Perkins+Will has unveiled plans for a new building in York University's Keele Campus, in Toronto, Canada. Commissioned following an architectural competition, it's slated for LEED Gold certification, or higher, and will boast a significant amount of sustainable technology.

The School of Continuing Studies building will be enlivened with a slightly twisting form and its facade will be clad in integrated photovoltaic panels. Like Copenhagen International School, the aim of the solar panel facade will be to reduce grid-based energy requirements rather than eliminate them altogether.

Impressively, Perkins+Will says it will meet the exacting Passive House standard, which requires outstanding insulation and near air-tightness, allowing for very efficient heating and cooling. The possibility of incorporating a timber structure is also being explored.

"Targeting a minimum certification of LEED Gold the design explores the potential for net-zero energy and net-zero carbon," says the firm. "Strategies include a building envelope that meets Passive House standards, heat recovery ventilation, and integrated photovoltaics to generate electricity on site. With a goal of reducing embodied carbon and improving occupant health, York University and Perkins+Will will also explore the possibilities of mass timber as a key structural element of the new school."

It's early days yet, but initial plans put the total size of the building at around 9,000 sq m (96,875 sq ft) and the number of classrooms at 39, in addition to student lounges, social spaces and more.

Construction work is due to begin next year, with completion expected in 2021. The total budget for the project is CAD$50 million (roughly US$38 million).

Sources: Perkins+Will, York University

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