ceilings, and a glass-enclosed boardroom dramatically suspended from the ceiling creates a compelling visual dynamic. The figure3 and Allsteel/Gunlocke team focused on reusing and reviving as much of the original building materials as possible, helping it earn the distinction as one of the first eight LEED Canada-CI certified projects in Canada.
To earn the LEED-CI certification, Allsteel/Gunlocke and figure3 took a number of innovative steps:
- SITE SELECTION: The showroom is located in the densely developed Liberty Village neighborhood, which is being revitalized from its post-industrial roots. Nearby public transportation and minimal parking discourage individual car use and promote using alternative transportation.
- WATER & ENERGY EFFICIENCY: New fixtures reduced water usage by nearly 40 percent, while 100 percent of the energy needed to operate the showroom is offset by the purchase of renewable energy credits from Ontario's first green electricity retailer, Bullfrog Power. Additionally, lighting sensors automatically dim light fixtures when natural daylight illuminates the building through the hundreds of original windows.
- MATERIALS & RESOURCES: The design team reclaimed much of the building's original materials, and sourced new ones with high levels of recycled content from local resources.
- INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: Careful
construction and pre-occupancy air quality
management plans, combined with a long list of low-emitting materials, kept indoor air healthy for both construction workers and current occupants.
- INNOVATION IN DESIGN: Educational programs such as Allsteel's GreenTouchScreen share environmental awareness and knowledge with the community.