ETFO represents over 78,000 teachers and education workers in the public elementary schools of Ontario. To reinforce its commitment to protect and enhance the working lives of its members, its new headquarters was conceived to prioritize the highest-quality work environment. As the first LEED Platinum certified office building in Toronto, it has also become a tool to teach students, citizens, developers and the City that architecture can be an active agent of positive change and city building.
The building is located in the Upper Jarvis Neighbourhood, a small yet diverse enclave of Victorian residences, offices and condominium towers, rental apartments and the AIDS hospice, Casey House. While the design was first driven by the goal to provide the healthiest work environment, considerable attention was placed on ensuring the overall massing would respond to the rhythm and scale of the surrounding context. A series of terraced roofs maximize access to daylight, views, fresh air and access to the outdoors at every level, while also strategically preserving a majestic Black Walnut tree.
Integrated active and passive systems such as raised floors, radiant heating and cooling, 100% fresh air displacement ventilation, geothermal, automated exterior shades, and daylight sensors further contribute to high quality indoor environment while achieving significant energy reductions. Ultimately the overall design empowers individual users to control their environment, and by extension embrace environmentally responsible behavior – the biggest factor in energy conservation.