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$300-million LEED highway service station contract awarded to Toronto architectural firm


No matter what your car's appetite is for fossil fuel, driving down the highway is one of the last places you'd expect to find the next chapter of environmental sustainability opening up. But thanks to the Province of Ontario and Toronto's Quadrangle Architects, that's just where you'll see sustainability reach down from the headline buildings it's mostly been rolled out in, into the realm of more quotidian development, where it will ultimately do the most good.

Starting in July and ending in 2013, 20 service facilities along highways 400 and 401 will be built and renovated to LEED Silver standards. Ranging from 8,000 to 22,000 square feet, the stations will cost a total of $300 million.

According to Les Klein, Quadrangle's lead on the project, "While an automotive-oriented use like a highway service centre might not be a building that conjures up to the general public an image of sustainability... the LEED designation anticipates, among other measures: a responsible use of land (including environmental clean-up, reducing site disturbance and the heat island effect); energy-conservation in heating, ventilating and electricity usage (including alternative energy); water efficiency and consumption; indoor air quality; and controlling long-term building life-cycle costs and impacts, including the use of local and highly durable materials."

In addition to being radically sustainable, the stations will have a much higher than average degree of accessibility, including differentiated carpet colours and textures for the visually impaired, and motorized adult changing tables in the washrooms.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Lauren Dando

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or renovating, even a cool new house in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

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