"The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre (BFFSEC) is located in the York Region Hollidge Tract, and is part of one of the most successful forest regeneration projects in the world, a didactic project which promotes the significance of forest ecosystems. As a space for education, corporate, and community meetings, the net-zero building is targeting LEED® Platinum Certification. The building is also expected to be the first fully Certified Living Building Challenge (LBC) project in Ontario, and one of only six fully Certified LBC projects worldwide.
In the design of the Education Centre, DIALOG brought together a unique and interdisciplinary team that not only included architects, engineers, and interior designers, but also forest education experts, arborists and ecologists. DIALOG facilitated a collaborative team effort to develop a holistic solution in maintaining natural habitats and surrounding ecosystems. Several design initiatives included, solar energy harvesting, on-site waste water treatment, and net positive water.
?We wanted to create a building that could function like a forest ecosystem, be an integral part of nature and enhance it?, says Craig Applegath, DIALOG Lead Architect.
The use of wood in the design was integral to the building?s performance and appropriate to its function as a Forest Education Centre. The structure was built almost entirely of Glulam (glued-laminated timber) and Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), which was sustainably harvested and FSC certified. Furthermore, the building was designed and constructed to disassemble for repurposing or recycling of building materials at the end of the building lifecycle. Similarly, the building exterior wood cladding was salvaged from a local building that was decommissioned and demolished.
The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre will serve as a place for learning well into the future. The project will allow for all to engage, educate and connect to the extended York Region community."